The shankha or conch-shell is a traditional Vedic instrument. Like the shofar of Judaism, it is used originally as a war-horn, and later, as a ritual sounding-instrument. Its sound is believed to banish fear and evil spirits, and causes enemies to tremble. In Vedic belief, it is an attribute of Vishnu and a number of other deities.
In Tibetan Buddhism, the conch is one of the eight Auspicious Symbols (Ashtamangala) representing the paths of Buddhism, and represents the voice of the Buddha and the truth of the dharma. Both Vedic and Buddhist tradition differentiates between shells whose spirals turn clockwise (in the direction of the sun) and counter-clockwise; the “right-turning” conch being more auspicious.