Glimpses of Modern Indian Philately

This blog is devoted to Modern Indian Postal History and Modern Philately of India providing less known information on various aspects of Indian Postal Services.



India Post is going to complete 70 years of active philatelic services to the nation on 21st June 2011.
The first philatelic bureau came in to operation at Bombay GPO on 21st June 1941 vide DGP Circular no. 14 dated 21st June 1941.

This needs a celebration from India Post by issuing a special cancellation and a special cover.

Today I came to know from online news channels about the sad demise of Senior Philatelist Dr. P. G. Krishnamurthy, a retired assistant professor at the Manipal Institute of Technology. To the utter shock Dr. Krishnamurthy’s body was found floating in an open well in the compound of his house in Hiriadka village in Karnataka on 10th June evening. He was 75.

Dr. Krishnamurthy was an ardent philatelist and researcher of Modern Indian Postal History. He had contributed several articles on Modern Indian Postal History for ‘Vadophil’ news letter of Baroda Philatelic Society. He did extensive study on various aspects of Modern Indian Postal Services. Some of his well known articles are Media Post - One facet of Modern Indian Postal History, “M.D.G.” - A new appendage, Acknowledgement Due Form - An Alert, “L.S.G.” & “H.S.G.” – Two more appendages, Bar Coded Speed Post CPSL, Modern Peon Marks, His Random Notes on various services were also very interesting.

May his noble soul rest in peace.

Note: We shall publish his articles on Modern Indian Postal History in near future.

Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.  - Mahatma Gandhi.

Before death, Gandhiji uttered "HEY RAM" as if he wanted to say "SAB KO SANMATI DE BHAGWAN" it means - Give Prudence to all.

Gandhiji's Assassination information was given to all the then Native States of India, by sending Telegrams from Government of India.

The telegraphic message from New Delhi to Nawab of Balasinor it was stated that:
New Delhi 31 The most immediate most immediate His Highness Nawab Balasinor

Government of India Regret mahatma Gandhi was victim of shooting outrage Gandhiji expired yesterday evening cremation will take place Saturday 4 PM. Prime minister has broadcast Saturday 31st be observed as day of fasting and prayer suggest offices should close entirely and flags half mast from sunrise = Statesind"

One more telegram sent by Government of India, Secretary Western India to Rajkot Administrator Balasinor- in message it was stated that:

"D/8.7 mourning for mahatma Gandhi XXX government of India observing State mourning for thirteen days from thirtieth January flags will be flown at half mast and there will be no public entertainment during this period. = Secretary Westindia"

Courtesy: Mr. Ashok Kumar Bayanwala, Ahmedabad.

When the Postal facilities were opened to public on 1st April 1774, there were 3 Postal Circles namely Bengal, Bombay and Madras. Bengal was catering whole of Eastern and Northern regions of British Empire. Madras was handling whole of Southern region and the rest was catered by Bombay.
In 1839, North West Province Circle was formed and since then, new Postal Circles were formed, as the need was born to have separate Circles.
In December 1860 Punjab Circle, in 1861 Burma Circle, in 1866 Central Province Circle and in 1869 Sind Circle were formed. Till 1880 Oudh (1870), Rajputana (1871), Assam ((1873), Bihar (1877), Eastern Bengal (1878) and Central India (1879) were formed. Since then, new Circles were formed and existing Circles were amalgamated with other Circles.

The Indian Postal Guide of August 1880 shows the following Postal Circles

The Indian Postal Guide of August 1881 shows the following Postal Circles

The Indian Postal Guide of July 1909 shows the following Postal Circles
Postal Circle
Head Quarters
Postal Circle
Head Quarters
Bengal (Including Bihar)
Bombay (Including Sind)
Eastern Bengal & Assam
Punjab & North West Frontier
U. P. (Agra & Oudh)
Sorting Circles-Northern
Sorting Circles-Eastern
Sorting Circles-Western
Sorting Circles-Southern
In 1914, there were only 7 Postal Circles namely - Bengal & Assam, Bihar & Orissa, Bombay (including Sind), Burma, Central, Madras, Punjab & NWF and U. P.

By 1937, there were 8 Postal Circles, though Burma was separated from India on 1st April 1937. The Postal Circles were Bengal & Assam, Bihar & Orissa, Bombay, Sindh, Central, Madras, Punjab & NWF and U. P.

On 1st April 1946, the British India had the following Postal Circles - Bengal & Assam, Bombay, Madras, United Province, Punjab & NWF, Bihar & Orissa, Central and Sind & Baluchistan.
After partition, the independent India had the following Postal Circles - Assam, Bengal, Bihar & Orissa, Bombay, Central, East Punjab, Madras and U. P.

When this article was written by Mr. Ashok Kumar Bayanwala in 2001, there were 20 postal circles in India. Now we have 23 Postal Circles in India.

1. Andhra Pradesh 13. Madhya Pradesh
2. Assam 14. Maharashtra
3. Bihar 15. North Eastern
4. Chhattisgarh 16. Orissa
5. Delhi 17. Punjab
6. Gujarat 18. Rajasthan
7. Haryana 19. Tamilnadu
8. Himachal Pradesh 20. Uttar Pradesh
9. J & K 21. Uttarakhand
10. Jharkhand 22. West Bengal
11. Karnataka 23. Army Postal Service
12. Kerala

Courtesy: Mr. Ashok Kumar Bayanwala, Ahmedabad.