She sells Sea Shells…
Big shells, small shells, round shells, lovely shells, oh yeah we can sniff out a seashell enthusiast from miles away. From treading through the creamy sands that cover beaches to discovering exotic shells that the magnanimous waves bring in, collecting seashells is overwhelming at its best.
Those with a fetish for these beautiful offerings by Mother Nature will agree to the fact that India is a great place to chance upon and collect an assortment of authentic shell forms.
Starting at the southern ends of the Indian margin, first up are the primary tourist spots of Andaman Nicobar Islands and Lakshadweep islands. Here you’ll find shell figures at their very best.
Check out the stretch of coastline bordering Andhra Pradesh’s eastern ends. Right from Bheemunipatnam which is near Vizag to Mypad in Nellore district, the unending line of beaches is a haven for shell collectors galore. Rishikonda and Pondicherry beaches too are excellent places to scavenge for rare shells.
Moving westward, the beaches of Mangalore namely Taneerbhavi and Panambhoor are worth a visit. Also add the pilgrim beach areas of Ganapatipulle on the Konkan coast, Malpe or Ullal in Karnataka and Bet Dwarka in Gujarat to your checklist.
The other distinct shell beaches that grace our mainland are Calangute Beach among others in Goa, Diu beach, etc
Daman and Diu homes an exhibition of sorts in the Sea Shell Museum – the first of its kind where a staggering diversity of around 3000 sea shells are showcased under big magnifying glasses. This gives us visitors a chance to experience a whirlwind of colours, curves and textures.
Refined and polished sea shells are available all across the country. However, the rare and auspicious variety of the Valampuri shankh is very popular among the tourists clan. The mollusc is also known as the Laksmi shell owing to its religious connections. It is priced as high as 190$ on a good day.
Some vendors sell conches with inscriptions etched across the surfaces. Also saleable are the blow conches that are bound by pious connections. Other shell artifacts include very pretty ethnic accessories and adornments, show pieces, mirrors bordered with shells, shell art, wall hangings, bags, et al. You name it, we got it. Given the scenario, the shell market is India is an obvious rave among tourists.
So put on your best pair of beach shoes and go embark an adventure of your own to discover the molluscs of the world.