Can you provide all references in Mahabharata and Ramayana where Conch was used?

I feel during the start of Mahabharata war, every day and last day the couch was used.

Was the Conch used in Ramayana?


2 Answers 2


In Mahabharata

And Hrishikesha blew (the conch called) Pancajanya and Dhananjaya (that called) Devadatta; and Vrikodara of terrible deeds blew the huge conch (called) Paundra. And Kunti’s son king Yudhishthira blew (the conch called) Anantavijaya; while Nakula and Sahadeva, (those conches called respectively) Sughosa and Manipushpaka. [Gita chapter 1]

And suddenly blowing his conch called Devadatta, the hero pierced the hearts of all his foes. [ Go Haran parva LXV]

said unto Arjuna these words: Draw your bow quickly and with great force, for I will blow my conch … Kesava meanwhile forcibly and very loudly blew his conch Pancajanya, his face covered with dust. … In consequence of the blare of that conch and of the twang of Gandiva, the Kuru warriors, strong or weak [ Jayadratha Parva CII]

"Vaisampayana said, Arjuna then blew his conch again, that conch which filled foes with grief and...... [ Go harana XLVI]

And the Suta s son appeared on the field, blowing his conch, O king; decorated with a net-work of gold … Speeding the warriors, O sire, with the blasts of his conch, Karna caused the vast army of the Kauravas.... [ Karna Parva XI]

After Arjuna had taken that oath, Janarddana, filled with wrath, blew his conch, Pancajanya. … The great conch Pancajanya, well filled with the wind from Krishna s mouth, produced a loud blare.[ Abhimanyu badha Parva LXXIII]

And hearing the blare of the conch called Pancajanya, which resembled the roll of the thunder, all the...... [ Bhagwat yana Parva CLII]

Conch-shells and drums were blown and beaten by thousands. [ Rajadharmanusasana Parva LIII]

And Bhima forcibly blew his conch also and uttering leonine roars, began to twang his bow. [Jayadratha-Vadha Parva CXXVI]

" Having uttered those diverse speeches in that battle, Karna blew his excellent conch.... [ Karna Parva 38]

Well there are many other instances but it is impossible to give here all of them.

In Ramayana

At the sound of the conch, the horses were no longer able to stand erect, the frenzy of the elephants … Whilst slaying his foes in their thousands, the Destroyer of Madhu filled the conch with his breath, … “Put to flight by Narayana s shafts, terrified by the sound of the conch, the army of the Rakshasas, [ Uttara-kanda Chapter 7]


The use of conch-shells (shankha) by the warriors is given in detail in the Mahabharata by Vyasa, as discussed in this post - What are the names of conch shell ( shankh ) used by the warriors in Mahabharata?

Regarding the use of conches in the Ramayana, to my limited kiwledge, I don't think Shri Valmiki provides the detailed description of conches and the name, of the respective warriors in his work, as Vyasa does in the Mahabharata.

In any case, there are passing references made to sounds of conches being heard in the Yuddha-Kanda of Valmiki Ramayana (I'm using the English Translation by Bibek Debroy).

Chapter 6(25)

At this time, the sound of drums and conch shells was heard. All the soldiers heard the ground tremble. The ser- vants of the king of the rakshasas in Lanka heard the sound created by the soldiers of the apes. They lost their ener- gy and their enterprise and were filled with distress. Because of the sins of their king, they could no longer see what was beneficial for them.

Chapter 6(26)

To the sound of conch shells mixed with that of drums, the mighty-armed Rama Raghava, the conqueror of enemy cities, advanced. Ravana, the lord of the rakshasas, heard the sound. He thought for a while and glanced at the advisers. In the assembly hall, the immensely strong Ravana spoke to all the advisers in a voice that echoed. ‘I have heard what you have said about Rama crossing the ocean, his valor, and his collection of forces. I also know that you possess the valor of truth in a battle.’

Chapter 6(40)

‘O friend! O Raghava! O one who knows about dharma! O one who is affectionate even towards his enemies! I desire your leave, to return where I came from. With arrows that are like waves, you will only leave the young and the aged in Lanka, killing your enemy, Ravana. You will get Sita back.’ Having said this, Suparna, swift in his valour, removed the wounds from Rama. In the midst of those residents of the forest, he circumambulated and embraced the valiant one. Like the wind, Suparna then penetrated the sky.

The leaders of the apes saw that the wounds on the two Raghavas had healed. They roared like lions and lashed their tails. Kettledrums and drums were sounded. Delighted, they blew on conch shells. As was the case earlier, they started to jump around. Some brave apes, who fought with trees, boasted. Hundreds and thousands of them uprooted trees and stood there. They emitted loud roars and scared the roamers in the night. Desiring to fight, the apes assembled before Lanka’s gates. A terrible and tumultuous roar arose among the herds of apes, like the extremely terrible roar of the clouds in the night, when summer is over.

Chapter 6(45)

Surrounded by a large army, he quickly emerged from Lanka. Battledrums were sounded, with a sound like that of clouds. As the commanders of the army depart- ed, the sounds of conch shells could be heard. With the sound of these terrible roars, the rakshasas advanced towards the front. They were terrible in form and gigantic in size. Prahasta was at the front. Arrayed in an extremely terrible formation, he emerged through the eastern gate, surrounded by a large army that was like a herd of elephants. He was surrounded by an army that resembled waves in the ocean. Like an enraged Death, Prahasta quick- ly emerged. There was the sound of his departure and the rakshasas roared. All the creatures in Lanka howled in hideous voices. In a sky that was devoid of clouds, birds that fed on flesh and blood circled the chariot in a counterclockwise direction.!? Horrible jackals vomited fires with flames.


Chapter 6(48)

Kumbhkarana is woken

They blew on conch shells that were as radiant as the moon. Together, those intolerant ones roared and made a tumultuous sound. The roamers in the night roared and clapped their hands. Seeking to wake Kumbhakarna up, they created this tumultuous sound. There were conch shells, drums, kettledrums and gongs.


Together, ten thousand rakshasas started to make a sound with drums, smaller drums, kettledrums, conch shells, and trumpets.


They struck horses, camels, donkeys and elephants with rods and goads.' **They applied all their strength to drums, conch shells and kettledrums.


He embraced his brother and circumambulated him. Bowing his head down before him, the immensely strong one departed. To the sound of praises and benedictions, Ravana sent him off. Conch shells and drums were sound- ed. There were soldiers with excellent weapons. The sound of elephants, horses and chariots was like the thunder of clouds.

> > [Chapter 6(65)][5] > > They were cruel and could assume any form at will. They were tawny > eyed and armoured. They roared like elephants. With their dishevelled > hair, they were fearful. Gigantic in form, they surrounded Khara’s > son, who was huge in size. They cheerfully attacked and made the > earth tremble. **Thousands of conch shells and drums were sounded in > every direction**. A great sound of beating and clapping arose.


There are many more references on conches in Valmiki Ramayana. Vishnu also uses his Pancha-janya against the battle with demons, etc, in the Uttara-kanda. However, I specifics of each warrior's conch, just like those found in the Mahabharata, I cannot find in the Valmiki Ramayana at least.

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