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Sri Lakshmi Conch Shell
sinistral turbinella pyrum

The Right-Spiralling Conch Shell Conch Shells which spiral to the right are very rare and considered especially sacred. In Buddhist Dharma the right spiral mirrors the motion of the sun, moon, planets and stars across the sky. Also, the hair whorls on Buddha's head spiral to the right, as do his fine bodily hairs, the long white curl between his eyebrows and the conch like swirl of his navel. The Lakshmi Conch shell is a sacred manifestation of Supreme Goddess Lakshmi, and is most effectively used to bath a genuine Gandaki vajra-kita Shalagram Shila (ammonite from Gandaki River in Nepal having chakra cut by Vajra-kita worms 140 million years ago). The TOP picture showing a genuine Lakshmi Conch with a genuine Shalagram Shila is one of a kind. VERY RARE PHOTO.

Normal Conch (left) and 'Valampuri' Lakshmi Conch

Over the last 30 Years we have been looking for the truth about the fabled Lakshmi Conch Shell. Even amongst knowledgeable shell experts the sinistral turbinella pyrum is the MOST rare and valuable shell on Earth. They are so rare that only a few temples in India have them. We only found several, one in Pashupati Nath Temple Museum, and one in the London Museum of Natural History. In fact they are the same kind of Shank or Conch shell that we blow and bath the Deities with but they open on the right side (opposite of normal).

When shell collectors refer to the reversed Shank as “left-handed” or "sinistral turbinella pyrum", the Indians call this the “valampuri” right-handed, because they orient it with the apical spire downwards and the aperture or siphon (mouth) uppermost and, consequently, on the right side of the shell.

Note: there are many species in Conch family, but in India "Shank" always refers to the normal smooth white conch shells which are normally used in pujas. They alone are called "Shank" --- and it is ONLY such a shell, if it opens on the right side, that is a real Lakshmi Shank. No other right-sided shell is ever Lakshmi Shank (sinistral turbinella pyrum).

Now a days it has become common place to mistake some other kind of shell that opens on the right known as Busycon contrarium (Lightning Whelk) and THIS Lightning Whelk many people wrongly believe to be a Lakshmi Shank!?? They are wrong. There is ONLY one true Lakshmi Shank, and the photos below are a darshan of the REAL thing next to a cheap and common Lightning Whelk

It is better to use a real left-handed white smooth shank, like normal, rather than another type of shell, like a Lightning Whelk, that is not even a Shank, and which is NOT recommended in Puja. Only a Shank is auspicious for puja, what to speak of a shank that opens on the right side, viz., A Lakshmi Shank.

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