A crocodile strayed into the premises of Khodiyar Temple in Mahisagar district of Gujarat during late hours on Sunday. This attracted a large number of devotees to the temple as crocodile is believed to be the vehicle of "Khodiya Mata" or Goddess Khodiyar and they called it "auspicious".
The crocodile strayed into the sanctum sanctorum and continued to be there until the Mahisagar Forest Department rescued it.
The devotees allegedly caused delay in the rescue operation of the crocodile. They didn't allow the forest officials to rescue the reptile, claiming its presence in the sanctum sanctorum was "auspicious".
The crocodile was rescued on Monday morning and was released in a pond situated near the temple.
"The crocodile weighed 17 kg and was 6 feet long. We had a hard time rescuing it as a large number of devotees started worshipping the crocodile. Another problem that we faced while rescuing the crocodile was that the sanctum sanctorum was small in comparison to the crocodile. We have now released it in the nearby pond," said Mahisagar Forest Department official RV Patel.