In a historic event, two Shaligram boulders, weighing 26 and 14 tonnes, reached Ayodhya on Thursday, all the way from the Kali Gandaki waterfall in Nepal, to be carved into the Ram and Janaki idols for the Ram Janmabhoomi temple. The boulders, said to be 60 million-years-old, were brought from Nepal on two different trucks.
"There is a waterfall named Kali Gandaki in Nepal. It originates from Damodar Kund and is around 85 km north of Ganeshwar Dham Gandki. Both these boulders have been brought from there. The place is situated at a height of 6,000 feet above sea level. People even say that it is crores of years old," Champat Rai, the general secretary of Shri Ram Janmabhoomi Teerth Kshetra, had told news agency ANI earlier this week.
On arrival at Ayodhya, the rocks were worshipped by the priests and locals who conducted special rituals before handing over them to the Shri Ram Janmabhoomi Teerth Kshetra Trust.
Shaligram rocks are fossilised ammonite found in the sacred rivers of the Himalayas, particularly the Gandaki River in Nepal. Its religious significance lies in the fact that Hindus consider it the anthropomorphic image of Lord Vishnu since the myth has it that he assumed the form of Shaligram Stone to defeat demon king Hayagriva.
These stones are used across the country to make statues. Not only are these revered, they are also used as a talisman to ward off negative energy and bring in good luck, prosperity, and blessings.
"Lord Ram is the incarnation of Bhagwan Vishnu which is why the stone from Kali Gandaki River, if available, would be very good to make Ram Lala’s murti (Idol) in Ayodhya for Ram Janma Bhumi Temple. It was requested by Champat Rai- the General Secretary of the Trust (Ram Janma Bhoomi Teertha Kshetra) and I was very much active and interested in this, " former deputy prime minister Bimalendra Nidhi told ANI.
As per reports, the statue of lord Ram will be readied before the 2024 Makar Sankranti. Since the Shaligram stone is already revered and spiritual, there is no need for religious rituals for their consecration and can be placed instantly and worshipped.