Gloriously described in Puranas as Krishnagandaki (Black Gandaki) as well as Chakranadi, and worshipped as one of the holiest rivers, Krishnagandaki consists of seven Gandaki rivers supposed to have sprung from cheek (Gandasthal) of Lord Vishnu. It has a distinct honor of being the only river in the world to contain sacred stones (Shaligrams).Shaligram forms the stone incarnation of Lord Vishnu, the Almighty Preserver of the Universe. Shaligram only resembles basalt which contains ammonite symbols of Lord Vishnu: the chakra (wheel type ring-rang diverging from a minute epic-centre gravitated inside out found free in the untouched relapses of Mother Nature).Hindu devout worship these stones at their homes. His Holiness Shankaracharya praises the river thus:
Which means: Lord Vishnu who accommodates the universe is in your folds. Such an omnipresent god is present in the form of stone i.e., Shaligram. Shaligram’s jala (the water where Shaligram is dipped and rinsed) sprinkled over one’s head gets him/her rid of past wrongs and beckons him/her thereby to keep pace along the path to salvation. Even Muslims have a great reverence to Shaligram as they pay highest and holiest bows to Kalapathar (the black stone –collossium of Shaligram).
Krishnagandaki, inexhaustible reservoir of Shaligram starts from Damodar Himal and flows southward through Mukti Kshetra (the place of salvation).According to the Baraha Purana, the place is named after a sage (Rishi), Gandaki, who sat in a penance. The river is believed to have sprung as perspiration from the cheek of the Lord Vishnu.