Chattarpur (Madhya Pradesh), June 8 : Believe it or not, a temple priest in Madhya Pradesh's Chattarpur district has raised a collection of over 40,000 conch shells and treasured them all in a single room museum at his residence.
Pundit Harsevak Mishra, 74, claims to have collected so many Shankhs or conch shells during his 55 religious trips, which often involved visiting various temple areas the coastal parts of India.
Mishra lives in Chattarpur district's Esha Nagar, 75 kms from world famous Khajurao, and has built the mini-museum at his residence to store such a huge collection of conch shells.
"I have been visiting various temples of India since 1956. It stuck my mind that I should do something that others may appreciate and could educate children. That is how I came up with this conch shells museum. There are about 40,000-42,000 conch shells here. Out of which 4,000 are not found anywhere else. You may not find so many conch shells in any part of the country," said Harsevak Mishra, the conch shells collector.
The collection is being touted by many people here as the only one in the world of its kind.
"This sort of conch-shell collection is not found anywhere in the world not just in India. There are over 33 crore (330 million) Gods in Hinduism and these conch shells are representing most of them. There are all types of conch shells and information in keeping with the Mahabharata is also present. This is quite an appreciable effort," said Manish Kumar Tiwari, another priest.
Having learnt about this unique mini-museum of conch shells, people from different parts of the country are flocking to the venue to see mesmerizing collection.
Visitors and the residents of the area appreciate the diligence of the priest and spend hours listening to the tales related to ach one of the conch shells. By Narender Singh Parmar