Festivals, Dances, Theatre, Literature, Art in News

What are Shaligram Stones?


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: Shaligram Stone

Mains level: NA


Two sacred Shaligram stones arrived in Ayodhya for crafting the idols of Lord Ram and Janaki at the Ram Temple.

What is a Shaligram Stones?

  • Shaligram stones are fossils of ammonite, which is a type of mollusk that lived between 400 million and 65 million years ago.
  • They are found in the Shaligram Pilgrimage in the Nepal Himalayas.
  • They date specifically from the Early Oxfordian to the Late Tithonian Age near the end of the Jurassic Period some 165-140 million years ago.
  • Mostly found in riverbeds or banks of the Kali Gandaki, a tributary of the Gandaki River in Nepal, this stone is revered as a representation of Lord Vishnu.
  • The stone is considered to have divine powers and is seen as a symbol of good luck and prosperity.

Mythological significance

  • Historically, the use of shaligrama shilas in worship can be traced to the time of Adi Shankara through the latter’s works.
  • Specifically it finds mention in the Taittiriya Upanishad.
  • The statue of Vishnu in the Padmanabhaswamy Temple of Thiruvananthapuram and Badrinath Temple of Garhwal region, and that of Krishna in Krishna Matha of Udupi and Radha Raman Temple of Vrindavana are also believed to be made from shaligrama shilas.


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