The Shaligrams are specifically described as fossil-stones which have taken shape in the Gandaki-river,
and are characterized by the presence of discus marks. Shaligrams are always naturally found in the river
Gandaki. These also include the famous Kali-Gandaki River, Muktinath, Damodar Himal, Damodar Kunda, Devghat, etc.
Shaligrams are sacred 'shilas' or stones representing the abstract form of Lord Vishnu.
His followers, the Hindu Vaishnavas, place these stones in their puja altars for daily worship.
Just as the abstract form of Shiva is the stone ‘lingam’ which the Shaivites worship in their
temples and homes, so is the ‘shila’ of Lord Vishnu.
According to Hindu tradition, the Shaligram stone is the shelter for a small insect known as the
'vajra-keeta' that cuts through this stone and lives inside it. In actuality, however, these stones
are the fossils of the common ammonite that lived millions of years ago when the Himalayan mountain
range formed the bed of a vast ocean floor.