Indian snail mail

It is said that the Indian postal service started in 320BC in the ruling of Emperor Maurya who used a method of communications to send around confidential reports. Though the first written record of any postal service is in 1296 AD in the empire of Ala-ud-din Khilji of the Delhi Sultanate who ran a horse and foot runner service. The runners or horses would pass a batton every mile until it reached its destination.  

India was invaded by France, Portugal, Netherlands and England, each impossing their own postal services in the country alongside those existing for the Mughal empires. In 1854 the first uniform stamps valid all through India were issued in India worth a half anna (India’s currency before the ruppee). Sixteen annas equalled a ruppee. 

Nowadays using India’s postal setvice is an adventure. Being a foreigner who uses the national postal services to send letters and postcards, is always an experience to interact with this service in different countries. Finding the post office is no shorter than a mission and even when this has been done, finding stamps of the correct value might be tricky. Sometimes needing to settle for what is available. (5 of these are needed per postcard)

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