Shaligram Stone is a fossilised ammonite, a type of mollusk that lived millions of years ago. It is found in the sacred rivers of the Himalayas, particularly the Gandaki River in Nepal. The stone is considered to be a representation of Lord Vishnu, one of the primary deities in Hinduism, and is revered as a sacred object according to the media reports.
'Shaligram' stones being dispatched to India's Ayodhya for the construction of idols of Lord Ram and Goddess Janaki, expected to be placed in the main temple complex of the under-construction Ram Mandir.
The significance of the divine rock is firstly, the temple is being built to commemorate the birthplace of Lord Ram, one of the avatars of Lord Vishnu. The use of Shaligram Stone, which represents Lord Vishnu, is therefore a symbol of the temple's connection to the deity.
Secondly, the use of Shaligram Stone is a nod to the ancient Hindu tradition of building temples with sacred stones. The use of the stone in the Ram Temple continues this tradition and reinforces the temple's religious significance.
The holy stones were welcomed at the Hindu god Lord Ram's birthplace by Priests and locals who decorated the boulders with garlands and offered rituals before handing over them to the Shri Ram Janmabhoomi Teerth Kshetra Trust as per media reports.
Nepali Congress leader Bimalendra Nidhi, who hails from Janakpur, the birthplace of Sita, coordinated with the Janaki Temple which is sent the two stones from the Kali Gandaki River where Shaligrams are found in abundance.
The two holy stones, one weighing 18 tons and another of 16 tons, have been approved both technically and scientifically for the making of the idol.
Mahant Tapeshwar Das of the Janaki Mandir in Nepal presented these rocks to Champat Rai, general secretary of Ram Temple Trust.
Stone convoys traveled through Pipraun Girjasthan of Madhubani, Bihar, which holds religious significance, and took night stops at two places, Muzaffarpur and Gorakhpur before reaching Ayodhya.
The Shaligrams reached Gorakhpur on February 1, where they were opened for devotees to offer prayers.