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Certain websites claim that Lord Vishnu prayed to Lord Ganesha. Now if this story is true, in which scripture is this story written? The following is the story as presented by these websites:

One day Lord Vishnu got annoyed very badly when his conch (Valampuri shankh) got missing. After some time he heard the sound of his conch form the side of Mount Kailash i.e. Lord Shiva’s home. On finding his conch with Lord Ganesha, he requested Lord Shiva to get his conch back from him. Lord Shiva as a solution asked Lord Vishnu to perform a ceremonial activity (Pooja) that can please Lord Ganesha. Lord Vishnu on adhering to the suggestion of Lord Shiva offered prayers to Ganesha.

Lord Ganesha being pleased with Lord Vishnu returned his conch. After this incident, Lord Ganesha was given the name of Valampuri Ganesh which means Ganesha with the trunk facing the right direction.

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    This seems quite an unlikely story as the word 'valampuri' is a tamil word. So it could be that Vishnu, Shiva and Ganesha spoke in tamil and got issues resolved (many tamilians will argue that it is the case), or that it is an interpolated story. In Sanskrit, the same will be called a dakshinavarthi shankham. – user1952500 Aug 1 '17 at 4:32
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    One question, How did his conch reach to Kailash from Sheer Sagar? – Rishabh Aug 1 '17 at 9:36
  • @Rishabh You better ask those websites lol – Surya Kanta Bose Chowdhury Aug 1 '17 at 11:57
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The story of Vishnu worshiping Ganesha is given in Chapter 18(pg 205) of Ganesha Purana Upasanakhanda. Since the story is a bit long I'm referencing only relevant parts of it.

The story begins with Madhu Kaitabha, two demons formed from Vishnu's ear wax. It follows a similar vein from various Puranas. The demons try to attack and eat Brahma who prays to Vishnu for help. Vishnu awakens from his Yoga Nidra and fights the two demons but is unable to defeat them. The battle lasts 5000 years!

A confused Vishnu goes to Lord Shiva for advice whereby the Lord tells him he wasn't able to defeat Madhu-Kaitabha because he forgot to adore Vinayaka before the battle. Vishnu asks how he can rectify his mistake. Lord Shiva initiates him in an Eka-akshari and Shoda-akshari Ganesha mantra.

Bhirgu said, Hari then told him about the previous course of events concerning the two demons Hari said, Whilst I was asleep on the ocean of milk, Madhu and Kaitabha arose from my ear secretions and came to eat Brahma. Brahma eulogized Sleep, splendid Siva, and she awakened me.

I then engaged in battle with those two and a wrestling match ensued. I was unable to conquer them so I did this.

Now, Siva, repository of compassion, tell me the way to kill them. Siva said, You went to the battleground without having worshipped Vinayaka, and so you had no strength. Consequently, you have got real problems.

After you have worshipped Ganesa, set out for battle, respectable god! With his power of illusion he will delude those two and through my favour you will kill those two malevolents. There is no doubt of it!

Hari said, Siva, tell me, how I should worship that god, Vinayaka?

Isvara said, There are seven myriads of Ganesa mantras which have been recited. Even amongst them there are great mantras and even amongst them there is a great one-syllable mantra and a six syllable one. Illustrious Visnu, I am going to tell you about one of these two.

Then, having set aside the one syllable mantra in consideration of the power of his discus and the Siddhari mantra, and having paid out a monetary debt, he told him that great six syllable mantra of Ganesa which is auspicious and grants every success. Merely by performing it your task will be successful. Then Visnu left quickly to perform it.

Vishnu goes to Siddhiksetra and performs penance for a 100 years after which Ganesha appears before him and grants him boons.

The King said, How and where did Visnu recite that excellent mantra and did he obtain success? Tell me this in detail! The sage said, There is a celebrated place of the highest quality called Siddhiksetra which gives success on the earth. After going there the great Visnu performed a severe austerity. Whilst meditating on Vinayaka he propitiated that god in accord with the procedure for the six-syllable mantra.

After a period of one hundred years had passed, the supreme self, Ganadhipa, who was like a myriad of suns and fires, became visible. Completely tranquil in heart, he spoke to Visnu, on whose banner is Garuda. Ask me for those boons that you want, Visnu. I will give them all because I am satisfied with your austerity. If I alone am worshipped first, victory will certainly be yours.

By seeing one like you I will experience success in all things, god. However, I am still going to tell you about one thing. At the end of my yogic sleep Madhu and Kaitabha sprang up from the dirt in my ears. These two great warriors strove to eat Brahma. Then I fought with them for many days, but because my strength is waning I have come to you for refuge.

So think about how I will destroy these two, as the highest renown exists in victory over other demons. Supreme Lord, give me now your inexhaustible devotion, through which my unmatched fame will cleanse the triple-world.

Ganesa said, Visnu, you will certainly get whatever you request. You will have glory, strength, the highest fame and no obstacles.

After this, Vishnu establishes an idol of Ganesha at Siddhiksetra which was known as Siddhivinayaka. Today this ksetra is known as Siddhateka which houses the famous Ashtavinayaka, Siddhivinakaya.

The Sage said, Having said this to the great Visnu, Lord Ganesa disappeared from there, but Visnu was filled with joy as he considered these two demons to be conquered.

There he built a crystal palace which was rich with jewels, a glittering gold spire and four very splendid domes. Then he set up an image made of jewels taken from the Gandakiya river.

The gods and sages spread its fame under the title Siddhavinayaka, since Hari obtained a splendid success there. Thereafter, it became famous as Siddhiksetra, the field of success all over earth.

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    Do you have complete Ganesha Purana in English? – The Destroyer Oct 15 '17 at 10:18
  • @Arya Does the Purana also mention Shiva worshipping Ganesha? – Surya Kanta Bose Chowdhury Oct 15 '17 at 11:32
  • @SuryaKantaBoseChowdhury Yes. See this Stotra- ShivaShaktiKritam GaneshaStotram. This is Stotra composed by Shiva and Devi to worship Ganesha. Thing to be be noted here is that Ganesha is just not their child, But is also the Supreme God. So there is no surprise if Shiva Durga or Narayana or other God worship Ganesha. – user9392 Oct 15 '17 at 11:56
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    @SuryaKantaBoseChowdhury Yes, Ganesha Purana says Ganesha is the Paramatma. There is a mention that all the devatas including Shiva, Parvati meditated on Ganesha. – Sarvabhouma Oct 15 '17 at 12:45
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    @SuryaKantaBoseChowdhury Like others have said, yes Lord Shiva has worshiped Ganesha. He did so before destroying Tripurasura. In Ganesha Purana, Ganesha is Parabrahma so all gods worship him. – Arya Oct 17 '17 at 10:38

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