Mr.Raja Mohammed, a man with an imperishable will power, is a living example of a good old saying "Dedicated passion can make amazing wonders."
India Seashell Museum is a personal initiative and vision of Mr. Raja Mohammed.
His passion for shells and extensive knowledge in the field, along with 33 years of untiring efforts and hard work bore fruit in the form of India's first ever seashell museum of this magnitude.
This opens a vista for the public as well as enthusiasts to experience first-hand, an amazing and rare private collection of seashells and other Molluscs.
Devoting 33 years of his life and his hard-earned money to this zeal has brought him unprecedented fame and recognition.
There was a glow of eternal happiness in his eyes as he stated,"With the financial support of my maternal uncle,i have been successful in accumulating sea shells from small to large and from the ordinary to the exotic.My collection is from all parts of the world. I had to part with plots of family land to make long-held dream a reality.That was establish an exclusive sea shell museum."
His idea was to unearth marine treasure of the world and share the knowledge so gained with the rest of the world.His enthusiasm and vibrancy are astonishing. Words are inadequate to describe his bubbling interest in this rare field of work.
Born as a second in his family of four in Rameshwaram, a famous coastal town of Tamil Nadu,he loved taking a stroll on the beach along the edges of the water.His hunt for sea shell was propelled by those walks. When his peer group enjoyed the waves, he was busy collecting shells in the sand.His initial hobby grew into a much loved passion right from his teenage. His obsession became a full-fledged shell seeking spree due to the diversity and miraculous creation of shells and the incomparable identity of the collection.
It is absolutely captivating to know that a 53-year old fish merchant by profession with no formal education on the subject of Conchology has established the largest India Sea Shell Museum in Asia. On the 6th sep 2013,displaying more than 2000 various species of the mollusk family, a Museum was inaugurated in the historic town of Mahabalipuram. Needless to say this provides an added attraction to the thousands of visitors and tourists.
Continuous encouragement and support from a Professor of Anna University has been one of the long standing motivations in his perennial interest. His first enchanting tour was to Thailand manner in Sri Lanka in 1982.Then to Thailand in 1984 and Kenya in 1985. He had an extensive collection of 500 types of shells by 1985.Sea shells became more valuable when shared and compared with other collections. It is with this nucleus that he started the Museum. In fact, a Thai businessman too mooted the idea of sea shell museum.
With this intention, he travelled widely round the world to countries like the USA, Mexico,Australia,Vietnam,Indonesia,etc. The itinerary of his travels is as wide as his shell potpourri.
Despite getting drenched in the flood of appreciation from a wide range of admirers, his thirst for shells ceases to end.He still pines to add rare shells to his mass potpourri. He intends to advance his maiden venture to the forefront of an institution promoting marine biological studies. A giant leap in this aspect is his growing compendium of resources on Conchology which would later offer a plethora of opportunities for research.