Monthly e-Stamp Bulletin edited and published by Jeevan Jyoti from Dehradun.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Postal Heritage


Shimla   June 2010   Issue # 30  Vol. 3

Monthly e-Stamp Bulletin Edited by Jeevan Jyoti for free circulation among philatelists

Readers are requested to send reports of philatelic activities in their area for publication. Short write ups by the readers about their journals, societies, publications and philatelic requirements can be sent for inclusion in this bulletin to or and by post to –

Mrs. Jeevan Jyoti, c / o Mr. Ajay Srivastav, Director, Great Himalayan National Park, Shamshi, Distt. Kullu. PIN 175126. (H.P.) India

Note- This bulletin is only for circulation among a limited group of philatelists without any commercial purpose. The bulletin will be sent to the readers only on request. Those who wish to receive it regularly please reply giving the name of your city / country with the subject SUBSCRIBE RAINBOW


Dear Reader,

I am pleased to release June issue of Rainbow Stamp News. I am sorry that I could not publish this issue timely due to my over busy schedule. The tourist season in Kullu is at peak with the inflow of large number of tourists visiting Manali and surrounding area. It’s a pleasant cool season here. Sometimes the temperature rises a bit higher but soon it gets down due to unexpected rains making the weather pleasant again. The tourists from all over India are attracted to Manali because they can find here snow all over the year. This is all about the beautiful place Kullu & Manali. Now coming back to philately…

It is time for International philatelic exhibitions which are being held in different parts of the world. I wish all the best to the participants. Indian philatelists did very well in LONDON 2010 and all came with flying colors. Heartiest Congratulations to all the participants with special felicitations to Mr Pradip Jain of Patna who won Gold Medal and Best of Class Award for his exhibit.

I am pleased to publish a detailed article on Kumbh Mela by noted philatelist of Uttaranchal, Mr Abhai Mishra. Hope this issue will be liked by one and all. This is all for this month …..Till Next Issue ….Have a Great Time !

                                                                                                    ….Jeevan Jyoti


clip_image001[1] Recent Indian Issues

clip_image001[2] In The News

clip_image001[3] Interview

clip_image001[4] Beginners’ Section

clip_image001[5] Specialized Section

clip_image001[6] New Issues from Other Countries

clip_image001[7] Book Review

clip_image001[8] Reader’s Right

clip_image001[9] The Lighter Side

clip_image001[10] Philatelic Clubs and Societies

clip_image001[11] Blogs & Websites on Philately

clip_image001[12] Promotional Section

clip_image001[13] Current Philatelic Magazines – Newsletters

clip_image001[14] Editor’s Mail Box

Recent Indian Issues

 veluthampirobertvenkata chalamshimla1 (1) 


clip_image001[13] Feb 21: Bible Society of India Rs 5

clip_image001[14] Feb 23: P C Sorcar – Rs 5

clip_image001[15] Mar 19 : 16 Punjab(2nd Patiala)

clip_image001[16] Mar 30 : Special Protection Group – Rs 5

clip_image001[17] Mar 30 : Mithuramlinga Sethupathy – Rs 5

clip_image001[18] Mar 31: Vallal Pachaiyappa

clip_image001[19] Apr 14: Astrological Signs, 12 stamps of Rs 5 each + MS

clip_image001[20] Apr 17: Chandra Shekhar – Rs 5

clip_image001[21] Apr 26: Sant Kanwar Ram Sahib – Rs 5

clip_image001[22] May 6 : Velu Thampi – Rs 5

clip_image001[23] May 7 : Robert Caldwell – Rs 5

clip_image001[24] May 8 : Dr.Guduru Venkata Chalamon  - Rs 5

clip_image001[25] May 13 : Postal Heritage Buildings – 6 stamps of Rs 5 each + MS

clip_image001[26] May 19 2010 CV Raman Pillai – Rs 5

See detailed list of India Post Issue Programme 2010 at

Special Cover – Postmark

Apr 7: Chennai, Anna Adarsh College for Women Silver Jubilee

Apr 4 : Pondicherry, Centenary if Sri Aurbindo’s Arrival in Pondicherry

Apr 5 : Bangalore, National Maritime Day, Bangalore

Apr 30 : Taluk Kannada Literary Convention, Mangalore

May 1 : Amar Shaheed bandhu Singh, Gorakhpur

May 3 : Arrival of Krantikari Rashtra Sant Puijya Muni Shri Tarunsagaer Ji Maharaj at Sanskardhai Jabalpur, Jabalpur

In The News

Recent Philatelic Exhibitions


LONDON 2010 – Festival of Stamps

India shines at LONDON 2010….


One of the biggest philatelic shows of this year LONDON 2010 concluded in London on 15th May. All the participants from India came with flying colors. Gold Medal and Best of Class Award came to India, Patna - Mr. Pradip Jain, Aerophilatelist.


Mr. Brian Trotter, Chairman London 2010 presenting the Best of Exhibit award to Mr. Pradip Jain, Aerophilatelist India


Pradip Jain, a well-known name in India's philatelic world, has taken part in a host of international philatelic exhibitions like Singapore-87, India-89, New Zealand-90, London-90, Bangkok-93, Philakorea-94, Singapore-95 and bagged gold medals as well as special prizes at all these meets. Also, he won a large gold medal with a special prize in CAPEX-96, Canada, Istanbul-96, Turkey, Pacific-97, USA with Jury Felicitation, Indepex-97 (INDIA) nominated for Grand Prix and Italia-98 (Milan) and the Best Aerophilately Exhibit Award on Indian Airmails-1911-1945.

There were 75 countries that participated in this grand show and 1000’s of visitor came to see the show everyday. There was much to see (and buy!) at the show, with over 200 stand holders, including many foreign postal administrations, plus numerous societies represented. This innovative approach made it possible for over 2,400 frames of material shown in 8 days.

The first phase 8 to 11 May 2010, entries in Class: Traditional, Revenues, Postal Stationery and One‐ Frame Exhibits (With link to George V) and in the second phase, 12 to 15 May 2010, entries in Class: Postal History, Aerophilately, Thematic and Youth one‐frame were shown.

Gold Medal and best of Class Award came to India (Patna) Mr. Pradip Jain, Aerophilatelist for his one frame exhibit "The Development of Airmail Route between Cairo and India until 1929" as well as his son Mr. Pragya Kothari also awarded LARGE SILVER for his 5 frames exhibit and the other exhibitor from Patna, Mr. Lallan Prasad Singh has also won Silver Medal.

Award List of Indian participants AT LONDON 2010

Pradip Jain, India ( Patna, Bihar) GOLD MEDAL
The Development of the Airmail Route Cairo‐India 1918‐1929
The exhibit provides the details of the airmail route between Cairo and India until 1929 showing all the relevant and important items.

Mr. Dhananja Desai, Ahmedabad LARGE VERMEIL MEDAL
Soruth (Indian Feudatory State)
From early postal system to United State of Saurashtra. Typeset stamps, essay, colour trials, currency change and PC up to 1950.

India Pre Independence up to King Edward VII
Scinde‐Dawks, lithographs 1/2an, 1an, 2an & 4an all with various dies & printing, retouches, varieties, also proofs and specimen.

Mr. Pragya Kothari, India ( Patna, Bihar) LARGE SILVER MEDAL
Grey Goose Wings
This collection gives a detailed treatment of archery, its initial development through the ages, and its use in the world of sport.

Lallan P. Singh, India ( Patna, Bihar) SILVER MEDAL
Twin Cobra Overprints of Gwalior (On George V British India Stationery)
The structure of the exhibit follows a chronological pattern covering a mint and used envelope, postcard & postal history items of Gwalior of King George V regal year.

Dinesh C. Sharma, Lucknow - Literature – Bronze

Vikas Singh, Ghaziabad - Literature - Bronze

Heartiest Congratulations to all the Winners!


The BANGKOK 2010 – 25th Asian International Philately Stamp Exhibition is organised by TCEB from August 4th – 12th, 2010.


Portugal 2010- A philately exhibition is to be held from 1st - 10th October 2010 in Lisbon.

INDIPEX – 2011

The world philatelic exhibition will be held in New Delhi from 12th to 18th Feb. 2011, to commemorate the centenary of world's first airmail. It will be organized by INDIA POST in Collaboration with PCI and under Patronage of FIP and under auspices of FIAP (Federation Inter Asian Philately).

The details of INDIPEX 2011 can be found on following websites - &


The Regulations For Exhibitors and Exhibit Application Form are now available at Please download and study the Rules and Regulations carefully and print the application forms. the duly filled form should be mailed to SINE GHQ, BG-5/49-D, Paschim Vihar, New Delhi 110063. the last date to submit the application form is July 31, 2010.
The Rules and Application forms for Sales Stalls are also available at However the bookings of Sales Stall will only commence on June 27, 2010 from 8am. By then the floor plan will also be available online and the applicants can book the Sales Stall of their choice.


Stanley Gibbons Breaks a World Record

To celebrate the refurbishment of their premises at 399 Strand and in celebration of the London 2010 Festival of Stamps, Stanley Gibbons, the worlds leading philatelic dealers and auctioneers and holder of the Royal Warrant, has become a Guinness World Records record holder by creating the world’s largest envelope.



The envelope measured in at 32ft 9 inches by 23ft 1 inch. The record was checked and verified by Guinness World Records adjudicator, Tarika Vara on Thursday 6th May at Great Malvern Primary School, where the envelope was constructed, before being transported to London on a 40-ft truck for display at the London 2010 International Stamp Exhibition.

Stanley Gibbons commissioned Pendragon Presentation Packaging to create the envelope, complete with an address and franking label. Tullis Russell Coaters and Cartor Security Printing also collaborated to create a Stanley Gibbons stamp for the giant envelope.

George Silverman of Pendragon Presentation Packaging said, its not every day you get to produce an item like this. We were excited by the possibility and have enjoyed the challenge. The envelope was produced entirely by Pendragon employees at Great Malvern Primary School on 4th-6th May, from Archival Kraft paper manufactured at a British Paper Mill – Croppers, based near Kendal, Cumbria. Some pupils from the school also participated in the project. The envelope was on display throughout the London 2010 International Stamp Exhibition during 8-15th May 2010.


India Post’s on a Twitter account Ajith Athrady, New Delhi, May 6, DHNS:

It is not only celebrities who join the Twitter club, but government departments also take the tweeting route to reach out to the internet-enabled.

The Department of Posts (DoP) is the first government organization to join the social networking site. The DoP page titled ‘PostOfficeIndia’ already has around 200 followers from both India and abroad, in less than two months of its operations. The DoP has posted information about its services, new schemes and promotions for users on its Twitter page. It has posted links to its website, telling users how they can calculate postage tariffs or know pin codes of their respective areas. “If anybody has any query regarding the department’s services, they can seek clarifications by tweeting and the department will reply promptly,” a senior official in the Department told Deccan Herald. “As the department provides various kinds of services like delivering mail, transferring money and dispatching passports, the social networking site will act as a bridge between the department and customers,” the official said.

The DoP has already started a ‘tweet-campaign’ for India’s biggest-ever stamp show that will be held in Delhi next February. It has also been sending messages to people who want to partner the DoP in various projects or apply for some tender. Followers have also been making complaints and giving suggestions on how to improve the functioning of the department.
The page has also become a boon to those who pursue philately as a hobby, as it has been informing them about limited edition stamps that India Post keeps on issuing from time to time.
At present some of the senior officials of the department are managing the webpage and soon it plans to have a dedicated team to answer queries of followers.  “The DoP is surprised at the response it is receiving. It also plans to have sub-categories for various users like business users and foreigners, to make it more user-friendly,” said the official.

YPLF Fellow James Chenevert's Stamp Exhibit Wins Grand Award



Last August, James Chenevert (above center), Melissa Stanton (above left) and Jimmy Tian (above right) began their year-long projects as part of their involvement in the inaugural year of the American Philatelic Society's Young Philatelic Leaders Fellowship. These three YPLF Fellows are each working on different projects related to a specific track within the Fellowship. Due to the generous support of the United States Stamp Society, Melissa Stanton is the 2009-2010 United States Stamp Society YPLF Fellow.

James is a student at Stonehill International School in Bangalore.  He is a Boy Scout and does quite a few activities with his school.  He enjoys cooking, sculpture, reading, chemistry and playing board games and computer games. James has been living in Bangalore for two years with his parents. His father is working withCaterpillar's Asia Pacific, Bangalore .

Over this past weekend, YPLF Fellow James Chenevert entered his exhibit Security Features of United States Postage Stamps 1974-2009 into competition at the World Series of Philately Stamp Show in Boxborough, Massachusetts. It was less than nine months ago that James began his year-long Fellowship and selected the Exhibitor Track. Under the guidance of his YPLF Mentor, Jeffrey Shapiro, James collected the necessary material, conducted research, designed his pages, mounted the exhibit and entered it into competition.

Heartiest congratulations to James on winning a Gold Medal and the American Association of Philatelic Exhibitors ("AAPE") Youth Grand Award for his exhibit at the Boxborough WSP Show. This was the first time James had competitively shown this exhibit.

To read detailed news, just click the link given below …


World’s Most expensive stamp sold in Geneva

The world's most expensive postage stamp, a one-of-its-kind issue printed in Sweden in 1857, was sold at auction in Geneva to an international consortium, auctioneers said. One of the rarest known stamps, the "Treskilling Yellow" - or three-shilling stamp - was issued by mistake during a print run of eight-skilling stamps, which are yellow. The three-skilling was normally green.

A Swedish schoolboy stumbled upon it in 1885 while rummaging for stamps to sell on for pocket money. Since then it has passed through the hands of a series of stamp collectors, as well a German aristocrat and a Belgian tycoon. The last time it was sold, in 1996, it fetched USD 4.5 million dollars at auction.

Stamp auctioneers David Feldman yesterday did not disclose the identity of the buyers, nor the price paid this time round. They did say however that the stamp remained the world's most expensive.


Mr. Sekhar Chakrabarti is an  eminent philatelist of India. He specializes in Flags and is a renowned vexillologist (a person who studies flags).  A retired Engineer by profession, began stamp collecting way back in early 1960s when he was in school and thematic (topical) philately in India was at its infancy. His other passion is vexillology, which has been clubbed into his philatelic collections. He has several collections  on flags consisting of Flags from different nations including a specialized collection on Indian National Flag. His collection brought laurels from several world stamp exhibitions, organized under the auspices of FIP. Currently his name has been entered in the Limca Book of Records for his collection of most stamps issued from abroad featuring the INDIAN NATIONAL FLAG. He was nominated by the Department of Posts, Government of India as a Jury member in many district level stamp exhibitions organized by the Dept.  He has created a specialized Blog on Flags which can be viewed at :  Mr Sekhar Chakrabarti may be contacted at  and


Interview With Sekhar Chkrabarty

Q1  Flag is your favorite subject & you have specialized in vexillology. Why did you choose this subject for your collection?  Any specific reason behind it?

 I started stamp collection at a very tender age and like most other beginners, l also used to collect whatever I could get. But then came in the year1962 an opportunity to visit a major stamp exhibition in Calcutta where I met many ardent stamp collectors who were equally keen in educating the hobby of stamp collection amongst the youths, prominent amongst were Bibhas Gupta (editor Stamp Digest) and late S. Chatterjee (not to be confused with another great philatelic personality, the late S. P. Chatterjee, who later, became President of PCI, and had significant contribution in promoting organized philately in India), Mr. S. Chatterjee, I am referring to was then, the Chairman of Indo-American Society’s (IAS) Philatelic Circle. It was he who imparted and encouraged young collectors to collect stamps on topics of their own choice, instead of following the then trend ‘Traditional Philately’. I am sad, now-a-days, nobody remembers the pioneering work of Mr. S. Chatterjee, who first broke the ice and promoted thematic philately in this part of India, often referred to as ‘Mecca of Philately’. Anyway, I became a member of junior philatelic circle of the IAS (amongst my fellow members, Sri Shanti Sukhani was very popular, who is now reckoned as one of the most knowledgeable professional philatelist in India). We were lucky to get encouragement from another great cultural personality Lady Ranu Mukherjee at the IAS. Gradually, I turned into a thematic collector concentrating only on stamps featuring flags. You will be surprised to know that on the average somewhere in the world every month there is a new national flag or a change in the existing one. The subject of flag is always a challenge because no collection of flag is ever really complete. To me flag is short hand of history. My urge and quest for the symbolic meaning of flags prompted me to become a member of the Flag Research Center, USA. The word “Vexillology” was coined by late Dr. Whitney Smith, the Founder Director of the Flag Research Center, with whom I had the privilege to exchange correspondence.

Q2 When you started collecting stamps ? Could you recall when you had the first feeling..... that you should concentrate on flags only ?  What are your other philatelic interests ?

In one club meeting Mr. S. Chatterjee of IAS, gifted me a complete set of thirteen US commemorative stamps issued in 1943-44 in honoring as many nations over run by the Axis powers. The flags in the stamps, as you know are in actual colors and I was overwhelmed with joy to get so many real flag stamps in one go. But  my joy got immediately evaporated when Mr. S. Chatterjee told me to go home, consult  an encyclopedia  and comeback on the next weekly meeting day with a write-up on the symbolisms of the flags, failing which, he declared, he will take back the stamps. You know, I didn’t disappoint him and the ‘stamps’ are still with me.

Historically, the world was undergoing a rapid change in the early 1960s. In 1957 Gold Coast, the first African country became independent - changed its name to Ghana and adopted the Pan-African Colours as its national flag. It opened the flood-gate, immediately thereafter, one after another African colonies became independent and there was no dearth of a new Flag stamp. By this time I became a flag stamp collector and I continued to reap benefit of the changing world scenario.

Q3 What is the most memorable philatelic item that you have in your Flag collection. How did you get it ????..... Either by  paying a heavy price or by a sheer chance ??

It is a difficult question and is equally difficult to identify the most memorable item/s because I love each of the items that has been ultimately found place in my album sheets. I have several collections on flags, viz. ‘Flags of the Nations’, ‘The Indian Tricolour’, ‘Flags at Sea’’, ‘Military flags, ‘Flags of bygone days , ‘The Outlawed Flags ‘ and ‘Flora & Fauna on Flags’.

However, the Flag stamps of Azad Hind Govt. , a special delivery carried cover posted from Flagstaff, Arizona in 1935, The first Postcard from Costa Rica, Flag cancels of Italy on POW cards (WW-I), etc. are a few of my favorite items.

Q 4 What advice would you give to anyone starting out on collecting stamps?

I would say, collect what you like most. One should honestly be interested and fall in the subject chosen. Read books and periodicals and take notes on the chosen subjects. I may quote here what Franklin D. Roosevelt said; “One reason is that the hobby of stamp collecting suits almost anybody – it is very personal, you fit to hobby to yourself, instead of forcing yourself to fit rules, as with many hobbies’.

Q5 You have a long experience in the hobby of stamp collecting. What difference do you find in Yesteryear's & Today's hobby....How did it change with the time?

Philately is no longer what it used to be. The perception has changed. Earlier when the need for postal stamps was more, there were fewer issues, now when the real postal need is minimal there is a spate of new issues. Gone are the days when a discerning philatelist used to pursuit his/her hobby of collecting stamps without a big investment. Philatelists were then a happy lot collecting stamps he/she liked and thereafter spending hours on studying the same, preserving their prized collections carefully on albums with neat and interesting write-ups. Spending hours arguing with fellow collectors on the finer aspects of philately or on a new discovery in their leisure time.

The scenario has been totally changed now, I believes, I am a misfit (albeit, philately remains too close to my heart) in to-days world of cheque-book philately where price determines the collectability, paradoxically, a  unique and most relevant item found  years after hunting gets the least priority, or even at times ignored .Expensive items find more favour than well-researched item.

However, the rosy side of modern day’s philately is rapid and all round growth of topical or thematic philately, earlier traditional philatelists used to make statement “Thematic collections are not philately”, the realization has changed. Now, thematic collectors have access to the whole spectrum of philately. They do not have to restrict to a particular country or a region or a period or for that matter any particular branch of philately. There is no philatelic item that a thematic collector may not collect. It has now become the star attraction of any philatelic show. 

Q6 What is your opinion about recently introduced one Frame Class. Can a collector show his / her potential in One frame exhibit?? Or traditional participation with   minimum five frame exhibit  is necessary to show one's potential in this hobby ?

There cannot be any denial about the huge potentiality of ‘One Frame Class’. One frame Class, not only gives more opportunity to accommodate more collectors in an exhibition but it offers at the same time a real challenge to the exhibitors to come up with a complete story in a limited but well defined scope perhaps with little less investment than compared with traditional five frame exhibits. One frame thematic exhibit has become very popular worldwide. The philatelic items showing the theme have to be properly chosen since space is at a premium and the collection must make the best use of it.

Q7. You might have noticed that in the forthcoming World Philatelic Exhibition INDEPEX 2011, there is no provision of awards in this class? Do you think the organizers are doing justice with the participants of this class. When at the same time the fee in this class is Rs 3000.

Honestly speaking, the idea itself is a unique example, how not to encourage ‘One frame Exhibitors’ and dissuade them from participation. I don’t find any logic for not awarding medals to the winners of ‘One Frame’ exhibitors. Perhaps, less we talk about the wisdom of the people at the helm of PCI is better. Rather, if the members of the INDEPEX 2011 Organizing Committee are listening, they should immediately revoke the order and impose a uniform rate, before it is too late.  

Q8. What is your observation as a philatelist ..??  Is there a specific type of stamp or era that is most in demand these days ?? As collectors are shifting to thematic philately from traditional philately. Don't you think there is a transition in the interest of philatelists...

I shall reply it in a different way, as a thematic philatelist myself, I am naturally bias to thematic philately. My reply to your question no. 5 is relevant.  Thematic collecting is creative, stimulating, versatile and a challenge to any philatelist.

I am prompted to quote from the talk by John Sinfield of Australia during INDEPEX-ASIANA 2000, “which likened thematic collecting to the building a house. Our first building requirement is an architectural design (plan). Once adopted, we dig foundations (storyline) and add the bricks (stamps). But we also require windows (postal history), doors (stationery) and a roof (aerophilately). We need a path from the street (knowledge/research), and finally pretty things up with a garden (presentation). We need all these things for our house to become a home – and so too does our thematic exhibit if we are intent to maximizing our score!

Q9 What you have to say about the quality of philatelic material issued by India Post ? Do you think it is up to the mark as compared to the philatelic items issued by other countries ?

No, occasionally there are a few beautiful issues but they are only exceptions. In India the real problem is; there is no consistent policy of DoP. Our new issues are mostly decided on parochial considerations of the concerned ministry. There is no long term policy. The members of the so-called Philatelic Advisory Committee (PAC) with their wisdom prefer to remain indifferent. DoP should keep in mind while deciding a new issue that our stamps are tiny ambassadors of our country as they reflect our heritage, the riches of our country and triumphs of our people (not just from a particular state or region). The PAC should also seek proposals from the members of the public on topics they believe should be covered in the stamp calendar.

Q10 What is your other philatelic field of interest besides specializing in flags ?

Besides flags, I collect Naval Postal History items including items on Indian Merchant Shipping and ephemeral. I'm closely associated with Cdr. U. N. Acharya and Naval Philatelic (India) Society. Cdr. Acharya is doing splendid job for the promotion of Maritime philately in India.

Thank you very much for the nice Interview !

Beginners’ Section

Do You Know ? TIN CAN MAI L - - Naresh Agarwal

Mails, enclosed in the "tin can", were carried by swimmer called canoes between ship and shore conveyed by means of a buoyant, sealed canister ( biscuit tins or kerosene cans as a form of water proof mail containers) cast into the sea in the solitary island, Niuafoou, Tonga for since 1882. From this unique and unusual method of mail delivery "Tin Can Mail Service" was born. It did not become well known until the 1930s and came to an end in 1946 when the population was evacuated following a volcanic eruption.  Some of the islanders returned in 1958, and the Tin-Can Mail was revived on one occasion in 1962.  Another Tin-Can Mail formerly operated on the Cocos Islands. This method of mail delivery was continued, till 1983 when the first mail arrived by plane and was the only way the islanders could get their mail


TONGA 1934 Tin Can Mail


Tonga 1939 Tin Can Mail Cover


Ecuador bicentenary on cork stamp


On August 14 2009 Ecuador issued a set of stamps and a miniature sheet celebrating the bicentenary of the country’s independence. One of the stamps - shown here - was printed on a cork-based paper by French security printers Cartor.

- Dr SK Sondhi

Specialized Section



A Philatelic Report by Abhai Mishra

The author would like to thank Sh. Rajesh Varma (Doon Ratna) for his philatelic commitment. The covers listed in this article are the outcome of his hard labor. In spite of his physical limitation, he defied all odds and made sure that he was present in Haridwar during major Maha Kumbh Snans and documented them through philatelic covers & post cards. When people in crores thronged Haridwar to take a dip in holy Ganges, Rajesh Varma prepared covers sitting in the tents of temporary post offices amidst soaring temperatures. Sh. Sanjay Singh, Director Postal Services, Uttarakhand Circle and Sh. Abhishek Singh, SSPO, Dehradun, needs to be lauded for their keen interest in establishing camp post offices at mela area and getting special cancellation issued during major snans.

Maha Kumbh 2010 at Haridwar was unique in several senses. First, this was a Maha Kumbh, which happens after 12 Purna Kumbh’s. Secondly this was the first Maha Kumbh of the Millennium. Finally the combination of stars and planets during the event happened after 5000 years as claimed by many astrologers.

The origin of the Kumbh is very old and dates back to the time when Kalasha (pot of nectar of immortality) was recovered from Samudramanthan (during the churning of the primordial sea), for which a tense war between Devtas (Gods) and Asuras (Demons) ensued. To prevent the Amrita Kalasha being forcibly taken into possession by Asuras, who were more powerful than Devtas, its safety was entrusted to the Devtas Brahaspati, Surya, Chandra and Shani. The four Devtas ran away with the Amrita Kalasha to hide it from the Asuras. Learning the conspiracy of Devtas, Asuras turned ferocious and chased the 4 Devtas running with Amrita Kalasha. The chase, lasted 12 days and nights during which the Devtas and Asuras went round the earth and during this chase, Devtas put Amrita Kalasha at Haridwar, Prayag, Ujjain and Nasik. To commemorate this holy event  of  the Amrita  Kalasha  being put at  4 places, Kumbh is celebrated every 12 years.

It is believed that bathing during Kumbh cures the bather of all sins and evils and grants the bather, salvation. It is also believed that at the time of Kumbh Yog, the water of Ganga is charged with positive healing effects and that water at the time of Kumbh is charged positively by enhanced electromagnetic radiations of the Sun, Moon and the Jupiter, the flux of which also varies in accordance to positions and the phases of the moon, and also by the + and - signs of the sun spots.

Entire mela area was divided into 12 zones and 31 sectors. 31 police stations and 41 police chowkies were established in the mela area for maintenance of law and order. The Department of Posts, Uttarakhand Circle, established two camp post offices at Gaurishankar (Sector-10) and Neeldhara (Sector-12), respectively to meet the mela rush. The camp post offices were housed in tents, provided by the mela administration.They were made operational from 14-01-2010 (Makar Sankranti) and were closed on the evening of 28-04-2010 (Baisakh Purnima). Initially they were planned to operate till 30-04-2010 but due to heavy dust storm, the tents were uprooted and they were closed on 28-04-2010.

The details of the camp post offices are –

1. Gaurishankar CAMP P.O. UA.-3001

2. Neeldhara CAMP P.O. UA.-3003

The camp post offices operated as receiving post offices with facility of speed post and registry booking. Computer were also installed for booking. Sh. Krisnagopal was incharge of Gaurishankar P.O. while Sh. Vohra was incharge of Neeldhara P.O.


Picture PC depicting the official logo of the Kumbh Mela, posted at Gaurishankar (UA.3001) & Neeldhara (UA.3003) camp P.O. on 14-01-2010 (Makar Sankranti), the day when the Maha Kumbh was officially declared open and the camp P.O. started functioning. As the postage was underpaid by amount of Rs.1/-, postage due seal of the post offices were also affixed. The post cards were addressed to a local addressee at Haridwar.

The list of important bathing dates including shahi snan’s is listed below.

14 Jan 2010 - Makar Sankranti Snan - First Snan (bath)

15 Jan 2010 - Mauni Amavasya and Surya Grahan (Solar Eclipse)-Second Snan

20 Jan 2010 - Basant Panchmi Snan - Third snan

30 Jan 2010 - Magh Purnima Snan - Fourth Snan

12 Feb 2010 - Maha Shivratri - Pratham Shahi Snan - First Royal Bath

15 Mar 2010 - Somvati Amavasya - Dvitya Shahi Snan - Second Royal Bath

24 Mar 2010 - Ram Navmi - Fifth Snan

30 Mar 2010 - Chaitra Purnima Snan

14 Apr 2010 - Baisakhi - Pramukh Shahi Sanan - Main Royal Bath

28 Apr 2010 - Shakh Purnima – Snan (Last Kumbh bath)

The Department of Posts, Uttarakhand Circle issued special cancellation at each camp P.O. for the following four major snan’s.

1. 14-01-2010 Makar Sankranti

2. 12-02-2010 Maha Shivratri

3. 15-03-2010 Somvati Amavasya

4. 14-04-2010 Baisakhi

These special cancellations were provided at the venue of the camp P.O. in Gaurishankar and Neeldhara respectively. Hence in order to get these special cancellations, one had to be there, which was very difficult due to enormous rush. Moreover these post offices were deep inside the mela area and one has to walk 8-10 kilometers to reach there, as no local transport was available within the mela sectors.

So overall eight special cancellation were issued, four each for the two camp post offices. The cancellation had the motif of “Har ki Pauri” bathing ghat in common. Only the date and bathing occasion were changed. This sacred Ghat was constructed by King Vikramaditya in memory of his brother Bhartrihari. It is believed that Bhartrihari eventually came to Haridwar to meditate by the banks of holy Ganges. When he died, his brother constructed a Ghat in his name which later came to be known as Har-Ki-Pauri.This sacred bathing ghat is also known as Brahmakund Ghat. Vikramaditya remains an enigma; some historians date his reign to 57 BC, others to the sixth century AD. The reflection of golden hues of floral diyas in the river Ganges is the most enchanting sight in the twilight during the Ganga Arti ceremony.



Special cancellation of the Makar Sankranti Snan (14-01-2010) for Gaurishankar & Neeldhara camp post offices. The envelope is also illustrated with Har-Ki-Pauri motif in BLACK colour.



Special cancellation of the Maha Shivratri Snan (12-02-2010) for Gaurishankar & Neeldhara camp post offices. This was also the first Shahi Snan (Royal Bath). The envelope is also illustrated with Har-Ki-Pauri motif in RED colour.



Special cancellation of the Somvati Amavasya Snan (15-03-2010) for Gaurishankar & Neeldhara camp post offices. This was also the second Shahi Snan (Royal Bath). The envelope is also illustrated with Har-Ki-Pauri motif in BLUE colour.

The author had the opportunity to visit Haridwar on 7th April 2010 during the Maha Kumbh. Though it was not one of the major snan day, but still the rush was heavy. With much difficulty we were able to reach “Har-Ki-Pauri” for snan. After the holy dip in Ganges we went to see the camp post offices. First we went to Neeldhara, which is around 5 Km. from Har-Ki-Pauri walking. The post office staff was very co-operative. We posted few speed post covers from there. From there we went to Gaurishankar, crossing the mighty Ganges over the makeshift pontoon bridge. The distance was 3 Km. while the bridge was itself around 1 Km. long. Again we posted some letters from Gaurishankar.


Neeldhara Camp Post Office



Special cancellation of the Baisakhi Snan (14-04-2010) for Gaurishankar & Neeldhara camp post offices. This was also the Pramukh Shahi Snan (Royal Bath). An estimated 15 million people took dip in the holy Ganges. The envelope is also illustrated with Har-Ki-Pauri motif in GREEN colour.

The Kumbh mela happens in four cities, viz Haridwar, Prayag (Allahabad), Ujjain and Nasik. In each place it happens once in 12 years. After 12 Purna Kumbh i.e. 144 years, Maha Kumbh happens in each of the above-mentioned cities. In Haridwar it is river Ganges, Shipra in Ujjain, Godavari in Nasik and Sangam (Ganges-Yamuna-Saraswati) in Prayag. The position of planets for all the four cities during Kumbh is mentioned in Skanda Purana.









Prayag (Allahabad)












It was a great coincidence that stamps on the twelve astrological sign were released on 14 April 2010. In Haridwar Kumbh happens when Jupiter is in Aquarius while Sun is in Aries. Covers were prepared with illustration based on the above mentioned motif and stamps corresponding to Aquarius and Aries were affixed on the cover. The covers were then serviced at the Neeldhara and Gaurishankar camp Post Offices respectively. This resulted in beautifully designed covers.


Cover serviced at the Gaurishankar camp post office on 14-04-2010 during Pramukh Shahi Snan of Baisakhi.


Cover serviced at the Neeldharar camp post office on 14-04-2010 during Pramukh Shahi Snan of Baisakhi. Also shown is the back of the cover, detailing the planet positions behind the Kumbh at Haridwar.

After almost three and a half months, the Maha Kumbh concluded with the Baisakh Purnima Snan of 28-04-2010. This also happened to be the last day of the camp post offices at Neeldhara nd Gaurishankar.



Picture post cards depicting the pilgrims taking holy dip in Ganges at Har-Ki-Pauri. These post cards were posted locally from Neeldhara and Gaurishankar.



Naresh Agrawal, a veteran philatelist has always been trying to develop philately in one way or the other. The latest being his efforts to promote social philately. He started this venture by himself participating in STAMPAMANIA 2009 with his exhibit on “Insurance In India” in social class. As the response was very poor, he felt to introduce the philatelists in general through this article which contains his study on the subject through various sources

The said article contains information gathered by him through various net sources and discussions held with different philatelists. The views and opinions given in the article are purely his own and subject to open discussion and change, if so required and found. The article has been written with a motto to encourage social / open class philately which is still unknown or less known. Various suggestion, questions, opinions and views are invited so that a better atmosphere may be created to see that philatelists in India are well introduced to this class which certainly will open new areas of collection and will benefit philatelist and philatelic traders in a big way. Mr Naresh Agarwal may be contacted at E- Mail : - Editor



Contd. From the last Issue…..


The plan or introductory page and the development of exhibit are the two aspects of an interlinked process, based on the personal study and research by the collector on both the social theme and the material. The introductory plan should show the scope and development of the exhibit. The title of the exhibit should correspond to the introductory plan. The plan should give general information on the subject and must indicate areas of personal investigation. It should also contain a short list of the important documentary sources (social and philatelic) used. It will help the judges to evaluate the material shown in relation to the aims set forth by the exhibitor.


Introductory and Plan Page on “ Insurance in India” gives brief introduction, aim, plan giving scope and development of the theme. It contains important items too

The exhibit must elaborate the theme in depth, and should comply with the introductory page. Creativity, the personal development of new themes and originality, the introduction of new aspects or approaches are key elements of Social Philately exhibits. A thorough knowledge of both the theme and the appropriate material is a pre requisite for the best possible social philatelic development. The social information should provide the main thread of the story. It is

necessary to include philatelic information where required so that philatelic knowledge and personal study can be demonstrated. It is advisable

I have in my one frame social history exhibit have incorporated insurance policies, receipts, stamps, notices etc. Though most of these are not philatelic items but certainly most of them had postal link as either those were sent through mail, or the fee paid is through postal/revenue stamps. For me these are the most suitable items. Even the mail exchanged between the insurers, insured and the agents can be part of the exhibit , if it is so required.


Marine and Fire Insurance Policy Documents : Ephemera essentially required to be displayed in Insurance exhibit as they show the nature and type of Insurance policies issued and the coverage given.

The photo material printed on the side or back for advertisement purpose can be considered as suitable for the purpose of social philately. Like in case of special or First day covers, the illustration given can of great use to such exhibits to complete the story

In brief, the exhibitor should take care of the following while preparing the exhibit :

1. The exhibit must have an introductory page showing the intended scope and development of the exhibit. 2. The exhibit represents a study of the development of social systems and products derived from the operation of postal systems or the development of a social activity or enterprise. 3. The theme should be developed using both philatelic and non-philatelic, but related, material. 4. The non-philatelic material should comprise up to a maximum of 50% of the items on show.  It should support and enhance the philatelic items in the development of the theme. 5. Rarity is not a judge of value but reflects the relative scarcity of items. 6. Items should be of as good a quality as is available. 7. The significance of the items shown should show the impact the items have upon the story/theme being shown.

Double width sheets are normally permitted and count as 2 sheets, provided they are horizontal.  Double vertical height is normally not allowed but can be in special cases.

Though various heavy, voluminous, big items can be part of social philately exhibit such as mail bags, letter boxes, parcel packet cover, stamp pads and seals, badges, belts and other artifacts etc. But only if allowed in particular exhibitions. Broadly the items not more than 5mm thick and easily displayable on the vertical display board are allowed. So, take utmost care of this aspect.


In the development of this class of philately explained above, it is seen that it has been a regular class included in Australian and New Zealand National Exhibitions since 1988.But it got FIP recognition when it was allowed in 1999 in an International stamp exhibition (FIP world Exhibition) in Melbourne ('Australia 99'), as an experimental class of exhibiting. This exhibition had very limited classes.  However, FIP entertained it as an trial of this new class and there was substantial number of entries. However, the FIP did not adopt the new class, in that form and subsequently introduced the Open Class, which allowed even more flexibility in the type and quantities of material shown than did Social, thus attracting many existing Social exhibitors. There after in many National and International shows it has been allowed either as social philately or in form of Open Class.


After the amendment of social philatelic class in to Postal History Class 2C,it was first introduced in Astralia’99 an FIP International Stamp and thereafter in IBRA 2009 in Germany and at Bulgaria 2009 under FIP patronage. Following general views were put forward by the judges regarding guidelines and judging process :

Quotations from the SREV and Guidelines (hereafter referred to as the Guidelines) set out in the FIP Commission for Postal History Newsletter of October 2008, were intended to place the reality of judging Class 2C Historical, Social and Special Studies exhibits in the context of the Guidelines.

1. These state that historical, social and special studies exhibits show the interaction of the postal system with society, events, commerce or the historical geography of an area and the effect the postal system has on humanity and humanity on the postal system.

2. Historical, social and special studies exhibits would include material developed by commerce and society for use in the postal system and may include non-philatelic material where relevant to the subject of the exhibit. The non-philatelic material should be incorporated into the exhibit in a balanced and appropriate manner in such a way that it does not overwhelm the philatelic material.

3. These are, however, not a limitation on the permissible subjects.

4. These also note that exhibits … may be planned chronologically, geographically (e.g. by local/ national districts), by mode of transport/service, or by any other way that the exhibitor may feel appropriate to employ.

5. They add that exhibits should avoid … large-scale duplication of similar items, large chronological gaps where possible, and the inclusion of expensive items not directly relevant to the subject shown.

6. Furthermore, and as … a general rule a Postal History exhibit should show interesting material (philatelically and, where permitted, non-philatelically) to the best advantage, and not appear to be a manuscript for a monograph.

7. All exhibits under such category must be capable of being exhibited in standard exhibition frames.

8. The plan or concept of all sub-classes of postal history exhibits shall be clearly explained in an introductory statement (ref. GREV, Article 3.3).

In other criteria of judging may be adopted keeping following points in mind it may be said that :

1. The Postal History2C (social Philately) must tell the story; other material should be ancillary and supportive.

2. The writing up and interpretation of Postal History items must be from a postal historical point of view.

3. Rates and routes should be described.

4. Mint stamps should be used very sparingly, if at all.

5. Cancelled stamps and stamps postmarked on piece should be used only when entries are not available.

6. Photographic or other illustrative material should be, where possible, contemporary with the material exhibited.

7. Ancillary material should not be greater than 20% of the items shown. i.e. a maximum of 5-6 items per frame, on average.

8. Ancillary material should not dominate the exhibit.


The initial recommended system of awarding points as per SREV was as follows :

1. Treatment (20) and Importance (Philatelic 5 & Historical & Social aspects 5)     30
2. Philatelic, Historical & Social Knowledge, Personal Study and Research            35

( Philatelic Knowledge  15,Historical and Social Knowledge 10, Personal Study and Research 10)
3. Condition (10) and Rarity (20)                                                                             30
4. Presentation                                                                                                         5

                                                                                                                  Total   100

The Commission’s guidance in judging this class was incomplete since its intention appeared to be enabling and not prescriptive, soothe necessity was felt to establish a framework so that judgments could be made systematically and equitably.

The above Guidelines were very specific in respect of Introductory Pages, and were considerably sharpened later at the Bucharest FIP meeting in 2008 in which recommended as under :

1. The exhibits must contain an introductory statement, showing the scope of the exhibit. The title of the exhibit must correspond to the introductory statement.

2. The title page should possess and reflect the following :

i ) It should give relevant general (Postal History) information on the subject being developed in the exhibit.
ii) It should include the plan showing structure of the exhibit i.e. chapters or sections etc., which have postal/social history relevance; and not “frame by frame” or “page by page” description.
iii) It should include areas of personal investigation.
iv) It should include details of important documentary sources and references.

3. The evaluation will be done for the material shown, and the associated text in the exhibit against the information included on the Title Page (Title, Introductory Statement; information relevant to the whole exhibit; the way the exhibit is structured; research and references).

Note : A well thought out title page is highly recommended as that will assist both the exhibitor and judges.


Those recommendations helped in focusing attention on the distinctive nature of the class which states that the exhibit should require the following :

i) The Postal History 2C (social Philately) must tell the story ; other material should be ancillary and supportive. ii) The writing up and interpretation of Postal History items must be from a postal historical point of view. iii) Rates and routes should be described. iv) Mint stamps should be used very sparingly, if at all. v) Cancelled stamps and stamps postmarked on piece should be used only when entries are not available. vi) Photographic or other illustrative material should be, where possible, contemporary with the material exhibited. vii) Ancillary material should not be greater than 20% of the items shown. i.e. a maximum of 5-6 items per frame, on average. viii) Ancillary material should not dominate the exhibit.

Like other philatelic exhibits Historical, Social and Special Studies evidently need a connected thread running through them, and lessons from other Postal History divisions, Thematic Philately and the Open Class in the use of different fonts, for example could help to distinguish them, but the primary characteristic of the class should be Postal History.

The Guidelines so framed state that :

1. Colored photographs or reproductions should be at least 25% different in size from the original. Full size reproductions of single cancellations or part of a cover are permitted. All material whether non-postal or non-philatelic material, should preferably be original.

2. Photocopied or scanned Postal History items are not permitted unless they are showing detail or reverse of a Postal History piece included in the exhibition.

3. Ancillary or supportive items should generally not be photocopied or scanned. They should usually be in the possession of the exhibitor.

4. Where items are too large to display they can be reduced but must be accompanied with a statement that the item in question is in the possession of the exhibitor. Where possible the item should be on the reverse of the exhibition page.

5. The relevance, balance and importance of non-philatelic material shown in historical, social and special studies will be evaluated by the judges.

The other criteria for evaluation being recently adopted Internationally is as under :

Treatment (20) and Importance (5 for philatelic and 5 for social): 30
Philatelic and related Social Knowledge, Personal Study and Research: 35
Condition (10) and Rarity (20): 30
Presentation: 5
Total: 100

NOTE : That the information given above is based on the opinion and jury report of Australia’99 followed by amendments made in subsequent meetings. It does not confirm any standard guidelines so far given by FIP, if any for particular class as there are three classes, so to say Social Philately, Open Class, Postal History Class 2C which are still being used independently or as different classes in different exhibitions. Of late, the oncoming International Exhibition JOBURG 2010 in Johannesburg includes OPEN CLASS.


Social Philately presents a wonderful but interesting opportunity and challenge for anyone wishing to expand the scope of his collection but of course intensive research, long search and creative imagination is required to develop a social philately exhibit. In India, there is little development in Social Philately and it is hoped that all philatelists in India will now tend to explore this category of philately. Undoubtedly it has much more pleasure and interest as it has very limited restrictions on display of material and given opportunity to tell and display the story completely and in a better way. In the time to come this class in its present form or little bit changed form will certainly become a most wanted class of philately as it is attracting philatelists mainly from Postal History and Thematic classes which have big participation and contribution in philatelic exhibitions.

New Issues from other countries



18 June 2010 Rotary International in Canada - 100th anniversary – 57 c

Czech Republic

5 May 2010 Exhibition “Prague Castle in the art postage stamp”


The postage stamp is a panorama of Charles Bridge and Prague Castle as viewed from the footbridge Novotny.Prague Castle is the largest castle complex in the world, which was a common theme for many foreign and domestic works. At the same time always was and remains a rich repository of designs for postage stamps. This place was therefore chosen for the exhibition of a representative to the general public, which will be presented more than ninety year tradition of Czech stamp production in conjunction with collections of objects of the Prague Castle. The exhibition will run from 12 May 2010 – 1 August 2010.


6 May 2010 Rhaetian Railway in the Albula and Bernina - € 0.65

The Italian artistic and cultural heritage dedicated to the Rhaetian Railway in the Albula and Bernina, the centenary of the completion (UNESCO Heritage).



6 May 2010 EUROPA 2010 – 2 val. + MS


The tale Little Red Riding Hood is allegorically illustrated on the postage stamp with the face value of RON 4.30, and on the stamp with the face value of RON 7.60, there is illustrated a Dragon seen as a children´s friend.


6 May 2010 World Circus Geneva 2010 – CHF 1.40


In 2010, Geneva will be a world circus capital. The city with its hallmark "jet d'eau" fountain is hosting "World Circus Geneva 2010" with its wealth of cultural happenings, all revolving around the circus.

Swiss Post is delighted to join in this circus event and is issuing a new special stamp with a "circus look."

The stamp, with a face value of CHF 1.40, shows a circus from an unusual angle: it presents a worm's eye view, with the tip of the big top resembling a clown's face.

United Nations


6 May 2010 One Planet One Ocean – 6 MS with 4 stamps each + 3 Booklets



22 April 2010 Love – 44c


16 July 2010 Archie - 2010

The Postal Service’s 2010 Love stamp features a white woven basket brimming with deep and light purple pansies and green foliage. The word “LOVE” adorns the left side of the stamp.


Book Review

‘Collector's Guide to First Day Covers & Folders of India 1947-1964 - Official & Private’ by Praful Tahakkar

A new book ‘Collector's Guide to First Day Covers & Folders of India by noted philatelist and Autograph collector Mr Praful Thakkar was recently released in Mumbai. The book is a big source of information on Indian FDCs and Folders for all philatelists. This book illustrates the covers with the same design with different color variations. It gives a technical information to the collector. Besides the First Day covers , various design of folders, presentation folders and souvenir albums have also been given in this book.The layout & design of the book is very good with high quality printing. It is an ideal reference book for all stamp collectors .


It is a complete book that catalogues Official & Private First Day Covers of India from 1947 to 1964 (Anna Value to NP Value). It also covers the gamut of FDCs of Commemorative and Definitive stamps along with their folders, Presentation folders and Souvenir Albums. The book starts with Private covers duly cancelled with this Celebration cancellation of 15/08/1947.

This early period of Indian Philately is highly fascinating and attracting because of variety of First Day Covers/Private FDCs with various sizes, color shades, cancellation marks, legends and creative designs which are appropriate to the theme of respective stamps.

It illustrates coloured photos of more than 400 FDCs (including about 250 Private FDCs), Folders, Presentation folders & Souvenir Albums along with FDCs of Indian Army Postal Service and Overprinted Military Postage stamps. It has coloured photos of 24 FDCs of Gandhi mourning issue of 1948. The book is of 116 coloured pages. The size is 11"x8.5".Price is Rs 450. People can put order at

Reader’s Right

Editor’s note- The aim of this stamp newsletter is to provide instant information and facts on philately to the readers and not to hurt anyone’s feelings. Readers may express their views, anguish and resentment through this column on philately. The platform is not used for any vested interest to cause derogatory to philately. When writing your views be sure that it should be related to philately only. It should not be used to express personal feelings between persons or groups in any manner.

No provision of award in One Frame Class of INDEPEX 2011 …..

Naresh Agarwal, Bilaspur

It is a matter of great pleasure that One Frame Exhibit Class is now being promoted in International exhibitions as It has also been included in Indepex 2011.But when we talk about promotion, the organizers need to do all such actions which encourage and inspire the philatelists constantly.

It is felt that organizers have not given much thought to the effects of not giving any prizes to the participants of this class as they have declared that only certificates will be awarded. I feel they are committing a mistake here. They must give away prizes in the form of medallions or mementoes to ONE FRAME PARTICIPANTS too. I really don’t understand the theory behind it. Funds can not be the issue for them to this purpose as the amount required to be spent for this will be very small in comparison to the total estimated expenditures for the whole show. Organizers can certainly afford  prizes for  this class. If not so much, low cost prizes can be provided.. But participants of this class must be served with prizes if FIP really aims to promote  this class of philately which is its main motto too. Otherwise the purpose of organizing such exhibitions will be defeated.

I strongly feel that this matter should be taken up by PCI and other bodies with the governing council of Indepex2011.Thinking in other way too, the one frame exhibitors are paying Rs. 3000/-. i.e. Rs. 1000/- per frame than other classes. I do understand there are some incidentals, overheads and administrative expanses. Yet out of Rs.1000/-, a small amount for this purpose can be spared. But they must be given prizes. Though certificate has the real value but mementos / medallions serve as  regular booster and a constant piece of joy, proud, inspiration and satisfaction. Which ultimately will help promoting philately.

Non availability of recent MS at Philatelic Bureau….

Kasinath R., Tanjore

I like to share the present condition of availability of low value MS released by India Post.
I still have not got one Polar Region MS. whenever I approach the GPO, they say the quantity which came are already sold out. I think this is the case in many GPO in India. but then, these are available for sale in abundant quantity for higher prices in online auction houses and with local dealers. selling the Polar Region MS @15 to 20 (100% profit) each and Silent Valley @ Rs. 15 each (200% profit). In eBay, making easy money. these are available even in packets (100 nos and 200 nos), while a student philatelist or others who need 1 or 2 for their collection need to visit the GPOs repeatedly to get one.

My nearest philatelic bureau is 60 km away from my city. I get my stamps through PDA a/c, but then too I did not receive the Polar region MS so far.Are these stamps issued mainly for benefit of dealers? or are the dealers bribing the clerks at GPO counter to get bulk quantity?

It seems that in future, new MS should be bought only from dealers and through auction sites. I started hating to collect Indian Stamps. Also, these postal staff give out huge quantities to dealers without any question. When I asked for 10 MS of Silent Valley, they looked at me top to bottom and asked whether I'm a dealer.Can't there be anything done to restrict this?

What’s a real Maxim Card ?

There is a big controversy among some philatelists regarding a genuine Maximum card. Many philatelists have doubts about the authenticity of the maximum card. They don’t know its clear explanation. For the benefit of Readers I am continuing this chat between 3 renowned philatelists Dr Avinash Jagtap of Switzerland, Mr Sundar Lal Bansal of New Delhi. Cdr UN Acharya of Bangalore and our distinguished reader and Stamp Lover Dr Hemant H. Kulkarni of Milwaukee - USA. with their expert comments.Though it is based on e -communication between them but it is a very technical discussion regarding the Maximum Cards. It has become a modern trend that a variety of Maxim Cards are being prepared by the philatelists without considering FIP rules and at the same time some postal administrations are also issuing such maxim cards which do not fulfill the prescribed FIP rules. I hope this will help many philatelists to clear their doubts about a real Maximum Card and they will be able to know the rules set by FIP for actual Maximum card. - Editor

Discussion on Maxim Cards

Sundar Lal Bansal, New Delhi

I have read in the May issue of Rainbow Stamp News, Cdr (Retd) Acharya’s remarks about Maximum cards show on Rainbow Stamp News / Club Blogs on fauna of the Far East. Let me again quote F.I.P. regulations about cancellation. “Closer the connection is between the subject and the picture and/or text of a pictorial cancellation, the better is the concordance. The cancellation should be as close as possible to the date of issue”. The important word is better and it is not must. I agree, the ideal Maximum card, say of red panda should have a pictorial cancellation showing red panda and cancelled at the Singalila National Park, where the red panda is found in wild and on the date of issue.

I shall be extremely happy to get such a maximum card and shall be grateful if Cdr Acharya could help me in getting such a maximum card. India post has not provided Red Panda pictorial cancellation but a figure which represents a mammal,. So you accept this. They provide cancellation of Delhi or other P.O. cancellation on the date of issue. You accept this. There is no difference between cancellations of Delhi or Bilaspur as Red Panda does not exist at either of the place. But, both these places are in India where Red Panda is found. So these cancellations are valid. Though these maximum cards are not ideal but are accepted for display in any exhibition.

I may add that Red Panda does not exist in Meghalaya. So cancellation from any post office in Meghalaya state will be as compromising as from Bilaspur.

I also wish to state that in case of monuments also it will be ideal to have cancellation of the place, where the monument is located. However cancellations at other places in India are acceptable .e.g The Taj Mahal maximum card cancelled at Delhi is acceptable, though it will be ideal to have it cancelled at Taj Mahal P.O with pictorial cancellation on the date of issue.

Cdr. (retd) U,N Acharya, Bangalore NAVAL PHILATELIC SOCIETY

Thank you very much for the coverage you have given for my thoughts. The points put up by me are faithfully reflected in the newsletter.

It may be worthwhile naming those maxim cards not meeting FIP requirements as souvenir cards, instead, so that readers know the difference between the two. If a maxim card on President's Review of the Fleet, held in Visakhapatnam bears the FD Cancellation of Bangalore, the card must surely be a souvenir card and not a maxim card, as Bangalore has no sea-shore.

Hemant V Kulkarni, USA

I'd gathered from the Rainbow blog and Dr. Jagtap that there was a personal communication between the three of you before the related matter got published on the Rainbow blog. Hence, I decided to send all of my e.correspondence (with Mr Acharya) to Dr. Jagtap for his knowledge and a feedback from him because I respect him not only for his expertise but the way he goes in to 'nitty-gritty' details for a clear cut explanation. His reply sure explains the MAIN DILEMMA on my mind: How come postal departments of repute still release MCs that have reduced or almost zero Philatelic value as a hobby collection -comparable to CTO (Cancelled To Order) MSs or stamps that are not recognized by catalogs of repute (one that makes sense). Example cited by Dr. Jagtap (his article about Swiss MCs -although in German) clearly indicates the acceptance by the Swiss authorities of 'how wrong these post offices have been' in releasing MCs that don't obey FIP rules. Honestly though, and perhaps as a minority, I'll be the first one to express that FIP body seems to be indirectly imposing how postal authorities should release its authentic items. Add to that the way FIP body expects minimum reimbursements for the neutral 'experts' who judge the displays at Philatelic exhibitions for an outcry from hobbyists from the non-western countries who can't afford such high monetary honorarium! I wonder then, does it really make sense to participate in such exhibitions in India under FIP rules?

Hemant V Kulkarni. Milwaukee USA

How would you rate these USA MCs in terms of their eligibility in Exhibition participation. One of 'Lincoln' is issued by USPS while the other two by Colorano (Silk) have been under licensing from USPS -where identical enlargement of the stamp is on the other side. I simply adore them!



Dr Avinash B. Jagtap, Switzerland

Dear Hemant,

I also appreciate the (so-called) "Maximum Cards" issued by the US, China and Cuba. These are beautiful, worth a treasure for him/her who likes to collect cards with identical stamps on. But I must write to you that these do not fulfill the conditions set by F.I.P. (the only world-body, which conducts International Philatelic Exhibitions).I do not mind collecting such cards, which appeal to you or any other person. So what Mr. Bansal has to say is correct, however as these do not fulfill the conditions set by the F.I.P. one can not show them as maximum cards in his/her display even at the district or national level exhibitions. It is just like participating in a particular discipline at Olympics. One has to play according to the rules set by the Olympic Committee.

I hope you have read and perhaps have retained a print out of my article on "What is a Maximum Card" published in "Rainbow" some months ago. Also in the recent issue of Swiss Philatelic Magazine ("Schweizer Briefmarken Zeitung”) I have written a 3 page article on "Swiss Maximum cards" with the title "Schweizer Maximum Karten, die keine sind" (“Swiss Maximum cards, which, in reality, are not").The editor of the magazine had hesitation in publishing this article and I asked him to change the caption, if he prefers to do so. Since it was an open criticism on Swiss Post! These cards (N0. 1 to 8) are NOT AT ALL MAXIMUM CARDS! Even when they were OFFICIALLY issued and sold as Maximum Cards by Swiss Post! The last two are real Maximum Cards. Many of these cards can not be considered as Maximum Cards (No.s 3-8) only for one reason, and that is: the area occupied by the illustration on the view side is less than the required minimum area of 75%, set by the F.I.P. regulation.

The first two (Rocket Base at Kaurou in Fr. Guyana and a modern art type representation of alpine landscape) for the false interpretation of the place and picture. When my article was published I received a letter of appreciation from Swiss Post, saying that the Swiss Post now onwards will be very careful in offering real maximum cards to their clients. I was more than happy. You will not be able to read my article, as it is in German; but you can see the reproductions of Swiss Maximum Cards.


Fig.1: (Ariane Rocket Launching Station at Kourou in
Fr. Guiana (Inappropriate place of cancellation)


Fig.2:  (Inauguration of Alpine Tunnel for automobiles)/( inappropriate illustration of Alpine Landscape)


Fig.3:  (Painting of a Town-clerk by Albert Anker)/ (less than 75% illustration)


Fig.4: ( Globe)/ (less than 75% Illustration)


Fig.5: ( Railway Engine) /reason: less than 75% illustration)


Fig.6: (Swiss Music Composer Frank Martin) (less than 75% illustration)


Fig.7: (Nature Protection)(less than 75% illustration)


Fig.8: ( Discovery of Asteroid "Helvetia") (Less than 75% illustration, & too much text)


Fig.9: ( Fortress Chillon on Lake Lemon) A real maximum card


Fig 10: (Zeppelin NT) ( A real maximum card)

I have no objection of collecting any philatelic object, including Maximum Cards, but the post offices should realize that they should not offer these to their clients as "Maximum Cards". All cards which you have sent me as their scans are artistically beautiful, but they do not deserve the title as "Maximum Cards" One can collect them for private collection and even for exhibiting them in a private public show. In that respect I shall support what Mr. Bansal has to say.

Dr Avinsh B Jagtap, Switzerland

Dear Hemant,

You can collect and exchange the Cards with a picture on one side and the address plus stamp (for postage) on the other. OR simply a view card (picture postcard) with an appropriate picture, photo or design on one side with a stamp related to it duly obliterated by a cancellation (which need not be a pictorial one, even if it bears the name of the post-office, viz. for Taj Mahal a dated obliterator of Agra Post Office will do). But do not call it a "maximum card". As this term has been coined by FIP and there are (unfortunately rules and regulations, which one has to observe, just as in case of Olympics). Like you, I also have some cards with nice pictures or photos with appropriate postage stamps, bearing pictorial or simple round date obliterator.

There is another "discipline" where one can exhibit such items, and that domain is called
"Social Philately" OR "OPEN CLASS"  where 50% of the items must have some thing to do with Philately. (I do not understand who found that word "Social" (had he/she in mind that the class "Maximaphily", where only "real" Maximum Cards are allowed, is asocial?

Since the international philatelic exhibitions are to be recognized by F.I.P. all participants have to accept the rules set by the F.I.P. and most of the nations have to take into consideration the F.I.P. rules. There are first the regional exhibitions, then at the state level, then at the national level and then at International level. And most of the philatelists have to obey the rules, if they wish to reach international level with their exhibit. I think that "OPEN CLASS" is not yet a "developed" category, but still in "experimental" state.

New Blogs & Websites

Flags & Stamps - - This blog is all about flags and stamps from the collection of a veteran philatelist and vexillologist, Mr Sekhar Chakrabarty. Kolkata.

Ship Stamps - - A new Blog created by by Mr Prashant of Pune on Ship Stamps .

Se- tenant Stamps of India – A specialized Blog on se-tenant stamps

ORPHIL NEWS - It is an open blog of Orissa Philatelic Association edited by Pradip Mohanty Orissa Philatelic Association, Keonjhar Colony,Kanika Chhak,753008, E mail : Visit at : - Global Express - An online Philatelic Magazine edited by Mitul Kansal - The site gives news on stamps & coins - Postage Stamp Chat Board and Stamp Bulletin Board Forum

Philatelic Clubs & Societies

Baroda Philatelic Society -

Eastern India Philatelists’ Association -

Indian Stamp Ghar -

Indian Thematic Society, Ludhiana -

Mobile Philately -

Rainbow Stamp Club -

South India Philatelists Association -

Stamps of India -

The Lighter Side

A Letter to the God…

A postal employee in the letter sorting department finds an envelope titled "To The GOD" without bearing a delivery address. He couldn't figure out what to do with it .. so, with 3-4 friends around he opened the letter which read, 'I'm an 83 year old lady and had saved 1000 Rupees for my grand daughter's birthday bash due for next month. Yesterday someone stole my purse, so please send me 1000 Rupees so that I don't disappoint her & her invited friends. Everyone in the department was touched and voluntarily collected about 960 Rupees, put them in a cover and mailed it to the lady at her return address. After a week or so there arrives another letter "To The God" - 'Thank you for your kind gesture, but I received only Rs 960 . May be Rs 40 were missing because of those assumed corrupt postmen? Eagerly awaiting to receive the shortfall for the sake of those honest employees'. 
-Hemant V Kulkarn, Milwaukee USA

" Kabari and Raddiwala ”…..Unsung Friends of Philatelists

- Naresh Agarwal

Philatelists move here and there in search of stamps, documents, fiscals, ephemera and Cinderella and other related material and get help from various persons and develop various sources to procure above material. The early phase of one’s collection is done from local sources and later the contacts develop and it becomes easier to procure material.

I remember I used to go to banks, offices and used to search in their waste the required stamps which I liked the most. Then I started exchanging the same and later pen friendship helped in the cause. Of late, contacts have so developed that I can buy the material of my choice from various stamp dealers which are always there to help me. Internet, the latest source has made it even easier.

Well, I have not named two people in the above list, the first one is POSTMAN and the other is RADDIWALA or KABARI ( Paper & Junk collectors ). Yes, they do have big contribution even today as they help the budding as well as blossomed philatelists. Postman has limited contribution but raddiwala has tremendous contribution in this cause.

Raddiwala is the local lingo for junkyard guy and for those who move house to house to collect waste, unusable material, papers, gadgets etc. and some of these guys get stock books and other paper material and documents that have been ... scrapheap but are really very precious ones. Hard to get from anywhere some times paper gems are found from their stocks ... Yes, some times one gets good jugaad (useful, durable, beautiful things) from the kabaad. It’s not all about search but create also as Mr. Nek Chand's creator of rock garden in Chandigarh, UT who created this beautiful space, entirely out of natural and man-made waste.


Kabadi or Raddiwala are seldom named as contributory for the development of philately but in fact they play very important role in helping and serving the philatelic fraternity

Some people might say that I am over stating the fact but it is true, I have been helped by raddiwala a lot in building up of my collection as it provided me various other stuffs required for my collection that are the associated material which now can help me making a very good social philately or open class exhibits.

I have spent a good number of hours at kabariwala’s place and have chased raddiwala for quite some years to find items of my interest. Raddiwala do collects wastes from different houses comprising of papers, books, magazines, documental waste, ephemera etc. from which I could seldom get some good thing or the other. Once, one of my friends got an album from raddiwala which contained a good lot of stamps. Various catalogues and other material can be of great help. Raddiwala collects not only paper waste but plastic, metal old waste etc. They all sell it to kabari which has huge stock of different types of waste material and there one can find a good lot of material.

Once in Indore, one philatelist found some printing dies of Indore state stamps. Certainly those became precious items for him. The things he got would have gone for ever had he not found those.

In Kolkata there is chor bazaar. Not to go for the name, one can find big raddiwalas who preserve selected items for their perspective buyers.

One must agree that raddiwalas, are sometimes of great help to philatelists. They are the unsung friends of the philatelists. Hence, contribution of raddiwalas must not be ignored rather appreciated.

Historical Moments in Philately

- Dr. K. Jaya Prakash, Thrissur – Kerala


  • U.A.E had released on 02.12.2006 World’s first MULTIPLEX stamp carrying 6 images of H.H.Sheik Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum.


  • Argentina had released its First 3D stamp (Fig.22) on 28.July 2007; the meteorite on a souvenir sheet, by using a glass provided with the stamp you can see the 3 D effect of the meteorite.


  • Switzerland had released WORLD`S FIRST BEE –TAG STAMP ON 31.Oct:.2007.It is one of the greatest innovations in Philately. This stamp is with a two dimensional bar code”BEE-TAG”.By photographing the tag the people will be directed to the web site of Swiss Tourism. The BEE-TAG is a 2 Dimensional code that looks like a honey comb and function like a bar code. The user simply installs the free BEE-TAG reader, scan the tag with the camera on their mobile phone, the reader recognises the tag and connects the phone to a predefined web page.

Promotional section



Recent Special Covers from Himachal Pradesh

Four special covers, recently issued by HP Circle are now available at cost price ( Rs 10 each) . Those who wish to get a set of these covers by Speed Post may send Money Order for Rs 70 with complete Postal Address in capital letters to the address given below. The complete set contains four special covers ( 2 sp covers issued in Shimla and one each issued at Dharamshala & Kullu)

Contact address -

Mr Govind Ram, C/o Conservator of Forests, Great Himalayan National Park,

Shamshi, Distt Kullu. PIN 175126 (HP)

Current Philatelic Magazines – Newsletters

-Stamp of India Collectors’ Companion - India’s first and most updated weekly e-newsletter edited by Madhukar and Savita Jhingan from Stamps of India, New Delhi. E-mail: Website:

ITS Stamp News - Quarterly - Editor: Suraj Jaitly Publisher: Indian Thematic Society website -

VADOPHIL, Editor - Prashant Pandya and published by Baroda Philatelic Society, Vadodara. Website -

e ZEP Newsletter Editor : Dieter Leder email website

SIPA Bulletin (2009 Joint Issue ) edited by Mr G. Madan Mohan Das and published by South India Philatelists’ Association, Chennai website :

FILA Capsule – Editor : Ajit Dash and  published by EIPA, Bhubaneshwar.

GPA News – Editor- Ilias Patel and published by Gujarat Philatelists’ Association, Ahemadabad.

Kar Phila News published by Karnataka Philatelic Society & edited by by Akshay Borad E –Mail :

Acknowledgement :

FILA Capsule

ITS Stamp News

Editor’s Mail Box

Prashant Pandya, Vadodara

Glad to see May 2010 issue of Rainbow Stamp News. I appreciate your efforts. Your news letter covers several aspects of philately and I must congratulate you for releasing the news letter on 1st of the every month without fail.

Ajit Dash, Bhubaneshwar

Thank you very much for your nice and well placed news in the recent May issue of your news letter. Thanks for including the issue regarding the enhancement of fees for INDIPEX-2011 in your popular newsletter. Hope a lot of suggestions may come from the philatelic circle.

Yogesh Kumar, Bareilly (UP)

Regarding INDIPEX 2011 Frame fee.

As per FIP rules it should be US $35, for all exhibitors, and for 1 Frame exhibitors frame fee for BANKOK 2010 (FIAP) is (earlier US$100) US$60, we keep it Rs.3000 considering it is FIP exhibition. Please consider we are paying Rs.3.16 Cr. rental for exhibition halls at market price. India Post have very little money and how they raise the resources it is big question.

Naresh Agarwal, Bilaspur (CG)

The May 2010 Issue is wonderful. Interview of Mr. Parikh, Rose world of Dr. Satyendra Agarwal ,introduction of new  innovative stamps, information about new arrivals and stamps shows to come, your editorial, article on love affair with sparrow, discussion on maximum cards all are very nice.

Pradeep Jain, Patna

I viewed / read the Rainbow Newsletter carrying new information and most interested Shrikant Parikh interview which is very well covered and presented. Shrikant Parikh opened up the new field with something very new, full modern philately. He deserves full credit and appreciate for all his good work.


This is a blog of e-stamp Club . The idea of this blog is to extend philatelic fraternity in all corners of the world. Readers may write about themselves with their collecting interests and share new ideas with other philatelists. Those who are interested may send following details for publication on blog. If they wish they may also send their photo for publication. New Post on recent issues, news on stamp activities and Contribution by members are published everyday on this blog.




Postal Address…………………………….

Collecting Interests……………………….

Brief write up about yourself……………

Readers may also express their views on any philatelic matter which will be published under Club News at Rainbow Stamp Cub Blog. Philatelic Clubs and Societies may also send brief write ups. News about new issues of India and abroad and other information related with Philately are regularly posted on this blog. Readers may send reports on new issues, special covers, cancellations & philatelic activities of their area for inclusion in this Blog. - Editor

Courtesy- News and Image Resource to this issue - Stamps of India, International Stamp News ; Mobile Philately – Deepak Modi, Dr SK Sondhi, Ludhiana;  Pradip Jain – Patna; Mansoor B. – MB Stamps ;  Suraj Jaitly - Ludhiana

All the images of this issue have not been included here. For detailed images related to this issue Please Visit:

Address for communication:

Mrs. Jeevan Jyoti, c / o Mr. Ajay Srivastav, Director, Great Himalayan National Park, Shamshi, Kullu (H.P.) PIN 175126 India

E-mail – or

clip_image001[27] Last date for receiving write ups – 25th of every month. Kindly send images in jpg compressed format & text in MS Word only.

clip_image001[28] If you liked this issue please forward it to your friends and help in promoting philately.

A Request to Readers & Contributors-

clip_image002 Please do not send the text in scan form. Send your write ups in MS Word only.

Kindly specify your contribution such as article/News/ Reader’s Right /

Beginners’ Section/ Lighter Side etc.

clip_image002[1] Please do not send forwarded messages for promotional section if you want to give any information for promotion please write personally with brief write up. As this newsletter is not used for any commercial purpose in any manner.

Attention -

Please send limited number of images in compressed jpg format only with your article. Please send text and images separately. Please do not send text or image for publication in PDF.

Till Next Month …..Happy Collecting…………………………………………………………………


Rainbow Stamp News is edited and published monthly by Jeevan Jyoti, from Kullu (Himachal Pradesh) India.

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Recent Awards

INPEX 2017, Mumbai - Large Silver

CHINA 2016 - Bronze

TAIPEI 2015 - Bronze

CG International Philatelic Promotion Award 2014, Germany - ( 4th Position)

INPEX 2013, Mumbai - Vermeil

SHARJAH 2012, Sharjah ( UAE ) - Silver Bronze

IPHLA 2012, Mainz - Germany : Bronze

NDIPEX 2011 - World Stamp Exhibition, New Delhi - Bronze

JOBURG 2010 - 26th Asian International Stamp Exhibition, Johannesburg - Silver Bronze

PORTUGAL 2010 - World Stamp Exhibition, Lisbon - Bronze

Hong Kong 2009 -23rd Asian International Stamp Exhibition, Hong Kong - Silver Bronze

About Me

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Participated in different philatelic exhibitions Wrote for philately column in The Pioneer and worked as sub-editor for U-Phil Times published from United Philatelists, Kanpur.Did Schooling from Kanpur Vidya Mandir and Post Graduation in Botany from A.N.D. College Kanpur.


The views expressed in the articles published on Rainbow Stamp News Blog are solely those of the authors and contributors, and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Blog Owner. The Readers are requested to contact author or the contributor of the particular article if they have any objection or do not agree with the views expressed in the article . Please do not ask the Blog Owner to delete or change any Post published on this blog.The Post will be removed only after strong recommendation of the original author / contributor after proper verification .

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