Showing posts with label stamp collection. Show all posts
Showing posts with label stamp collection. Show all posts

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Monday, September 21, 2015

Bhutan postage stamp featured Sikkim as an Independent Country

Bhutan introduced its first postage stamps in 1962 (10th October) and in its inaugural issue it featured seven definitive stamps on different denominations. The first stamp series featured the introduction of Bhutan life style. One of the stamps released finds a special place among the stamp collectors of Sikkim. Sikkim, though once an independent country is today a proud part of Indian Union. Sikkim became part of India in 1975. 
The 15ch postage stamp issued from the country of Bhutan is probably the only postage stamps in the world of philately that showed Sikkim as an Independent Country. You can closely see an Independent Sikkim, below it India while East Pakistan now Bangladesh just beneath it. Bhutan is right to Sikkim in white while Tibet on its top.
It must be noted that in 1962, when this definitive stamp was released Sikkim was still an independent country.

Sunday, November 02, 2014

Sikkim Philatelic Society takes all three positions at Sr. Category DEPEX 2014 Stamp Exhibition

SINGTAM, NOVEMBER 1: It was a rare achievement for the philatelists of Sikkim Philatelic Society at DEPEX 2014 held at Capitol Hall, Darjeeling on October 31. Five member philatelists from Sikkim Philatelic Society had participated in the Senior Category Open Competition (Outside Darjeeling) that featured philatelists from Sikkim, Mallbazaar, Jalapiguri, Cooch Bihar, Gangarampur and others. The first three positions in the category were won by Sikkim.
Shital Pradhan won the first prize for his theme “Sikkim through Philately”, Roshan Prasad stood second while Ganesh Pradhan, Deepen Pradhan and Padam Parajuli, three philatelists from Sikkim shared the joint third position.
The two day event (October 30 and 31) saw release of two Special Covers on 150th years of St. Paul School and Padmaja Naidu Himalayan Zoological Park, Darjeeling. Other highlight of the event was the release of “My Stamp” that was highly appreciated by all. A total of 70 frames were put in the exhibition in which 32 frames were allotted for invitation class while the 40 frames were divided into four categories. The categories included Junior School and Junior Individual while in the Senior category there were two categories; Senior Category within Darjeeling and Senior Category Open Competition (Outside Darjeeling).
Ganesh Pradhan, President Sikkim Philatelic Society have congratulated his fellow team members for a grand show. Through a press release, Pradhan had thanked the Darjeeling Postal Department and the associated organizing committee for having a successful event and wished them success in days to come too.
The Philatelic Exhibition was held at Darjeeling after 11 years. The last one was held in 2003 and was named ‘Kosheli’. This time the event was named DEPEX 2014.

Thursday, January 03, 2013

A stamp of Adomi Bridge of Ghana resembles the Indreni Bridge of Singtam

Indreni Bridge of Singtam





When i first saw the Adomi Bridge of Ghana in one of my stamp album i said to myself this looks like our Indreni Bridge. Indeed the picture in the stamp said so. The Indreni (rainbow as it resembles) Bridge joins the town of Singtam (East District) with the Aadarsh Gaon (South District) with the river Teesta flowing in between. The bridge that is still waiting for its official opening today is a centre of attraction for its beauty. Couple of video shooting had already been picturised on it and the late night radium lightning makes the bridge more fascinating. 

The bridge that was started on January 10th, 2007 was constructed by MP Agarwal from Namchi with the fund from Government of India, DONER, NLCP. The total cost of the construction was Rs 1337 lakhs.

The Adomi Bridge stamp was issued in 1967 and it features the first suspension bridge of Ghana.





Sunday, October 21, 2012

Sikkim Postal History: Those early years-iv

 It has been a wonderful response from different places of the state including Darjeeling District regarding my findings on the Postal History of Sikkim. I am happy that my readers found information that they have less heard. Continuing to the previous article I here share about the Postal System of the British Expedition of 1888 that played an important in turning over of Sikkim of what it is today. 

Geoffrey Flack in “Sikkim Field Force 1888-89; Precursor to the Younghusband Expedition” published in Postal Himal (No.78, 2nd Quarter 1994) writes ……. on March 20th 1888 Brigadier General T Graham was send with a force of 2000 men to retake the lands of Sikkim that was invaded by the Tibetans. The Tibetans offered little resistance, crossed the Jalepla and attacked Gnatong, The British men forced the Tibetans to drive them to the frontiers.
Brigadier General T Graham requested for the extension of the telegraph line towards the Tibetan side of Jalepla that was later sanctioned making the entry of Arthur Edmund Sandbach to the land of Sikkim. Sandbach was a Royal Engineer to the Bengal Sappers and Miners. Arrival of Sandbach to Sikkim plays an important role in the early development of postal systems in Sikkim. It was due to his letters send from the frontiers of Sikkim and Tibet during his 11 months staying with the British Field Force that had surfaced new addition of the long forgotten postal history of Sikkim.
Sandbach and his unit arrives at Sikkim and immediately makes into Tibet frontier, camping at a place called “Byutan”, an unknown place name till now east of Jalepla frontier near Bhutan border on November 9th, 1888. Sandbach and his unit stays at Tibet for three weeks before returning to Gnatong on December 3rd, 1888. Along with the telegraphs, EXPERIMENTAL P.O. C-7 of the British Forces was also with the Sandbach’s unit at Tibet.
 EXPERIMENTAL P.O. C-7 was established at Gnatong and it might had travelled with Sandbach’s unit to the Tibetan frontier cannot be denied. The website Invaluable.com states the description of an auctioned Post Card as “1889 (3 Dec.) 1/4a. brown stationery card from Private John Sullivan of the Connaught Rangers at Sikkim to Bombay, cancelled with a good strike of the "experimental po/c-7" c.d.s. and with Market Bombay arrival c.d.s. alongside; the contents requesting the addressee to send a catalogue to the writer at Sikkim; most unusual. The card with a couple of small faults though a rare item of mail from this obscure military operation.”
Sandbach’s correspondence provides a great deal of information about the postal history of Sikkim Field Force. Another remarkably cancellation received from the Sandbach’s correspondence used inside Sikkim are the EXPERIMENTAL P.O. C-3 and EXPERIMENTAL P.O C-22.
EXPERIMENTAL P.O C-3is the rarest of the cancellation of the Sikkim Field Force of 1888-89. Only 3 covers had been found dated October 3rd and 5th, 1888 used most probably at Rangpo where Sandbach had stayed on his visit. Ten covers from EXPERIMENTAL P.O C-22had been found cancelled at Rhenock Ridge. The covers was used between December 16th, 1888 to late May 1889.

Sikkim Postal History: Those early years - iii


For a stamp sized state of Sikkim, 6th November 2006 hold a moment of glory and recognisation in terms of world philately. Indian Postage had featured a postal stamp on Changu Lake in a group of five lakes from different part of India. The Changu Lake stamp with Rs 5 denomination features among the five Himalayan Lakes of India that include Roop Kund, Sela, Tsomo Riri and Chandra Tal. The stamp and First Day Cover had been designed by Bharati Mirchandani and Cancellation designed by Alka Sharma. The stamp is printed in photogravure process and printed at India Security Press, Nasik. It was for the first time in the history of Indian Postage, an individual theme from Sikkim got introduced in Indian postage stamp. For the last few years efforts were made on to feature individual theme from Sikkim. Along the lines various tourist destinations including Rumtek Monastery, Changu (Tsangu) Lake, Guru Dongmor Lake, Nathula Pass and cultural diversity of Sikkim were discussed but it was the more popular Changu (Tsangu) Lake that made the history. Truly no doubt Changu Lake has been one of the major tourist attractions over the years and its incomparable scenic beauty reflects the charisma of the small state of Sikkim.
More than thirty years since the state of Sikkim joined the Indian Union, Sikkim has been struggling for its presence in Indian postal stamps. Apart from four Mt Kanchenjunga stamps on three separate occasions (1955, 1978 and 1988), Red Panda (1955), Blood Pheasant (1963), and Flora and Fauna of North East India (2006), a single illustration of Yumthang valley in 1982 Himalayan Flowers First Day Cover and handful of Sikkim Special Covers, it was a long wait for Sikkim Philately to rejoice.
Despite the fact that Sikkim first made its presence felt in the world of philately way back in 1935 when in this small Himalayan Kingdom a unique postal experiment was conducted by a man named Stephen Hector Smith. The postal experiment got popular with the name Sikkim Rocketmail Experiment 1935.
Although few people know or remember that Sikkim was home to a unique experiment in mail delivery. In fact Sikkim was one of the very few countries ever in the world during the reign of the Chogyal, the Sikkim king, to perform this ambitious achievement. The parcels along with letters and other items were sent from the rockets to the confined destinations. Rocket mail was being sent across the rivers. In fact, there are many covers sent successfully that actually has signature of the late Sir Tashi Namgyal, the Chogyal. In the book “From the diary of Stephen Smith” written by Stephen Smith relating to rockets mail experiments, it has been mentioned that the Sikkim experiment was the most successful among all the pioneering efforts in rocket mailing the world over. The five places where the experiments were conducted were Gangtok, Sarumsa, Ray, Singtam and Rangpo.
Stephen Hector Smith, a pioneer in Indian Rocketmail history chooses Sikkim for his experiment because of its geographical features and mountains. Sikkim is also the first country in the world to successfully dispatch by means of a rocket, a parcel containing small quantities of such useful articles as medicine, tobacco, tea, sugar, etc. Those people who helped Sikkim Rocket experiment succeed included Chogyal Tashi Namgyal, CE Dudley, General Secretary to the Chogyal, Tashi Dadul Densapa, Private Secretary, Rai Sahib Faqir Chand Jali, the state engineer and F Williamson, British Political Officer.
This note on history of Philately in Sikkim shall not be completed without the mentioning of the Revenue Stamps of Sikkim that has been continuing prior to 1917. The oldest found cancellation on Sikkim Revenue Stamp dates back to 8th October 1928 dispatched from Mangan B.O to Gangtok. The central design of the stamp has the south-east face of Mt. Siniolchu, in the north of Gangtok. The Photograph was taken by Hoffmann in the illustration of Claude White’s book “Sikkim and Bhutan”.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Sikkim Postal History: Those early years - i


Postal envelope showing the Rangpo cancellation of 1909
Last year i read in one of the daily newspaper from Gangtok mentioning about the heritage status to be given to the Rangpo Post Office on being the second oldest post office in Sikkim. Truly, it is an appreciating gesture but how correct is it to give the year of establishment as 1927. I rushed through other newspapers that carried the story but i did not find any changes at the year of establishment. Surprisingly, myself being related to philately I felt I need to provide some input about Sikkim Postal History.
So how about this, I have a scan of postal envelopes with a clear postal cancellation of Rangpo that reads 9 October, 1909. So it makes a clear picture that Rangpo Post Office was set up prior to 1909. 
On similar account I read in the newspapers about Rhenock making bid for the first post office of Sikkim. I am not so sure about the old post offices; here I am taking about the houses in which post office was set up. But the information I have collected on the postal history of Sikkim says a different story. The old Post Office House at Rhenock may be old may be some 100 years old but how about a ‘Dak Ghar’ at Lingtam, though a vacant house today still gives a name ‘Dak Line’ to its adjoining surrounding.
Few years back, I had collected an article on Sikkim by Dipok Dey, an eminent name in world philatelist from Kolkata, who had over the years designed several Indian Postage Stamps and a United Nation Postage Stamp, which has few pages dedicated to the Postal History of Sikkim. He has mentioned references of five books for his article that include ‘From the Diary of Stephen Smith’ compiled by DN Jatia, ‘Postal History of Tibet’ by Arnold C Waterfall, ‘Sikkim and Bhutan’ by J Claude White, ‘The Post Office of India and its Story’ by Geoffrey Clarke and ‘The Postage Stamps of Tebet’ by HR Holmes.
Dey writes, it was the aftermath of the British Expedition 1888 that laid the foundation of the Postal History of Sikkim. The year 1888 saw the Britsh Expedition Force driving out the Tibetan forces beyond the Jalepla that led to the permanent stationing of the military escort at Gangtok. Thus, it was finally that a Post & Telegraph Office was set up in Gangtok.
With the advance of troops, a Post Office was opened at Dulapchin (now Dalapchand) that was later removed to Ranglichu (now Rongli). At the same time, other Post Offices were also opened at Gnatong, Sedonchin, Gangtok, Rhenock Bazaar and Pakyong.
Very little in known about the two earliest Post Offices but I have come in an auction site at internet of the selling of a East India Post Card used from Gnatong, Sikkim that was send to Bombay in the year 1889.
The website Invaluable.com states the description of the auctioned Post Card as “1889 (3 Dec.) 1/4a. brown stationery card from Private John Sullivan of the Connaught Rangers at Sikkim to Bombay, cancelled with a good strike of the " experimental po/c-7" c.d.s. and with Market Bombay arrival c.d.s. alongside; the contents requesting the addressee to send a catalogue to the writer at Sikkim; most unusual. The card with a couple of small faults though a rare item of mail from this obscure military operation.
It further writes in a Note: In 1886 the British Government discovered that, in contravention of a treaty with it, one had been signed by the Sikkim Rajah declaring Sikkim subject only to China and Tibet. In 1888 the Tibetans became aggressive, obstructing the Jelapla Road at Lintu. A Sikkim Expeditionary Force was dispatched in March and with the Tibetans defeated and pushed back to their own side of the frontier in October, active military operations ceased. A small force remained in Gnatong after the signing at Calcutta of an Anglo-Chinese convention
Three Experimental Post Offices accompanied the expeditionary force. After military operations ended Experimental Post Office C-7 was established at Gnatong.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Sikkim's first Philatelic Special Covers

An Inaugural Day Special Cover of Sikkimpex-82

An Award Day Special Cover of Sikkimpex-82
Despite associated with its postal history since 1861, the state of Sikkim lack in promotion of philately. A significant chapter of Sikkim Rocket Mail Experiment 1935 had different pioneering achievement in world philately today.  Till this date only four philatelic exhibition had been held in the state and the last one been held in 2008.
A little is known or read about the first philatelic competition that was held for three days at Gangtok during November 2-4, 1982. The exhibition was called “Sikkimpex-82” and inaugurated by Homi J.H. Taleyarkhan, then Governor of Sikkim. More than 30 stamps enthusiasts had took part in the exhibition. Two Special Covers with the illustrations of an orchid and a yak and a souvenir book was also released on the occasion
I here want to share a small anecdote that happened during the second Philatelic Exhibition that was held at Gangtok in 2002, exactly after twenty years. I was one of the 40 participants who took part in the exhibition and my first foray into the world of philately.
In a welcome speech, one of the officials of the Postal Department of Sikkim told that the exhibition was the first philatelic exhibition to be held at the Himalayan state of Sikkim but they had to accept their mistake when they were told that the first exhibition in Sikkim was held in 1982 and Mr. Ganesh Pradhan from Rhenock had exhibited the three special covers that was released then. A handful of these covers are still available with Mr. Ganesh Pradhan. Interestingly, I am happy to write that I had come across a certificate of Late Ganga Kaptan, Sikkim's first Nepali Novelist who had taken part at that competition. It gave me an immense pleasure that a legendary personality of Sikkim Nepali literature was a fan of stamp collection that we never knew.

Sunday, December 04, 2011

Depen Pradhan receives a Bronze in SINE 2011



Singtam: Deepen Pradhan from Rhenock has received a Bronze medal in recently held Stamps of India National Exhibition 2011 that was held at New Delhi from November 3-6. Deepen Pradhan won the bronze for his theme on ‘Pre Independence Indian Stamps’.
Ganesh Pradhan, President of Sikkim Philatelic Club in his message has congratulated Deepen Pradhan’s performance and had hoped that he will bring more laurels to the state in days to come too.  Due to 18/9 Sikkim Earthquake, Sikkim Philatlic Club had decided only to send 4 exhibits from Ganesh Pradhan, Shital Pradhan, Deepen Pradhan and Sristikaa Pradhan.