Back to the past: Into a world of postal history and stamps | pune news | Hindustan Times
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Back to the past: Into a world of postal history and stamps

The Philatelic Bureau in Pune General Post Office is a treasure trove for philately enthusiasts which boasts of iconic stamps and first-day covers.

pune Updated: Jul 07, 2017 11:40 IST
Prachi Bari
Philatelic Bureau in Pune opened on August 28, 1977.
Philatelic Bureau in Pune opened on August 28, 1977.(Rahul Raut/HT Photo)

The Philatelic Bureau in Pune General Post Office (GPO) is a bright room with high ceilings and luminate windows.

There is plenty of paraphernalia lying across the tables, and the display desk which showcases various stamps; exotic birds, transportations of India are some of the popular stamps displayed prominently. The last stamp is on the fragrances of India and displays rose in many colours.

Bombay Philatelic Bureau was the first bureau opened in India on June 21, 1941 and was functioning alone for more than seven years. Later, on August 15, 1948, nine philatelic bureaus were opened in different capitals of India. Now there are 81 philatelic bureaux in operation across India, including the one in Pune which opened on August 28, 1977.

‘My Stamp’ is the brand name for personalised sheets of Postage Stamps of India Post. The personalisation is achieved by printing a thumb nail photograph of the customer images and logos of institutions, or images of artwork, heritage buildings, famous tourist places, historical cities, wildlife, other animals or birds, alongside the selected Commemorative Postage Stamp. “It was first introduced in India during the World Philatelic Exhibition, ‘INDIPEX-2011’. There was considerable demand for it during the exhibition and many requests to resume its printing have since been received.

An enthusiast at the Philatelic Bureau in Pune. (Rahul Raut/HT Photo)

This enthusiasm from stamp lovers prompted India Post to extend the ‘My Stamp’ scheme to cover all Postal Circles and is available in this post office,” said post master general, Ganesh Sawaleshwarkar. This department is a treasure trove for philately enthusiasts which boasts of iconic stamps and first-day covers it has ever printed, various jubilees of public sector undertakings, and those issued at the birth anniversaries of iconic littérateurs.

All of them are pinned up on display boards; some also try to educate visitors about the significance of first-day covers, and the postal department’s “innovations” in increasing public interest in philately.

The bureau boasts of more than 3,500 account holders. A lot of enthusiasts come in to buy from the collection.