Recently, I went to the India Seashell Museum & Mamalla Fish World (Aquarium) at Mahabalipuram, Chennai. Here is the Google Maps location. As you can guess by the name, it houses a nice collection of various seashells and a small aquarium. Wait, there is a souvenir shop where you can buy various things made out of seashells too! 🙂
There is an entry fee of Rs. 100 per person for the Seashell museum, and an additional ticket of Rs. 50 for the aquarium and souvenir shop. You can buy a combo ticket at lower price – I think Rs. 130. There is a separate ticket for camera: Rs. 100/-. These were the prices when I went in March, 2016. So yeah, this place is quite expensive, but the seashell collection is exhaustive and the concept is unique.
In these photos, I am just showing you a fraction of what you can find there. There are many more seashells on display – I guess around 40,000 of them in total, collected by their owner. Actually, we got a separate ticket to the museum, and then decided to visit the aquarium. The owner was there when we asked, and he asked the staff to give the additional tickets at combo pricing.
There are other interesting articles like car, train, plane, etc. made of shells (?). Have a look at one of them here –
There is a sea food restaurant and ice cream/snack shops within the campus. And of course, there is the Fish World (Aquarium) that also houses the souvenir shop. The aquarium is small and houses only a few fishes, but the souvenir shop is another treat – they sell so many items, all made of different types of shells (and even pearls). You can buy conches (sangu) here. Even if you don’t buy anything, it’s still worth a look. The prices seemed to be moderate. I bought two key chains with a small conch tied to them.
Next time you visit Mahabalipuram in Chennai and want to see something more than sculptures and monuments, you know where to go 🙂