Famous Shila Deity's in India
last updated 10th October 2006

Sri Sri Radha Raman - Vrindavan
Sri Padmanabha Swami - Trivandrum
Sri Udupi Krishna - Udipi, South Kanada, Karnataka
Sripadiraj Tirtha Swami's
Sri Nava Narasimha Kshetra - Ahobalam
Sri Vyenkateshwar - Balaji - Tirupati Tirumala Devasthanams
Sri Ugra Nrsimha - Mayapur
The Tongue of Govardhan
Radha Kunda and Varshana - many shilas in the area
Badrikashram - self manifesting Shalagram Shila over two feet tall:
Biggest Shaligram of Lord Kurma @ Deaughat, Tiger Camp: (no picture sorry)
Sri Sri Radha Damodar temple - with Krishna's footprint - Vrindavan
Sri Ranganath ji of Sri Rangam
Sri Salagrama Giri - Salem, Tamal Nadu
Sri Varahadev - Who demands sweetrice fame......... Sri Chaitanya Sarasvat Gaudiya Math Navadwip
Sri Yogananda Lakshmi Narasimha Swamy Temple - Andra pradesh:
Silas in Sri Vrindavan Dham
Temple of Panaga (panaka) Nrsimha sila @ Mangalgiri AP

Famous Silas in India

Devotees and their worshipful Silas in India

Srila Narottam dasa Thakur's Silas

Links to information about pilgrimages to Nepal in search of Shaligrams:

Path Bari - Calcutta - the place of Sri Bhagavatacharya and his Damodar shila

Picture of a rare and perfect Vamandev shila - and here
Balaram Mandir...somewhere in North Calcutta:
Narasimha Salagrama in Vanarasi

Sri Saalagraam (Tiruchaalagraaamam) - Nepal

Sri Sri Radha Raman ji


The Deity of Sri Radha-Raman (one of the few original Deities still left in Vrindavana) was installed here by Srila Gopal Bhatta Dasa Goswami. The Deity manifested from one of the Goswami's shaligram-shilas in 1542. Gopal Bhatta also brought Chaitanya Mahaprabhu's kaupina (cloth) and asana (seat ) back from Puri. These can be seen three to four times a year. Gopal Batta's Samadhi is located here. The fires for cooking in the temple kitchen have been burning continuously since the Deity was installed over 435 years ago.

See more about Him at Gopal Bhatta Goswami's page in the Vaishnava Calendar



Read Sri Padmanabh Gosai of the Radharaman Temple's writings on Shilas

Padmanabha Swami

Unfortunately they do not allow photos to be taken inside. In fact God forbid they even see your camera, they kick up such a fuss and you won't get in for darshan either.


How the form of Padmanabha Swami was made from 1200+ Salagrams:

....everything you need to have a great visit to Ananta Padmanabha Swami:

Padmanabha Swami was made from 1200+ Salagrams:


Udupi Sri Krishna


Read about the oral tradition that describes how  the Deity of Udupi Krishna came about in the first place prior to His being deposited in the lake at Gopi and Madhwa's collecting Him from the merchant ship in trouble off the coast at Malpe...

There were two sets of Krishna and Balaram Deities carved by Vishvakarma from Shaligrams he brought from the Gandaki. One set was made for Rukmini and was taken by her back to Dwaraka, which is the set that are now in South Kanada district - as Lord Balaram on the sea shore at Malpe and Krishna in the Krishna mutt in Udupi. The other set that was given to Mother Devaki was reputed to go to Vrindavan with them where they were worshipped there. There are no records in Vrindavan Mathura areas of such Deities existing, instead there are claims that they are at the Guruvayur Temple. Read the FULL story HERE.

Another version of the same is found here http://www.spiritualguides.net/Indiastate/karnataka/udupi.htm

Udupi Krishna wearing Rama-lila Vesha - the Lord dresses in different veshes daily.

notice the Salagram-sila vihara around His neck also - in every picture of Him too

Sri Balaram vesha

Sri Gopala Krishna vesha

In Bala Krishna vesha

In Parthasarathi vesha

In Gopala vesha

In Mohini murthy vesha

Udupi Krishna, yesterday's archana darshan (2nd November 2014)  in Diamond studded alankaar with H.H. Vidyavallabha Teertha Maharaj

There are MANY MANY more veshes He dresses in too. Please view some of them here:

Sripadaraja Tirtha

shrI shrIpAdarAja (the saint of saints) is none other than the very incarnation of shrI dhruva rAja, the son of king uttAnapAda.

Prince dhruva at the age of five aspired to sit on the lap of his father, king Uttanapada. But he was denied this privilege by his step mother, suruchi, who exercised great influence on his father and was told that he could enjoy the privilege aspired for, only on being born as her son. Being vexed at this, he was advised by his own mother, sunIthi, to pray God to accomplish his desire. Accordingly, dhruva went to the dense forest to offer prayer to Lord shrIman nArAyaNa.

On the way to the forests, nArada maharishi blessed him with dwAdasaksara mantra for his prayers. Prince dhruva faithfully and strictly followed the advice and started his penance standing on the toe of his right leg with folded hands and prayed the Lord.

During his prayers he preferred to pray merely eating fallen green leaves and water for some time and continued the penance with mere water for some more time. Further his prayers were continued with no food or water but by mere breathing. When he could not see the Lord even at the cost of deep devotional prayers, he stopped breathing and prayed the Lord by holding his breath. This was the height of penance anybody at any age (dhruva was only five then) could undertake. This resulted in the blocking of the breath of all the divine beings of the other world and having suffered suffocation, the dEvAs prayed the supreme to relieve their suffocation.

When the Supreme Lord could not test any further the boy's sincere prayers, he immediately came down to the dhruvarAja's place without even informing his concert shrI lakshmi and stood before the boy. However, dhruvarAja did not open his eyes inspite of the Lord standing before him. Thus the Lord who was being seen by shrI dhruva in his inner vision disappeared from his inner vision when shrI dhruva opened his eyes to see the same form of the Lord as was seen in his inner vision. At the sight of the Lord, dhruva was dumb founded and could not speak anything because of over joy. By the grace of mahAlakshmi he was able to praise the Lord who bestowed him the kingship of the kingdom for 36000 years after which he was made the emperor of dhruva manDala for a period of one brahma kalpa, which is 100 years of brahma.

dhruvarAja now being the king of dhruva manDala is in-charge of controlling the navagrAhAs, the kAlachakra, etc. His lOka dhruvalOka is situated 13 lakh yojana above rishi manDala from where he controls the movement of sun, moon & other planets. dhruvarAja holds his office of the emperorship of the dhruvalOka for that period. Since this is an official post - dhruvarAja thought that he would not be entitled to attain mOksha, the desired goal of every soul.  He wanted to know the attributes of God in a disciplined manner during a lifetime in a place designated for the purpose in the universe i.e. bhArata. Accordingly, dhruvarAja came down to the earth in an amsha and assumed sanyAsa to complete his sAdana and goes by the name shrI shrIpAdarAja.


Deities arranged for puja at the Sripadiraj mutt:

Ahobalam - Nava Narasimha kshetra

Jvala Nrisimha - upper Ahobalam

Guha Nrsimha - the self manifesting Shaligram of Lord Nrsimhadev in a cave at upper Ahobalam. There's a small knoble on the Deity's knee that represents Sri Prahlad. The Deity is also wearing a garland of Shaligrams. This Salagram stands about two feet tall and wears a garland of salagrams also.

Devotees often take the Tadiya stones from the river bed and rever Them with the same as one does the Lord in the Shalagram form. As one walks up the river bed to reach the temples scattered in the region one will see that there are red blotches on the stones in the river. These red blotches are said to be the blood of Hiranyakashipu, the demon who was ripped to pieces by Lord Nrsimhadeva. Seeing that Lord Narasimha made these hills and vallies by the heavy pressing of His feet upon the ground. After chasing the demon, as depicted in the Jvala Nrsimha Deity that is just abouve the tree line, and source of the flowing river, He toyed with the demon as a cat toys with a mouse prior to killing it.

When He finally had the right time to enact His pastimes He tore the demon Hiranyakashipu to pieces with the nails of His claw-like hands. The blood was spilled all around the area. Scientists have analyzed the compounds that create the red blotches to find they are the same compound as makes up blood. So these stones are taken and worshipped as coming in contact with the Lord's lila vichitra pastimes.

Narasimha page on HKNET




You have to go here to take darshan and tour of all the temples in the Ahobalam area, this is amazing.

A tour of the 108 Divya Deshes

Tirumala Tirupathi Devasthanams

Pages about the Tirupati Tirumala Devasthanams. The Deity is called Vyenkateshwar, Venkatachalapati, Balaji etc., and there's many wonderful pastimes and stories in connection with Him and His Divine appearance. The above picture is one of two only ever taken, as they do not allow cameras into the inner sanctum. See the links below for further insights into His lila-vicitra.





Tirupathi - brahmotsavam 2001:

Sri Ugra Narasimha - Mayapur Chandrodaya Mandir

Here you can see the Ugra-Nrsimha shila placed at the feet of Ugra Nrsimhadev in Mayapur. There are many other Shaligrams there also. The Pradan Shila of Ugra-nrsimha was found by HH Bhakti Vidya Purna Swami on Nrsimha Chaturdasi, neither in the water nor out of it, at dusk, the time the Narasimha appeared.

....close up of Ugra-nrsimha shila

See more of Mayapur Chandradoya Mandir here

Narasimha Salagram in Vanarasi

The Tongue of Govardhan - Radha Kunda

The Tongue of Govardhan -  Radha Kunda

See more pages on Giri Govardhan HERE

Balarama Mandir - Somewhere in North Calcutta

....this is a small OLD temple in North Calcutta. There's a nice Damodara Sila in the center of the altar and an assortment of others. They seem to run an orphange for Them !!!

Temple of Panaga Nrsimha at Mangalgiri near Vijayawada AP.

Sri Panagam Narasimha Swami at Mangalgiri near Vijaywada (10kms):

Many stories and legendry pastimes are revealed here:

Sri Ranganath ji of Rangam

.........close up showing the Salagram-sila-vihara He wears.

(The following text requires the Balaram font doenload it for free )

"Çré Raìga-kñetra (Çré Raìgam) is a very famous place. It lies in the district of Tiruchchiräpalli, about ten miles west of Kumbhakonam and near the city of Tiruchchiräpalli, on an island in the Käveré River. The Çré Raìgam temple is the largest in India, and there are seven walls surrounding it. There are also seven roads leading to Çré Raìgam. The ancient names of these roads are the road of Dharma, the road of Räjamahendra, the road of Kulaçekhara, the road of Älinäòana, the road of Tiruvikrama, the Tirubiòi road of Mäòamäòi-gäisa, and the road of Aòa-iyävala-indäna. The temple was founded before the reign of Dharmavarma, who reigned before Räjamahendra. Many celebrated kings like Kulaçekhara and Yämunäcärya (Älabandäru) resided in the temple of Çré Raìgam. Yämunäcärya, Çré Rämänuja, Sudarçanäcärya and others also supervised this temple.
The incarnation of the goddess of fortune known as Godädevé or Çré Äëòäl was one of the twelve Älvärs, liberated persons known as divya-süris. She was married to the Deity of Lord Çré Raìganätha, and later she entered into the body of the Lord. An incarnation of Kärmuka named Tirumaìga (also one of the Älvärs) acquired some money by stealing and built the fourth boundary wall of Çré Raìgam. It is said that in the year 289 of the Age of Kali, the Älvär of the name Toëòaraòippaòi was born. While engaged in devotional service he fell victim to a prostitute, and Çré Raìganätha, seeing His devotee so degraded, sent one of His servants with a golden plate to that prostitute. When the golden plate was discovered missing from the temple, there was a search, and it was found in the prostitute’s house. When the devotee saw Raìganätha’s mercy upon this prostitute, his mistake was rectified. He then prepared the third boundary wall of the Raìganätha temple and cultivated a tulasé garden there.

There was also a celebrated disciple of Rämänujäcärya’s known as Küreça. Çré Rämapilläi was the son of Küreça, and his son was Vägvijaya Bhaööa, whose son was Vedavyäsa Bhaööa, or Çré Sudarçanäcärya. When Sudarçanäcärya was an old man, the Muslims attacked the temple of Raìganätha and killed about twelve hundred Çré Vaiñëavas. At that time the Deity of Raìganätha was transferred to the temple of Tirupati, in the kingdom of Vijaya-nagara. The governor of Gingee, Goppaëärya, brought Çré Raìganätha from the temple of Tirupati to a place known as Siàha-brahma, where the Lord was situated for three years. In the year 1293 Çaka (A.D. 1371) the Deity was reinstalled in the Raìganätha temple. On the eastern wall of the Raìganätha temple is an inscription written by Vedänta-deçika relating how Raìganätha was returned to the temple." (Sri Chaitanya Charitamritam Madhya-lila 9:79. purport)

Sri Rangam in South India on the banks of the sacred Kaveri river, and birth place of Acharya Gopal Bhatta Goswami:

Sri-vaishnavas consider 108 divyadesams to be very important, though there are many more temples where the Lord resides. We call the temples which have been sung by the great devotees the Alwars as divyadesams, since they have the mangalAsAsanams of the divyasooris (pure unalloyed devotees), the Alwars. Even among these divyadesams some have the importance because of Perumal (Sri Krishna) there and in some the Emperuman (Supreme Lord) came to that place due to the magimai sanctity of the divyadesam itself. For instance, in Srirangam, Lord Ranganatha decided to stay in this place attracted by the beauty of the divyadesam. When the pious brother of Ravan known as Vibheeshanalvar was carrying Lord Ranganatha, gifted to him by Sri RAma, to take back to Lanka, while passing Srirangam Lord Ranganatha was very pleased with the Kaveri river and the beautiful flora in the area that he decided to stay over there. In Thirupathi, we find that the seven hills themselves are very sacred and that the sins of who ever goes to the seven hills are washed out. This has been quoted even in RAmayanam. When Sugreeva sent his men to search piratti in various directions, he instructed them not to go to the seven hills since if they go there then there punyams and papams will be nullified and they will attain moksham. That is why Kulasekara Alwar says “emperumAn ponmalai mEl Edenum AvEnE”. Considering the importance of the seven hills, Kulasekara Alwar here wants to take any birth in Thirumalai region. It may be an animal birth, an insect birth or a flower as long as it is in Thirumalai. Such is the importance of the divyadesam and that is why even the famous Venkateswara Perumal selected this to be his abode. Similarly when we see Thiruvallikeni, this divyadesam was initially a Tulasi forest, where various rishis did their tapa penences. When the king Sumathi asked Thirupathi Perumal to give darshan to him like in KrishnAvatAram, Emperuman replied ‘ Go to the sacred place BrindAranyam near the Kairavini Pushkarini where many other rishis are doing tapas and if you too do tapas over there then your wish will be fulfilled’. Generally the rishis do not do tapas in any place, they select the most sacrad place to do tapas where they can peacefully meditate on the god. In BrindAranyam already many rishis where doing tapas and hence Thirupathi Perumal directed Sumathi also to the same place.
 You may all be wondering why adiyen (this humble devotee) is telling all these without going to the explanation of the meanings of the next paasuram. This introduction has been given to clarify why Alwar is suddenly singing about the natural beauty of Srirangam like other ordinary poets. We all know that Alwars are not bothered about anything else other than the Lord then why should they sing about the natural beauty occuring in a place? The Alwars, mainly Thirumangai Alwar, does mangalAsAsanam to both the divyadesam and the Perumal because he feels everything in a divyadesam is divine and praise worthy. In similar strands, Thondaradipodi Alwar also enjoys the beauty of Srirangam and says among this beautiful scenary we find another beauty reclining, the Lord Ranganatha and then he finally comes back to the same old story feeling for the people, who do not enjoy all these and put themselves to miseries, running at the back of worldly pleasures.

“vandinam muralum sOlai mayilinam Alum sOlai
kondal meedhanavum sOlai kuyilinam koovum sOlai
andarkOn amarum sOlai anithiruvarangam ennA
mindarpAyindhu vunnum sOttrai vilakki nAykku edumineerE”

vandinam muralum sOlai mayilinam Alum sOlai: Srirangam is filled with number of beautiful gardens. Those gardens are filled with beautiful and sweet smelling flowers which have honey in them. We find number of bees in these gardens which are attracted by the fragrance and beauty of the flowers. That’s what the Alwar says here ‘vandinam muralum sOlai’, the gardens filled with bees flying from one flower to another. In this pleasant place there are number of peacocks which dance with joy. Alwar hears that the sound made by the bees to be a praise to the Lord and that to that music the peacocks dance.

kondal meedhanavum sOlai kuyilinam koovum sOlai: The Kaveri river is flowing and the plants are flourished, seeing the richness of this place the clouds have appeared in the sky to give benediction. The trees in these gardens are so well grown that they almost touch the skies. And the cuckoos in these gardens sing sweetly with joy. As Srimati Andal says ‘kootil erundu kuyil govinda!govinda! endrazhaikkum’. In Srirangam if the parrots which have been kept inside a cage, can sing happily the name of the Lord then wont the birds which have been left freely in the beautiful gardens sing with joy the praise of the almighty? Even Srimad Bhagavatam says, that wherever the Lord is even the bees with pollen adorning their moustaches and legs in that Brindavam Dham always sing the praise of Sri Krishna only. So the gardens in Srirangam, are similarly filled with the cuckoos which happily sing about the Lord and the bees hum the music and the peacocks dance to this and the clouds appear to be a spectator to this grand music performance.

andarkOn amarum sOlai: Still now Alwar sang about all the other beauties in Srirangam. Now the Alwar says, the beauty which gave beauty to everything else in this world has also come to stay in this divyadesam. Any other beauty in this world is only a part of the Emperuman’s beauty. That Emperuman, who is the king of kings and one who is the supreme Lord Himself, He also stays in this place. Sri PVP says like the bees, cucukoos, peacocks and the clouds which got attracted to the beauty of this place the Emperuman also got attracted to this divyadesam and stayed here. It is not wrong in equating the parAtparan with these ordinary jeevans, since this is only to show the magimai of the divyadesam, as they too are His devotees.

anithiruvarangam ennA mindarpAyindhu vunnum sOttrai vilakki nAykku edumineerE: Inspite of all these importance, people refrain from even uttering the name of this divyadesam. Many places people say are beautiful, even if we are unable to go there we imagine the beauty of that place and enjoy. But the unfortunate part is Srirangam is the most beautiful place in this world, still people do not even think of it or feel bad that we are unable to go there. They cease to accept the importance of this divyadesam but are only concerned about their wordly pleasure. How can people be so stupid? By this Alwar’s simultaneous anger and pity is raised thinking about such people and hence he goes to the level of cursing them. He says grab the food, which these people jump to eat and throw it to a dog since even a lowly dog which stays in Srirangam is more worthy living than such people who do not even utter the Holy nAma of Bhagavan Sri Krishna and His divya desam - Holy Dham.

Original by AzhwAr emberumAnAr jeeyar thiruvadigaLE saraNam
Adiyen Ramanuja Dasyai
Sumithra Varadarajan

Read more about Sri Rangam HERE


Srila Narottam dasa Thakur's Silas

now with Indradyumna Swami

now with Chaturatma prabhu

Please follow the respective links.

Links to information about pilgrimages to Nepal in search of Shaligrams:
Visit Tiruchaalagraaamam - Sri Salagram Tirtha
Sri Saalagraam (Tiruchaalagraaamam) - Nepal