The sound of the shankha symbolises the sacred Om sound. Vishnu holding the conch represents him as the god of sound. Brahma Vaivarta Purana declares that shankha is the residence of both Lakshmi and Vishnu, bathing by the waters led through a shankha is considered as like bathing with all holy waters at once. Sankha Sadma Purana declares that bathing an image of Vishnu with cow milk is as virtuous as performing a million yajnas (fire sacrifices), and bathing Vishnu with Ganges river water frees one from the cycle of births. It further says "while the mere sight of the conch (shankha) dispels all sins as the Sun dispels the fog, why talk of its worship?" Padma Purana asserts the same effect of bathing Vishnu by Ganges water and milk and further adds doing so avoids evil, pouring water from a shankha on one's own head before a Vishnu image is equivalent to bathing in the pious Ganges river.
In Buddhism, the conch shell has been incorporated as one of the eight auspicious symbols, also called Ashtamangala. The right-turning white conch shell, represents the elegant, deep, melodious, interpenetrating and pervasive sound of Buddhism, which awakens disciples from the deep slumber of ignorance and urges them to accomplish their own welfare and the welfare of others.
Shankha was the Royal State Emblem of Travancore and also figured on the Royal Flag of the Jaffna kingdom. It is also the election symbol of the Indian political party Biju Janata Dal