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Thursday, October 22, 2015

Sangam Stamp on Postal History

ALLAHABAD: From horsecart mail service to railway and air mail, postal services have come a long way. Yet, it all started in the holy city of Sangam.

In fact, the first horsecart mail service was started by city-based trader Lala Thantimal about 175 years ago. Thantimal's business was spread up to Kanpur and for better communication with traders, he launched the service on a trial basis. Soon enough, other traders had started sending mails through his service.

For a better perspective on how long ago that was, Postal Services director Krishna Kumar Yadav said the horsecart mail service was started between Allahabad and Kanpur in the year 1841, a year after the release of world's first postage stamp in Great Britain.

"There were 'daak harakkaras' who travelled along with the cart through forests. They carried a bell on their belt and a spear for protection. Thantimal later spread the service to Kanpur and Kolkata," Yadav said.

World's first air mail also kicked off from Allahabad 1911. A plane carrying about 6,500 letters took off from the Polo Ground and landed near Naini Railway Station after 13 minutes. Yadav said as per records, a Colonel Windham had sought the permission of then chief of posts to send letters through air mail. The postal services director, who has authored a book on India Post, said a railway sorting section was started on the Allahabad-Kanpur route for the first time in 1864, which eventually emerged as Railway Mail Service.

Source:-The Times of India

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