Besides the beauty of backwaters and houseboat cruises, Kerala is glittering with spiritual destinations. Apart from Sabarimala, there exists a lot of temples in the Malabar coast and we all know that a couple of years ago the world turned its head towards Anantha Padmanabha Swamy temple intriguing the visitors with its Nelamaligialu (wealthy secret chambers). Have you known that there exists a temple which is known as ‘moolasthanam’ of Anantha Padmanabha Swamy temple? To your surprise, the temple is guarding by a vegetarian crocodile. Today we touringwala taking to you Antanthapura Lake temple.
Is it origin source of Anantha Padmanabha Swamy Temple?
Located in the heart of Ananthapura in Kasargod district, Ananthapura temple is renowned as only lake temple in entire Kerala. The serene environment and pagoda style architecture of the temple amid the coconut groves fascinate the visitors.
Here, in the inner sanctum (sreekovli) the Lord Vishnu appears to devotees in the incarnation of Anantha Padmanabha Swamy in a sitting posture with his consorts Bhoodevi and Sridevi on a seven-headed serpent named as Anantha. The temple is known as moolasthanam, the origin source of famous Anantha Padmanabha Swamy temple of Thiruvananthapuram where the lord Vishnu bless the devotees in an incline position over serpent Anantha. The mural paintings on the outer wall of the sreekovli depict various characters of Hindu Purana.
Many interesting legends hovers over the history of the Ananthapura lake temple. According to a local legend, once a saint named Sri Vilvamangalathu Swami, an ardent devotee of Lord Vishnu had a penance at this place. One fine day, Lord Krishna appeared in a form of a little boy and disturbed the saint. The angrier saint pushed lord Krishna aside with his hand. As a result, Lord Krishna disappeared into a nearby cave named as Bilvamangala cave. The saint realised that the little boy no other than Lord Vishnu, therefore he tried to get him but in vain. Now one can see the cave on the temple premises and to your surprise, it is guarding by a vegetarian crocodile.
It is the cave where Lord Krishna disappeared. According to the local legends, the temple connects the Anantha Padmanabha Swamy temple, Thiruvananthapuram. Saint Vilvamangala ran into the cave in search of ‘Ananthankadu’ and he reached a seashore and travelled towards the South. Finally, he reached Thiruvananthapuram where the Lord Vishnu appeared in front of him in different forms.
Babiya, God’s Own Crocodile
Babiya, a pure vegetarian crocodile who lives in the water pond and it guards the temple and Bilvamangala cave. According to the locals, the crocodile is living since 150 years and once a British soldier shot dead the crocodile but in a few days, he died due to a snake bite. Devotees said that the serpent Anantha had taken the revenge on him. Very soon, a crocodile appeared in the pond and only one crocodile lives in the pond. It doesn’t do any harm to anyone and even it not kills a fish in the pond. The temple priests feed the crocodile with jaggery rice after the temple rituals.
Google Route Map for Ananthapura Lake Temple
When you are on Kerala trip, never give a miss to visit Anathapura Lake temple which is guarding by a vegetarian crocodile.
(Image Credit: Kerala tourism)