India – its full of legends, culture, surprises and stories. With a rich history and vast geography, it is not surprising that we do not know half of its amazing things. In a drive to create awareness about our wonderful nation and to celebrate the World Post Day, we bring to you 10 fascinating facts about the Indian Posts:
1. Largest Postal Network :
With 1,55,618 post offices and over 5,66,000 employees, India has the largest postal network in the world and is categorised under 3 heads – Head Post Offices, Sub-post Offices and Extra-departmental Branch Post Offices.
2. Highest Post Office :
The highest post office in the world is in Hikkim, Himachal Pradesh, India at a height of 15,500 ft (4,700 m) (postal code 172114), Hikkim is part of the Lahaul and Spiti district in Himachal Pradesh.
3. First Aerial Post
The world’s first official airmail flight took place right here in India, on February 18, 1911. It was a journey that spanned 18 kilometres and lasted 27 minutes. Henri Pequet, a French pilot, ferried around 15 kilos of mail (approximately 6,000 letters and cards) across the Ganga, from Allahabad to Nainital.
4. First Adhesive Postage Stamp of Asia
The first adhesive postage stamps in Asia were issued in the Indian district of Scinde or Sindh in July 1852 by Bartle Frere, chief commissioner of the region. The Scinde stamps became known as “Scinde Dawks”; “Dawk” is the Anglicised spelling of the Hindustani word Dak or post. On 1st October 1854, the first all India stamp was issued. Post independence, India’s first postal stamp was issued on 21 November 1947.
5. Floating Postal Office
India Post inaugurated a floating post office in August 2011 at Dal Lake in Srinagar, Kashmir.
6. First Airmail Stamps in Commonwealth Countries
India was the first country in the Commonwealth to issue airmail stamps.
7. Indian Post Office Outside India
India’s first research station in Antarctica “Dakshin Gangotri” and another “Maitri” have post offices under the aegis of North Goa Postal Division. Normally the mails are serviced at these post offices and returned back once a year. The coordinating agency i.e., Indian Antarctic Expeditions, National Center for Antarctic and Ocean Research (NCAOR) is situated at Vasco, Goa.
8. First King on Indian Stamp
Chandra Gupta Maurya is the first Indian king to be depicted on an Indian stamp.
9. Postal Staff Training College
India also has a designated college for training the postal staff. The Rafi Ahmed Kidwai National Postal Academy, till recently called as Postal Staff College India (PSCI) is the apex training institution of India Post. It was set up in the year 1977. Initially the College functioned from Sanchar Bhavan and later from Dak Bhavan in Delhi. It was shifted to its present location in Ghaziabad in the year 1990.
10. Poste Restante
All articles superscribed C/o Postmaster or in any other similar way, are called Poste Restante articles.They have to be collected by the addressee from the Post Office. It is intended to cater the postal communication needs of travelers.