World Post Day: 10 interesting facts about the Indian Postal Service

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Before the era of cellular phones and email swept us away, it was the generation of letters and couriers. Everything was sent by post and people would eagerly wait for the postman to come to their homes. The red post van, or even the postman on the cycle, was a regular sight. Even though, technology has swallowed us now, the postal service proves to be of great use. Be it any heavy-weight item, or a greeting card to your loved ones, the postal service has seldom disappointed us. As the nation celebrates World Post Day on 10 October, it becomes difficult to imagine what our lives would have been without India Post.

In more than one ways, India Post is a postal service different from all others. In its illustrious history, there have been many firsts. Here are some such interesting facts about India Post:

#1 India has the most widely distributed postal system in the world with a collection of around 1.5 lakh post offices.

#2 India Post, operated by the Central Government in India, was founded way back in 1854 by Lord Dalhousie, the Governor General of India at that time. In its 165th year, this system continues to serve the people of India in an efficient manner.

#3 The postal network of India is segregated into 23 postal circles, with a Chief Postmaster General at the helm of each circle. There also exists a base circle, headed by a Director General, which provides postal services to the Armed Forces of India.

#4 Asia’s first adhesive postal stamp called “Scinde Dawk”, was launched at Sindh Province on 1 July 1852.

#5 The Pin (Postal Index Number) code, without which any postal address in India is incomplete, was introduced on 15 August 1972.

#6 World’s first official airmail flight took place in India on 18 February 1911, covering a distance of 18 km from Allahabad (now Prayagraj) to Naini.

#7 The first postal stamp, released by the India Post after Independence, contained the picture of the Indian tri-colour flag. Mahatma Gandhi was the first personality to appear on a stamp, post Independence.

#8 EMS Speed Post services, which are largely used by people for quick delivery of goods, started in 1986.

#9 Hikkim in Himachal Pradesh, at an altitude of 15,500 feet above sea level, houses the highest post office in the world.

#10 Over the waters of Dal Lake in Srinagar, lies India’s only floating post office. Simply called the “Floating Post Office”, it is actually a houseboat which serves both as a post office and a philately (collection of stamps) museum.

Despite its extensive usage, there has been a decline in Indian postal service numbers. On this special occasion of World Post Day, why not celebrate the rich history of India Post by writing a letter to them?

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