Shaligram is also known as saligrama shila or salagram. Shaligram is sacred holy stone which is only found in Kali Gandaki River in Nepal. He is also known as sakshat form of lord because it is not made by any man. Shaligram also emblem with different mark,specially narayan chakra and many symbol. Lord vishnu symbol is shankh chakra gadha padma(Sacred conch, sacred wheels known as chakra,we can see chakra on lord narayan hand. Gadha meaning mace,padma meaning sacred flower of Kamala phool(lotus flower). Shaligram could have this special mark on him,which is very auspicious form of lord.
Shaligram main place of origin is damodarkunda which is situated in nepal,which is 3 days from capital. This saligram origin Place is itself holy and many god/goddess reside here from million of year from the begining of creation. The importance can also found in shastra like puran,khanda like Himbawat khand etc.
The main origin place of shaligram bhagwan is damodarkunda which is week far from muktinath. The river kali gandaki is sacred river which originate from damodarkunda. This kali gandaki river is situated in muktinath. Except kali gandaki river in nepal shaligram is not found in other. In other country shaligram is found but which could not be similar to shaligram found in gandaki. Now people say ammonite fossil stone found in their country house. We hindu believe shaligram as very sacred form of lord. Our shastra has mention its importance from thousand of years. So it is clear that all the world is creation of lord and he could be found everywhere. The sastra also clearly described conversation of gandaki mata and lord himself. It is belived that insect known as bagrakeeta bite and make various design on shaligram. Lord vishnu order lord bishwakarma (lord of art and architecure), you reside with me and make different form on me. So shaligram have special mark .
Before this sacred place is also known as Krishna gandaki river. Because of residence of lord here from the time of creations. Any holy stone found here are mostly black so now it is known as kali gandaki river. Sanskrit word “Kali” meaning is black. It is also belived that Goddess kali mata also reside here with many god/goddess.
Devotee keep any stone found in this holy river because any stone found in this river are known as shaligram or SHALIGRAM SHILAS (lord vishnu). If we donot know any name of shaligram,we should consider as vishnu,krishna,ram.
Other metal statues,or man made lord murtis should be energized before worship. But shaligram is lord himself and we can keep in house and start worship. So shaligram is no need to energized. Before worship of shaligram,Important thing is pureness and simplicity.
The various shastra,purans,khanda described the glory of saligram. It is symbol of Lord Vishnu (Narayan). All shaligram are lord vishnu but lord shaligram have different form and appearance in earth from time to time.
So shaligram have many names whose worship is done and lord is pleased with many form. But someone donot know name is lord ananta (many names of lord vishnu,and lord vishnu himself).He is also sesha narayan,krishna,purshottam. Some of different type and form of shaligram are santhan gopal shaligram (Santan means family),laxmi narayan shaligram,dash avatar shaligram (10 form of lord vishnu in different period of time, ram,krishna,Parshurama,narasimha,kurma,matsya,varaha,vamana,buddha,kalki.other name of shaligrama are bhaskara(surya),ganesh,shiva,durga,vishnu, Some other name of important shaligram are laxmi narasimha,hayagriva,rishikesha, damodara,govinda etc.
Rare type of sila also includes,hiranyagarva,ratna garva(jyoti shaligram), vishnu paduka, swarna silas,etc.
Even the one water drop which has bath to Srishaligram is drank everyday.Our life is bless itself. It is known as this much auspicious that one could surely attain vaikuntha if someone do every day kindly seva to lord and his devotees. The famous temple like jaggarnath puri in oddisha,pashupatinath temple and basuki nag raj temple there is saligram snan done everyday. In jaggarnath puri shaligram jal is served to devotees.
The shaligram mahimas (Glories) is found in various books and scripture like Puran like agni,vishnu,brahma,kurma,bhagvad puran etc. Many book publish by devotee which has only about shaligram and their types identification is also found whose reference is taken out from various scripture.
The auspicious shaligram are black in colors and it is also normally found. But yellow,green,blue,red color shaligram are also very auspicious and found but rare in nature. It is believed that Only red color are prohibited for house worship. And red one are for temple. Other shaligram which are smooth, notbroken, clear chakras or any mouth,holes,good shape,smooth, shaligram with various symbols are very good to worship at our home. Round shaligram also found(laddugopal),shaligram with holes,shivlinga,golden etc different form are epic on shaligram shilas.
Various shape,chakra and various form denotes different form,types and manifesation of lord vishnu .Worship of Shaligram are common in Every hindu houses in Nepal ,India,devotees house around the world. Shaligram can be any shape or form which could be round,oval,with chakra or many chakra,without chakra,smooth,with hole,without hole ,flat which could help anyone to find mostly many names of lord vishnu.
Worship of shaligram is done by making any asana(singasan), the table or copper plate where lord is kept safely with sringar(clothing,decoration and makeup to lord). The puja must be done at morning and evening. Shaligram and tulsi is auspicious form of lord whom is needed in a every house from birth to death period of time. It is belived that those house who have shaligram in their house. This house is always blessed by lord and his mercy. IF someone wish to make their house pure, they can just spray some water drop in all part of house which has bathed. The negative,eyes,ghost or any evil nature are blocked in this sacred house where lord seva is done. At the time of death shaligram water is given to drink to person who are dying so that he/she will achieved to vaikuntha dham (home of lord vishnu). The holy water(ganga jal) of shaligram bath is this much auspicious that,anyone can drink everyday after abhishek to remove our negative energy. The sin of person is also washed even by one drop.
So there is no doubt there is residence of peace,laxmi,happiness,prosperity who worship and care shaligrams. Shaligram is able to provide any one moksha (salvation). Once a year,tulsi shaligram vivah is also carried out. So anyone must keep tulsi plant in house before worship of shaligram.
Specially everyday shaligram seva is very good,who could not do seva can just remember lord to get blessing of lord. Some of the special day are every ekadashi,krishna janmastami,ram navami,sivaratri,navratri and special month like Kartika is so much auspicious that tulsi shaligram vivah,laxmi puja,cow puja etc varity of puja is done.
There is no any other thing like tulsi leaves which is favourite to lord shaligram. If we donot found many leaves , Even one leaves must be offering to him in regular worship is very dear to lord . Except tulsi leaves offering, dhup(incense),arati,dhyan,naivedh is offered. Daily morning holy bath to shaligram with ganga jal or pure water or pure milk or panchamrit abhisheck(milk,ghee,sugar,curd,honey mixed) five things mixed together and bath by saying mantra “Om namo bhagvate vasudevaya” or owns mantra dedicated to lord can be also done or any lord vishnu mantra,guru mantra can be recited.