The conch shell or the conch of purity

The white conch shell (Skt. shankha) is used broadly during Buddhist rituals. The seven precious animals and hand-held weapons of specific deities symbolize purity. Conch shells are made in various sizes and blown during rituals as a sound offering. There are also right spiralling conch and left-spiralling conch.The conch shell is upholstered with spiral patterned, gilded brass inlaid with coral and turquoise. Wider part of the conch shell is made of with three spiral-layers representing its spirals.The two mouth openings are connected with an elaborate belt and around sixty holes are pierced. The belts are designed as if emerging from a lotus flower. The stem of a lotus flower is bent into a hoop to fasten a khadag (long silk ribbon). Many different-coloured khadag are tied to the hoop, which became obsolete due to long time preservation. It is a custom to blow a conch shell by a monk wearing a gigu hat looking into the four directions during morning prayer. It means to appeal or call all the happiness and offer sound offerings to the deities. In addition, it is explained as to remove people's mental anguish, which assembled in monasteries.


Primary Iconography: One of the eight auspicious symbols of Buddhism
Tibetan: dung dkar
English: The Conch Shell
Period: The Conch Shell
Dimensions: 17.375 X 9 in. — 23 X 44 cm
Collection: A & D Museum of Art
Photo:

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