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Shell We Go To One Of India’s Sea Shell Museums Right Here In Mahabs?


Fascinated by picking up sea shells during a walk on the beach? Find a massive collection of around 40,000 of them at the India Sea Shell Museum in Mahabalipuram. They even have a seafood restaurant and a cool souvenir shop!

He Sells, Sea Shells

Raja Mohammad, the founder of the India Sea Shell Museum started collecting shells when he was only a child. Travelling to different countries and collecting sea shells from all over the world, the museum is now home to 6,000 different species of seashells. The founder’s son Mohammad Rizwan tells us that the sea shells are from countries all over the world such as Mexico, Australia, Thailand, Vietnam and Indonesia. Looking colourful and grand {with a giant octopus and even conch statue}, the museum is situated right in front of the beach. Don’t miss the entrance which is found directly opposite the pancha rathas {Shore Temples} in Mahabalipuram.

There are four galleries at the museum and you will learn something new with a tidbit of information along with all the sea shells on display. We found a cool model train built with oyster shells in Gallery 1. Pay attention to the detail in the model right from the buffers to the piston and the chimney too. This model is completely hand-made and took six  months to build, apparently. Similar to this train, you will find models of an airplane and a car, made with sea shells in the other galleries as well as fossils, shark teeth and whale fins on display. The collection is splendid and don’t forget to have a look at the fascinating story of how pearls are formed in oysters in Gallery 3 and the Australian Trumpet in Gallery 4, the largest sea shell in the world! Initially started in 2013, the sea shell museum has been recently renovated with new exciting developments.


While the museum is one of the attractions, there is an aquarium {Fish World} to visit which also houses Maya Bazaar, the souvenir shop. While the aquarium is relatively smaller with few species of fish, the souvenir shop is certainly a treat, selling elegant jewellery and artefacts made solely from seashells, and even a traditional sangu {conch} can be found here. The Fresh & Live Sea Restaurant, with a wonderful ambience, specialises in sea food and you can even slurp on the usual ice cream or bite into a quick snack as well.

So, make sure to set aside a few hours when visiting this spectacle and you will not be disappointed!

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