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.



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.