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A smooth, rounded stone containing a fossilized ammonite, considered by Vaiṣṇavas to be imbued with Viṣṇu himself. It is named after a village on the Gaṇḍakī in Nepal, where large numbers of śālagrāma have been found on the riverbed. They are carefully wrapped in a clean cloth and kept as sacred objects in most Vaiṣṇava households, and the water in which they are ritually bathed is drunk as a means of removing impurity. Various explanations for the stone's power have been given: a common explanation is that the fossilized spirals resemble Visṇu's cakra.

Subjects: Hinduism.

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