Shankha (Sanskrit: शंख, Śaṇkha), also spelled and pronounced as shankh and sankha, is a conch shell which is of ritual and religious importance in both Hinduism and Buddhism. The shankha is the shell of a species of large predatory sea snail, Turbinella pyrum, which lives in the Indian Ocean.
In Hinduism, the shankha is a sacred emblem of the Hindu preserver god Vishnu. It is still used as a trumpet in Hindu ritual, and in the past was used as a war trumpet. The shankha is praised in Hindu scriptures as a giver of fame, longevity and prosperity, the cleanser of sin and the abode of Lakshmi, who is the goddess of wealth and consort of Vishnu.
The shankha is displayed in Hindu art in association with Vishnu. As a symbol of water, it is associated with female fertility and serpents (Nāgas). The shankha is the state emblem of the Indian state of Kerala and was also the national emblems of the Indian princely state of Travancore, and the Kingdom of Kochi.
Conch (pron.: // or //) is a common name that is applied to a number of different medium to large-sized sea snails or their shells. The term generally applies to large sea snails whose shell has a high spire and a noticeable siphonal canal (in other words, the shell comes to a point at both ends).