The members of a Chhattisgarh village in India collaborated to raise funds to construct a temple for their recently deceased friendly neighborhood crocodile.

The crocodile, aptly named Gangaram Magarmach, was 130 years old at the time of his death. He was buried by residents of the Bwamohatra village in January.

The villagers were so distressed when four state department officials came to collect the body of the reptile; they protested for hours. They claimed they would bury the animal according to the local customs, to which the forestry department obliged.

He now has a dedicated temple which is being built near a pond in the village where he lived and died.

At the time Gangaram died, the RK Sinha, the sub-divisional officer at the forest department told media outlets the post mortem was done in full view of the villagers. The body was then given to them.

The conclusion was Gangaram died of natural causes.

He was carried to his funeral on a tractor, no less which was decorated with garlands and flowers while 500 people attended the last rites.

According to Vijay Kishore Goswami the conservator for the Radha Krishna Temple in the village, the villagers currently believe the crocodile became a divine soul hence the reason for the temple.

It is going to have a statue in the image of the crocodile and the Goddess Narmada. There will be a feast and a commemoration when the figures are installed.

Goswami stated his forefathers brought the reptile from somewhere in Uttar Pradesh and since that time the pond has been his home.

He was not able to give the exact timeframe of the crocodile’s arrival to the village considering it could be more than a century ago.

It is no wonder then that Gangaram was considered a deity because he was a constant for the lives of practically everyone in that village. Many of them came to the pond to pray daily and share their troubles.

This is not the first time there has been crocodile worship in India. A crocodile by the name of Babiya guards the Ananthapura Lake Temple.

Local news outlets claim Babiya is a local guardian of that temple. He also only allegedly eats the temple Prasad, which is rice and jaggery. He is a docile creature and does not harm anyone, including the fish within the lake.

In Goa, there is another village which worships the reptiles believing they will provide bountiful crop yields. The residents celebrate with an agrarian cultural expression dedicated to the worship of crocodiles.

Crocodile Pixabay