India’s First Post Office Inaugurated on the Line of Control (LoC) along the India-Pakistan Border Continues to Serve Amidst Changing Times.
India’s First Post Office with Unique Location and History
A unique post office is installed on the banks of the Kishanganga River in India’s northern region. With the distinct PIN code 193224, this post office holds the title of being India’s “first” post office, positioned at the de facto Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu and Kashmir’s Kupwara district, just a stone’s throw away from Pakistan-occupied territory.
From “Last” to “First” – A Remarkable Transformation
Until recently, this post office was known as the “last” post office in the country, signifying the limit of postal delivery. However, a change in perspective has led to a new identity. Now proudly proclaimed as the “First Post Office of India,” its significance is rooted in being the first post office from the LoC or border in terms of distance.
An Enduring Legacy Through Turbulent Times
Remarkably, this post office’s history dates back long before India’s independence and the formation of Pakistan. It has withstood the test of time, continuing to operate during moments of great hostility, including the 1965 and 1971 conflicts, as well as frequent cross-border shelling incidents that followed the eruption of Pakistan-backed militancy in 1990.
Shakir Bhat, the dedicated postmaster, has been at the heart of this post office’s unwavering service since 1947. Despite facing challenges such as flash floods in 1993 that washed away the original structure, the post office endured, now functioning from Bhat’s own residence.
Embracing Peace and Progress
Amidst the changing tides of diplomacy, Bhat echoes the desire for peace between India and Pakistan. He shares, “Today we feel peace, and we want peace between the two nations to prevail.” This peace has not only allowed the post office to continue its vital role but has also contributed to the growth of tourism in the Keran sector (a block situated in the Kupwara district of J&K,).
Looking Ahead: Connectivity and Progress
While the post office stands as a symbol of enduring history, modernization is not forgotten. Kupwara Deputy Commissioner Ayushi Sudan affirms efforts to address communication connectivity issues, with an optical fiber cable project set to be completed by year-end. This project aims to enhance digital connectivity and provide more comprehensive services to the community.
A Beacon of Tourism and Memories
In the midst of this historic post office’s surroundings, Tufail Bhat has capitalized on the growing tourism in the area. Operating a camping site for tourists near the post office, he has created a unique space for visitors to make cherished memories. The post office itself has become an unexpected attraction, drawing visitors who witness post office vans arriving with essential posts and parcels.
A testament to resilience and continuity, the first post office of India stands tall, serving as a bridge between history and progress, while fostering hopes for lasting peace between nations.
Key Facts about the Indian Postal Service
Here are some important facts about the Indian Postal Service or Post Office:
▪ The Indian Postal Service (IPS) is the government-operated postal system in India, part of the Department of Post under the Ministry of Communications.
▪ It is the most widely distributed postal system in the world, with over 1.55 lakh post offices as of 2017.
▪ The first post office in India was established in 1774 in Calcutta (now Kolkata).
▪ In July 1852, Bartle Frere, chief commissioner of the Indian district of Scinde (Now in Pakistan), issued the first adhesive postage stamps in Asia.
▪ India was the first country in the Commonwealth to issue airmail stamps.
▪ The world’s highest post office is located in Hikkim, Himachal Pradesh, India. It is at an altitude of 15,500 feet (4,700 m).
▪ India Post offers a variety of services, including mail delivery, money orders, savings accounts, insurance, and e-commerce.
▪ The world’s first floating post office is located in Dal Lake, Srinagar, India. It was inaugurated in 2011.
▪ India Post has issued stamps on a variety of topics, including Mahatma Gandhi, the Taj Mahal, and Bollywood stars.
▪ India Post is also a major collector of philately (the study of postage stamps). It has a vast collection of stamps from all over the world.
Most Important Key points for Competitive Exams ..................................................................................... ▪ India's first post office was established in 1774 in Calcutta (now Kolkata). It was set up by the British East India Company. ▪ The title of India's oldest post office goes to the Kolkata GPO (General Post Office), which was established in 1727 by Warren Hastings. ▪ The world's first floating post office is located in Dal Lake, Srinagar, India. It was inaugurated in 2011. The post office is built on a houseboat and offers a unique experience for tourists. ▪ The highest post office in the world is located in Hikkim, Himachal Pradesh, India. It is at an altitude of 15,500 feet (4,700 m).