NEW DELHI, INDIA, January 30, 2023 (News18): A shaligram, also known as a shaligrama shila, is a specific type of stone that is mined from the Kali Gandaki, a tributary of the Gandaki River in Nepal, and is used by Hindus as a non-anthropomorphic image of God Vishnu. Typically, these are ammonite shell fossils from the Devonian-Cretaceous period, which lasted between 400 and 66 million years ago. Hindus revere the fossils as holy because Madhvacharya got them from Astamurti, also known as Vyasadeva, and because they resemble Vishnu emblems, particularly the Shankha (conch shell). According to reports, through the writings of Adi Shankara, it is possible to date the use of shaligrama shilas in devotion back to that era. He specifically suggests that the usage of shaligrama shila in the worship of Vishnu has been a well-known Hindu practice in his commentary to the verses 1.6.1 of the Taittiriya Upanishad and 1.3.14 of the Brahma Sutras.