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News : February 2016
New Series of ‘My Stamp’ on ‘Gateway of India, Mahabodhi Temple and Sun Temple Konark’ – 29th February 2016.
India Post has released new series of My Stamp on three different themes of Gateway of India, Mahabodhi Temple and Sun Temple Konark. These My Stamp sheets were made available at New Delhi on 29th February 2016. All three My Stamp sheets have been printed at Security Printing Press, Hyderabad.
Regional meeting of Philatelic Congress of India, Seminar on Thematic Philately and Governing Council meeting at Jaipur - 28th February 2016.
Regional Meeting of Philatelic Congress of India was held at Rotary Hall, Opp. St Xavier's College, Church Road, Off M. I. Road, Jaipur on 28th February 2016. The event was hosted by Philatelic Society of Rajasthan. Shri Ajeet Singhee, President, Philatelic Congress of India chaired the meeting. Shri P. M. Bhargava, President, Philatelic Society of Rajasthan welcomed the members. The points and suggestions received from the members were discussed in the regional meeting.
On the occasion of Regional meeting and seminar on thematic philately a Special Cover on Philatelic Seminar, depicting Postage Stamps of the erstwhile Princely States of Rajputana and a Special Cancellation bearing the text "Stamp Collection / Preserve Heritage / Philatelic Seminar" was released by Lt. Col. Sri D. K. S. Chauhan, Chief Postmaster General, Rajasthan Postal Circle.
A Stamp Booklet with the 'My Stamp', bearing logo of the Philatelic Congress of India was released by Sri Ajeet Singhee, President, PCI.
After the regional meeting a Seminar on Thematic Philately was conducted by Shri Rajesh Kumar Bagri, PCI – Thematic Chapter. Governing Council Meeting of Philatelic Congress was held in the afternoon.
Special cover on Golden Jubilee of The Statesman Vintage & Classic Car Rally 2016 – 28th February 2016.
The Statesman Vintage & Classic Car Rally is an annual vintage car rally in New Delhi and Kolkata and the oldest, continuously-run such event in India and the sub-continent. Started in the year 1964 in New Delhi, and brought to Kolkata in 1968 as The Statesman Vintage Car Rally, it is now known as The Statesman Vintage & Classic Car Rally. The main organiser of this event is The Statesman. The major attractions of the event are assembly of vintage and classic cars, followed by a drive through the city where cars are assessed for originality and performance on the road section; display of period and fancy dress; grand parade and live music.
The 50th Statesman rally was held in New Delhi on 28th February 2016. (Two rallies in intervening years did not take place, because of the 1971 war and the 1973 fuel crisis). Around a 100 vintage beauties including a 1938 Buick limousine, Cadillacs, Rolls Royces, Dodges, Jaguars, Chevrolet Impalas, a black Baby Austin of 1918, and VolksWagen Beetle rolled down the roads as part of the 50th edition of ‘The Statesman Vintage and Classic Car Rally’ that was flagged off by the Chief of Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal Arup Raha. The rally began at The Statesman House in Connaught Place and culminated at National Stadium where a prize distribution ceremony was held.
A Special Cover was released on 28th February 2016 on 50th The Statesman Vintage & Classic Car Rally 2016 at New Delhi. Special Cover was designed by philatelist of New Delhi Shri Vijay Seth for Statesman. (Special Cover approval no. Del/09/2016).
Special Cover on Muziris Heritage Project, First Phase inauguration – 27th February 2016.
Muziris was an ancient seaport and urban center in the Malabar Coast (Kerala) that dates from at least the 1st century BC, if not before it. Muziris has found mention in the bardic Sangam literature and a number of classical European historical sources. The port was a key to the trade between southern India and the Phoenicians, the Persians, the Egyptians, the Greeks and the Roman Empire. The important known commodities exported from Muziris were spices, semi-precious stones, pearls, diamonds, sapphires, Ivory, Chinese silk, Gangetic spikenard and tortoise shells. The exact location of Muziris is still not known to historians and archaeologists. It is generally speculated to be situated around present day Kodungallur, a town situated 18 miles north of Cochin.
The Government of Kerala has initiated the Muziris Heritage Project to reinstate the historical and cultural significance of the legendary port of Muziris. The region is dotted with numerous monuments of a bygone era that conjure up a vast and vivid past. The entire project is designed to involve and integrate the local community in all intended developmental initiatives. It is an ambitious project comprising the development works of Chennamangalam palaces, Cheraman Parambu, Synagogue and waterfront at North Paravur; a visitor's centre; a performance centre at Gothuruthu; a Museum at Pallipuram, and a Tourism reception facility at Pattanam. The project also envisages the conservation of archaeological monuments within 125 square kilometres spread across Thrissur and Ernakulam districts. This project is the largest conservation project in the country and the first green project of the Kerala government.
President of India Shri Pranab Mukherjee inaugurated the first phase of the Muziris Heritage Project at the International Research and Convention Centre, KKTM College, Kodungalloor, on 27th February 2016. On this occasion a Special Cover was released on First Phase inauguration of Muziris Heritage Project at Kodungallur (Special Cover approval no. KL-10/2016).
Courtesy: Sreejesh Krishnan, Thiruvananthapuram
Special Cover on 200 years of CMS College, Kottayam – 26th February 2016.
"The College Kotym" - the present C.M.S. College, Kottayam – was established in 1817 by the "Church Missionary Society" England, at the insistence of Colonel John Munroe, the then Diwan and Resident of Travancore with the generous patronage of the ruling royal family of Travancore. Rev. Benjamin Bailey, the first principal, and the other eminent educationists who followed him nurtured the college and set it on the road to becoming the pioneer in imparting modern education in this land.
The bicentenary celebrations of CMS College were inaugurated by Honb’le President Shri Pranab Mukherjee on 26th February 2016 at Kottayam. On the occasion a Special Cover on 200 years of CMS College, Kottayam, the country’s second oldest college was released by Honb’le President Shri Pranab Mukherjee in presence of Kerala Chief Postmaster General Shri A. N. Nanda (Special Cover approval No. KL-09/2016).
Courtesy: Sreejesh Krishnan, Thiruvananthapuram
My Cancellation – New Service launched by India Post.
After the launch of My Stamp in 2011, now India Post has launched ‘My Cancellation’ service which allows the customer to get a special cancellation with a special message for the specific occasion alongwith a personalized ‘My Stamp’. By introducing ‘My Cancellation’ service the Department of Posts is offering a chance to send letters with a personalised touch. As it is a special facility, My Cancellation will be available only for those who order a minimum of 100 sheets of My Stamp on the same theme. My Cancellation facility will be offered for Rs. 1,500.
First ever My Cancellation has been issued by Tamilnadu Postal Circle along with My Stamp to well-known stamp dealer and philatelist of Chennai Mr. V. Ethiraj on the occasion of wedding of his son Ramesh. My Stamp with a to-wed couple’s photo printed on it used on the well designed cover for wedding invitation has been provided special ‘My Cancellation’ on 1st January 2016. Mr. Ethiraj has sent wedding invitations to friends and philatelic fraternity in this specially made cover bearing My Stamp and My Cancellation by speed post with additional postage affixed on it.
Sontipex-2016, district level philatelic exhibition, Tezpur – 23rd – 24th February 2016.
Sonitpex-2016, A two days district level philatelic exhibition was inaugurated by Shri B. B. Dave, Chief Postmaster General, Assam Postal Circle on 23rd February 2016 at Tezpur. Two special covers were released on the occasion. One special cover on Swachch Bharat and another on the Brilliant Academy, Mangaldai (Mangaldoi).
Special Cover on Swachh Bharat Abhiyan – 23rd February 2016.
Swachh Bharat Abhiyan (Clean India Mission) is a national campaign by the Government of India, covering 4,041 statutory cities and towns, to clean the streets, roads and infrastructure of the country. The campaign was officially launched on 2 October 2014. It is India's biggest ever cleanliness drive and 3 million government employees and school and college students of India participated in this event. The government is aiming to achieve an Open-Defecation Free (ODF) India by 2 October 2019, the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi. Swachh Bharat was dream of Mahatma Gandhi which we have to achieve by 2019 with the help of public participation. A Special Cover was released on Swachh Bharat Abhiyan on 23rd February 2016 by Shri B. B. Dave, Chief Postmaster General, Assam Postal Circle in the presence of Vice Chancellor of Tezpur (Chief Guest), Director Brilliant Academy & Member of Jury Vishal Sanganeria & Sampat lal Sethi at Tezpur (Special Cover approval no. AS/01/2016). Special Cover was designed by Shri Vishal Sanganeria and was sponsored by Guwahati Philatelic Society.
Courtesy: Vishal Sanganeria, Guwahati
Special Cover on Mahamaham 2016 Mahathmiyam – 22nd February 2016.
Festivals are part and parcel of Hinduism and have been followed by the people for more than 1500 years. Every Indian festival is unique and has a built-in significance and meaning. The Mahamaham festival is celebrated every 12 years with great fanfare and is important to all devout Hindus, particularly elderly people. It occurs in the Tamil month of Masi (February–March) in the star of Magam. The theerthavari event is considered the most sacred to take a holy dip in the Mahamaham tank. From Astronomy point of view, when the planet Jupiter passes over Leo on the day of the festival, it is believed; it will bring all water bodies together and enrich the tank with minerals.
The nine-day Mahamaham festival, also known as the 'Kumbh Mela of the south', concluded at Kumbakonam on 22nd February 2016, with conduct of the most important event 'theerthavari', which is main feature of the festival. Ritual bath was given to the deities in the waters of 'Theerthavari' which was witnessed by lakhs of people. Deities from 12 Shiva temples were taken in a procession to the banks of the tank and pujas were performed before the Theerthavari was held.
To mark this occasion a Special Cover was released on Mahamaham Mahathiyam on 22nd February 2016 at Kumbakonam (Special Cover approval no. TN/10/2016). The special cover is priced at Rs. 100.
Special Cover on ALCAA EM School TIN Anniversary Celebrations – 20th February 2016.
During the Golden Jubilee Celebrations of Andhra Loyola College in 2003, Andhra Loyola College Alumni Association (ALCAA) under the dynamic leadership of Dr GV Mohan Prasad, along with many philanthropists, resolved unanimously to offer their alma mater a golden gift. The gift took shape in the form of ALCAA English Medium School at Vijayawada. The Andhra Loyola College Management permitted the use of some part of the College Campus facing Arul Nagar for a structure for the school to give free English-medium education to the children of the poor people of the locality. In 2005, ALCAA EM School came into existence. Present school building was inaugurated on 7th November 2010 for the children of below poverty line.
On the occasion of TIN Anniversary celebrations of the school a Special Cover was released on 20th February 2016 at Vijayawada (Special Cover approval No. AP/04/2016).
Courtesy: Sreejesh Krishnan, Thiruvananthapuram
Ribhopex-2016, Ri-bhoi district philatelic exhibition - 19th February 2016.
Ribhopex-2016, Ri-Bhoi district philatelic exhibition was organized by Meghalaya Postal Division at Durbar Hall, Nongpoh, Meghalaya on 19th February 2016.
Image Courtesy: Joy Justin Bongcher, Shillong
Special Cover on 25 Years of Taj Mahotsav – 18th February 2016.
‘Taj Mahotsav’ - This cultural bonanza was started in year 1992 and since then its grandeur has reached to greater heights. Held annually in the historic city of Agra (where lies the majestic Taj Mahal), the Taj Mahotsav is perhaps one of the most spectacular and celebrated events in Indian calender. Organized by Uttar Pradesh Tourism, this festival pays due respect to the matchless cultural heritage of the state and the country as a whole. One can see this event as a concise and compact representation of the Indian cultural diversity that is coated in the fabric of a 5,000 year old history and mythology.
Taj Mahotsav, one of the most eagerly awaited festivals, is being celebrated from 18th to 27th February this year at Shilpgram near the Eastern gate of “Taj Mahal". This 10 days long carnival is actually a vibrant platform that gives you information of India where you can find India’s rich arts, crafts, cultures, cuisine, dance and music. A large number of Indian and foreign tourists visits Agra and joins this festivity in the month of February. One of the objectives of this craft mela is to provide encouragement to the Artisans. It also makes available the magnificent work of art and craft at the most reasonable and authentic prices that are not inflated by high maintenance cost.
To commemorate 25 Years of Taj Mahotsav a Special Cover was released on 18th February 2016 at Agra (Special Cover approval no. UP/04/2016).
Special Cover on 3rd Academy Day of Rafi Ahmed Kidwai National Postal Academy (RAKNPA) – 18th February 2016.
Rafi Ahmed Kidwai National Postal Academy (RAKNPA) is the apex training institution of India Post. It was originally set up in the year 1977 as Postal Staff College India (PSCI). Initially the College functioned from Sanchar Bhavan and later from Dak Bhavan in Delhi. It was shifted to its present location in Ghaziabad in the year 1990. On 21st September 2011 it was renamed after Shri Rafi Ahmed Kidwai, the first Communication Minister of Independent India, a freedom fighter and one of the foremost nation builders of the post independence era as Rafi Ahmed Kidwai National Postal Academy (RAKNPA). The National Academy is entrusted with the task of imparting training to the officers of Indian Postal Service selected through Civil Services Examination conducted by the UPSC.
The 3rd Academy Day of RAKNPA was celebrated on 18th February 2016 on the 122nd birth anniversary of Late Rafi Ahmed Kidwai, the first Minister of Communications. On the occasion a Special Cover on Amaltas, the Golden Shower tree which is one of the most dominant trees in the campus was released at RAKNPA by Mrs. Kavery Banerjee, Secretary, Department of Posts and Shri P. K. Bisoi, Director, RAKNPA.
Golden Shower tree also known as Amaltas (Cassia fistula) and by other names, is a flowering plant in the family Fabaceae. The species is native to the Indian subcontinent and adjacent regions of Southeast Asia. It ranges from southern Pakistan eastward throughout India to Myanmar and Thailand and south to Sri Lanka. In ancient Tamil literature, it is called kondai and is closely associated with the Mullai (forest) region of Sangam landscape. It is the national tree of Thailand, and its flower is Thailand's national flower. It is also the state flower of Kerala in India and of immense importance amongst the Malayali population. It is a popular ornamental plant and is also used in herbal medicine.
Special Cover on Shree Bhagwan Rishabdev’s 108 feet tall monolithic statue’s Panchkalyanak and Mahamastakabhisheka mahotsav – 18th February 2016.
Mangi-Tungi in Nasik district of Maharashtra are two hills of Sahyadri ranges and are known for Jain pilgrimage "Shri Digambar Jain Siddhakshetra". There are many temples of Jain Tirthankaras located in this area. The place is also said to be related to Lord Rama and Sita, Lord Krishna and his elder brother Balarama. There is a cave named Balbhadra cave where idols of Balarama and many others are installed.
A 108 feet standing idol of the first Tirthankar Bhagwan Shri Rishabhdev, which is the highest Jain idol in the world, is being carved from a single stone at the 2,500ft high hills of Mangi Tungi was installed on 11th February. This is also called "statue of ahimsa". The Shilapujan of statue was done in the year 2002 and the grand task was completed in the year 2015.
On the occasion of the Panchkalyanank Prartishtha and Mahamastakabhishek of newly installed 108 feet tall monolithic statue of Bhagwan Rishabhdev, a special cover was released on 18th February 2016 at a function held in the auspicious presence of Ganini Pramukh Pujya Aryika Gyanmati Mataji who had given an inspiration for the construction of this idol in 1996 and Bhattarak Ravindra Kirtiji Maharaj (Special Cover approval No. MH/13/2016).
Courtesy: Sudhir Jain, Satna | Shantilal Hiran, Nasik
New Series of ‘My Stamp’ on ‘Ellora Caves, Victoria Memorial and Ghats of Varanasi’ – 15th February 2016.
India Post has released new series of My Stamp on three different themes of Ellora Caves, Victoria Memorial and Ghats of Varanasi. These series was made available at New Delhi on 15th February 2016. Stamps on two My Stamp sheets depicts Ellora Caves and Victoria memorial respectively and two different stamps in se-tenant pair depicting night and day scenes of Ghats of Varanasi are featured in third sheet of Ghats of Varanasi.
Utsav-2016, 8th Delhi State Level Philatelic Exhibition - 15th - 17th February 2016.
Utsav-2016, 8th Delhi State Level Philatelic Exhibition was organized from 15th to 17th February, 2016 at National Science Centre, New Delhi. Exhibition was inaugurated by Shri Sanjeev Thapar, Member (PLI), Postal Services Board on 15th February, 2016. On the inaugural day of exhibition two special covers were released.
Special Cover on Greater One-horned Rhinoceros – 15th February 2016.
The greater one-horned rhino is the largest of the rhino species. Once found across the entire northern part of the Indian sub-continent, rhino populations were severely depleted as they were hunted for sport and killed as agricultural pests. This pushed the species very close to extinction in the early 20th century and by 1975 there were only 600 individuals surviving in the wild. Currently Greater One-horned Rhinos are found in India and Nepal and their population is around 2500.
The greater one-horned rhino is identified by a single black horn about 8-25 inches long and a grey-brown hide with skin folds, which give it an armor-plated appearance. Greater one-horned rhinos are solitary creatures, except when sub-adults or adult males gather at wallows or to graze. Males have loosely defined home ranges that are not well defended and often overlap. They are primarily grazers, with a diet consisting almost entirely of grasses as well as leaves, branches of shrubs and trees, fruit and aquatic plants. The greater one-horned rhino are good swimmers and can dive and feed underwater. The Mughal emperors of South Asia used the Greater one-horned rhino in fights against elephants as entertainment. The rhinos would often win. Thankfully, this sport is no longer practiced or permitted.
Special Cover on Asian Elephant – 15th February 2016.
Elephants have been revered for centuries in Asia where they play an important role in culture, religion and ecosystems. The Asian or Asiatic elephant (Elephas maximus) is the only living species of the genus Elephas and is distributed in Southeast Asia from India in the west to Borneo in the east. Three subspecies are recognised—E. m. maximus from Sri Lanka, the E. m. indicus from mainland Asia, and E. m. sumatranus from the island of Sumatra. Asian elephants are the largest living land animals in Asia. Since 1986, E. maximus has been listed as endangered by IUCN as the population has declined by at least 50% over the last three generations, estimated to be 60–75 years. Asian elephants are primarily threatened by degradation, fragmentation and loss of habitat, and poaching. In 2003, the wild population was estimated at between 41,410 and 52,345 individuals. Female captive elephants have lived beyond 60 years when kept in semi-natural surroundings, such as forest camps. In zoos, elephants die at a much younger age and are declining due to a low birth and high death rate.
Special Covers on Greater One-horned Rhinoceros and Asian Elephant were released by Shri Sanjeev Thapar, Member (PLI), Postal Services Board on 15th February 2016.
Special Cover on National Science Centre – 16th February 2016.
The National Science Centre, Delhi is a unit of the National Council of Science Museums (NCSM), which is an autonomous body under the Ministry of Culture of the Government of India. It is a pioneering institute engaged in the popularisation of science among the people of the northern part of India in general and among the students in particular. It was inaugurated on the 9th of January 1992 by the then Prime Minister of India. Since opening, the Centre has rendered yeoman service to the cause of science popularisation.
Special Cover on National Science Centre was released on 16th February 2016 at Utsav-2016 exhibition at New Delhi.
Two Special Covers were released during the closing ceremony of Utsav-2016 philatelic exhibition. One on “Agrasen ki Baoli” and another on“Birla Mandir” to celebrate the rich architectural heritage of Delhi. Both the special covers were release by Member (Operations) Shri T. Murthy and other dignitaries present.
Special Cover on National Heritage Maharaja Agrasen ki Baoli – 17th February 2016.
Ancient Indians used to build water temples as well as earliest forms of step wells and reservoirs. Agrasen ki Baoli (also known as Agar Sain ki Baoli or Ugrasen ki Baoli) is among a few of its kind in Delhi, consisting of 103 steps made of red stone. The Baoli is an unique blend of architecture with an impressive design known to have existed centuries ago. The stone walls of the Baoli, dressed with inventive designs with a series of arched structure are grim and desolate, but still beautiful. The Baoli was originally built by Maharaja Agrasen, in the Mahabharat era, and later rebuilt by the Agrawal community in the 14th century, most probably during the Tughlaq period. It is located on Hailey Road near Cannought Place in Delhi in the vicinity of Jantar Mantar. Agrasen ki Baoli is designated as protected monument by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act of 1958.
Special Cover on Shri Lakshmi Narayan Temple (Birla Mandir) – 17th February 2016.
Laxmi Narayan Temple, also known as Birla Mandir, is one of Delhi's major temples and a major tourist attraction. Built by the industrialst Sh. Jugal Kishore Birla in 1939, this beautiful temple is located in the west of Connaught Place. The temple is dedicated to Laxmi (the goddess of prosperity) and Narayana (The preserver). The temple was inaugurated by Mahatma Gandhi on 18th March 1939, on the condition that people of all castes will be allowed to enter the temple.
Courtesy: Sreejesh Krishnan, Thiruvananthapuram
District Level Philatelic Exhibition at Giridih – 15th and 16th February 2016.
A district level philatelic exhibition was held at Giridih (Jharkhand) by Department of Posts on 15th and 16th February 2016. On this occasion four special covers were released.
Special Cover on Sir Jagadish Chandra Bose – 15th February 2016.
Sir Jagadish Chandra Bose was born on 30th November, 1858 at Bikrampur (Now in Bangaldesh). He studied at local Hare School, St. Xavier’s College, Kolkata and Cambridge University, London. He was a Physicist, Biologist, Bio-Physicist, Botanist, Archeologist as well as a writer of Science fiction. He became world famous for his invention of Cresco-graph, which showed life and feelings in plants. Giridih has been his work place, where many experiments have been conducted in “Shanti Bhawan” which has now been declared as memorial. There is one locked iron chest here which is said to be of Sir J. C. Bose. It may contain many of his secrets. Here he breathed his last on 23rd November, 1937. To commemorate Sir Jagadish Chandra Bose a Special Cover was released (Special Cover approval no. JH/01/2016).
Special Cover on Swach Jharkhand – 15th February 2016.
“Cleanliness is Godliness”, Mahatma Gandhi had said “Sanitation is more important than independence”. Government of India has launched Swach Bharat Mission on the occasion of 145th Birth Anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi on 2nd October 2014 at Rajghat, New Delhi. The Government has declared to make the country fully clean by 2nd October 2019. The Government of Jharkhand has also decided to give incentive of Rs. 12000/- on construction and utilization of toilets in the state. A target has been fixed to make Giridih open defecation free by 2019. To commemorate this mission a Special Cover was released (Special Cover approval no. JH/02/2016).
Special Cover on B.N. Saha D.A.V. Public School, Giridih - 16th February 2016.
The B. N. Saha DAV Public School, Giridih (Jharkahand) was established on 16th April 1988. It is co-ed School affiliated to Central Board of Secondary Education, New Delhi and imparts quality education to 5000 students from standard I to XII. The school is run with the inspirations, thoughts and teachings of Maharshi Dayanand Saraswathi which has been helping the students develop a sound moral character and healthy mind along with academic excellence. A Special Cover was released on 16th February 2016 to commemorate the School (Special Cover approval no. JH/03/2016).
Special Cover on Shri Kabir Gyan Mandir, Giridih – 16th February 2016.
Sadguru Ma Gyan (Sadhwi Gyananand ji) established Sri Kabir Gyan mandir in 1985 st Sirsiya, Giridih (jharkhand). Kabir Gyan Mandir is popular as a home of Mother Gyan, a disciple of Shri Vivek Prabhujee. There are precious ‘Bhittichitra’ and elegant paintings based on important events and preaching related to the life of Sadguru Kabir Saheb in the Mandir. Continuous and uninterrupted social services and programme (like distribution of food, cloth, blood donation and free medical camp) keep going in this Mandir. A special cover was released to commemorate the temple (Special Cover Approval No. JH/04/2016.)
Courtesy: Sreejesh Krishnan, Thiruvananthapuram
Special Cover on Archbishop Benedict Mar Gregorios Birth Centenary – 15th February 2016.
Archbishop Benedict Mar Gregorios (b. 1 February 1916 – d. 10 October 1994) was the second Metropolitan Archbishop of the Syro-Malankara Catholic Church. Mar Gregorios or "Thangalathil Thirumeni" was born and raised in the Malankara Jacobite Church. He was baptised by the name Varghese. As a teenage boy Varghese came closer to the ideal of Bethany Ashram. He was attracted by the personality of Archbishop Geevarghese Mar Ivanios and later became a member of Bethany Ashram and adopted the name Benedict. He studied Philosophy and Theology at Papal Seminary, Kandy, Sri Lanka. He was ordained a religious priest of Bethany Ashram by Archbishop Mar Ivanios in 1944. As a dynamic young priest he taught Syriac for some time in St. Aloysius Seminary, Trivandrum. He was sent for higher studies in Economics to St. Joseph's College, Trichy (1946–1949). He became the first principal of Mar Ivanios College. He was appointed Bishop in 1952 and consecrated in January 1953. He received the name Benedict Mar Gregorios. After the demise of Archbishop Mar Ivanios he became the second Metropolitan Archbishop of the Syro-Malankara Catholic Church in 1955.
The Vice President, Shri M. Hamid Ansari inaugurated the Birth Centenary Celebrations of His Grace Most Rev. Dr. Benedict Mar Gregorios, in New Delhi on 15th February, 2016. On the occasion a Special Cover was released by the Union Minister for Minority Affairs, Dr. Najma A. Heptulla to mark the Birth Centenary of Archbishop Benedict Mar Gregorios at New Delhi.
Courtesy: Sreejesh Krishnan, Thiruvananthapuram | PIB
Special Covers on 112 years of City Union Bank and 2016 Mahamaham Celebrations - 15th February 2016.
City Union Bank was originally incorporated as The Kumbakonam Bank Limited, a limited company on 31st October, 1904. The first Memorandum of Association was signed by twenty devoted and prominent citizens of Kumbakonam. The bank in the beginning preferred the role of a regional bank and slowly but steadily built for itself a place in the Delta District Thanjavur. The first Branch of the Bank was opened at Mannargudi on 24th January 1930. Thereafter, branches were opened at Nagapattinam, Sannanallur, Ayyampet, Tirukattupalli, Tiruvarur, Manapparai, Mayuram and Porayar within a span of twenty five years. The Bank was included in the Second Schedule of Reserve Bank of India Act, 1934, on 22nd March 1945. The Bank celebrated its Golden Jubilee on 14th November, 1954 at Kumbakonam.
To mark 112 years of City Union Bank a Special Cover was released on 15th February 2016 at Kumbakonam (Special Cover approval no. TN-8/2016). Meghdoot Postcard on City Union Bank was also released on the occasion.
Mahamaham festival is celebrated once in twelve years at Kumbakonam in Tamilnadu is similar to the 'Kumbhmela' being held at Allahadad. Hindus consider taking a holy dip at the Mahamaham tank on the day of Mahamaham as sacred. This once in a 12 year gala event is being celebrated from 13th to 22nd February 2016. The Mahamaham tank is located in the heart of Kumbakonam town. It covers an area of 6.2 acres and is trapezoidal in shape. The tank is surrounded by 16 small Mandapams (shrines). Brahmatheerthesar, Mukunthar, Thalesar, Rishakesar, Umaipakesar, Nairuthesar, Brahmeesar, Gangatheerthesar and Seshtra Paleesar, are the names of deities located in these Mandapams. There are 21 wells inside the tank in the shape of small spring wells. Beginning the eastern side of the tank, there are 8 wells in the name of celestial deities namely Indra, Yama, Agani, Ninruthi, Vayu, Kubena and Isana respectively. In between the Vayu and Kubera wells, the ninth well is located called Brahma Theertham. Commencing from the north of Vayu Theertham, and ending to the little east of it, there are nine wells indicating the holy rivers of India, namely the Ganges, Yamuna, Godavari, Narmada, Saraswathi, Kaveri, Tungabatra, Krishna and Sarayu. At the centre of all these exists the Sixty-six crore theertham, believed to be the most sacred of all.
A Special Cover on 2016 Mahamaham Celebrations with a special cancellation depicting the sacred tank, its hallowed wells and mandapams was also released on 15th February 2016 (Special Cover approval no. TN-9/2016).
Both Special Covers and Meghdoot Postcard on City Union Bank were released by Kumbakonam Collector Shri N. Subbaiyan in the presence of Superintendent of Police Shri N.M. Mayilvahanan, Kumbakonam, Sub Collector Shri M. Govinda Rao, Postmaster General Shri S.K. Swain, City Union Bank Managing Director Shri N. Kamakoti, Chairman Shri . Balasubramanian, Chief Project Officer Shri S. Balasubramaniam and Municipal Chairperson Rathna Sekar.
Mahamaham Prasadam by Post.
India Post has entered into a tie-up arrangement with the Department of Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowment to make available Mahamaham theertham (sacred water) and prasadams to devotees through post offices all over India. Mahamaham - 2016 packets, containing the Mahamaham theertham, vibuthi, kumkum of 12 Siva temples and 5 Vaishnavaite temples located in and around Kumbakonam, sugar candies and a book on the history of Kumbakonam temples would be made available to the devotees under the arrangement.
The prasadam would be from the following temples: Sri Aadhi Kumbeswarar Temple, Sri Banapureeswarar Temple, Sri Sarangapani Temple, Sri Kasi Viswanathar Temple, Sri Aadhi Kambattaviswanathar Temple, Sri Nageswarar Temple, Sri Ekambareswarar Temple, Sri Ramasamy Temple, Sri Someswarar Temple, Sri Kodeeswarar Temple, Sri Rajagopalaswamy Temple, Sri Gowthameswarar Temple, Sri Kalahastheeswarar Temple, Sri Varagaperumal Temple, Sri Abimukeswarar Temple and Sri Amirthakalasanathan Temple.
Devotees can register their names and address for getting the packets through post offices by remitting Rs. 150 in any post office having e-payment facility all over India up to 29th February 2016. The prasadams would be despatched to the devotees, through registered parcel from 23rd February 2016 onwards. Biller ID for making e-payment is 6367 (HR&CE).
Special Cover on Mahamaham 2016 celebrations – 13th February 2016.
The Masimaham is an annual event that occurs in the Tamil month of Masi (February– March) in the star of Magam in Kumbakanom in Tamilnadu. Once in twelve years, when the planet Guru (Jupiter) enters Simha (Leo) sign a larger festival called Mahamaham (Kumbh Mela festival) is celebrated at Mahamaham tank located at Kumbakonam. Hindus consider taking a holy dip at the Mahamaham tank on the day of Mahamaham as sacred. Vast crowds gather at Kumbakonam to have a dip in the tank, along with saints and philosophers. All the rivers of India are believed to meet at the tank on this day and a purificatory bath at this tank on this day is considered equal to the combined dips in all the holy rivers of India Festival deities from all the temples in Kumbakonam arrive at the tank and at noon, all the deities bathe along with the devotees - it is called "Theerthavari". The purificatory bath is believed to remove sins and after the dip, pilgrims offer charitable gifts in the hope of being rewarded in the current life and subsequent lives.
The Mahamaham tank is located in the heart of Kumbakonam town. It covers an area of 6.2 acres and is trapezoidal in shape. The tank is surrounded by 16 small Mandapams (shrines) and has 21 wells inside the tank. The names of the wells carry the name of Lord Shiva or that of Rivers of India. The last Mahamaham was celebrated on March 6, 2004, with people from various places taking the holy dip in the Mahamaham tank. This once in a 12 year gala event is being celebrated from 13th to 22nd February 2016.
To commemorate Mahamaham 2016 celebrations a Special Cover was released on 13th February 2016 at Kumbakonam (Special Cover approval no. TN-7/2016).
Meghdoot Postcard (25 p.) with a picture of the Mahamaham tank to commemorate the event was also released on the occasion.
Special Cover on Silver Jubilee of Meenakshi Mission Hospital & Research Centre, Madurai – 13th February 2016.
Meenakshi Mission Hospital and Research Centre (S. R. Trust), started in the year 1990, has been delivering quality medical care to South Tamil Nadu and many countries abroad, for over twenty-five years. With over 800 beds, MMHRC has grown to be a multi-specialty hospital, touching lives in and around Madurai. S.R. Trust is a non-profit organization registered under the Indian Trust Act (May 9, 1985).
On the occasion of Silver Jubilee Celebration of Meenakshi Mission Hospital & Research Centre, Madurai a Special Cover was released on 13th February 2016 at Madurai (Special Cover approval no. TN/06/2016).
Courtesy: Sreejesh Krishnan, Thiruvananthapuram
Special Cover on Jal Mahotsav, Madhya Pradesh – 12th February 2016.
In Sanskrit, Narmada means 'the giver of pleasure'. And the river Narmada truly lives up to its name. Originating in Amarkantak, the river is 1300 km long and is also the longest East-West flowing river in India. The river is abode to the oldest known human fossils, world heritage sites and many important chapters in history. Earlier known as Rewa (which means 'A new beginning' in Sanskrit) and Mekalsuta, the river Narmada is now also popularly known as the lifeline of Madhya Pradesh. And this lifeline of the State is about to take a turn.
To celebrate the river that makes Madhya Pradesh what it is today Madhya Pradesh Tourism has organized a yearly mega event, first ‘Jal Mahotsav’ from 12th to 21st February 2016 at Hanuwantiya. The Madhya Pradesh government has developed Hanuwantiya Island, located in the reservoir of Indira Sagar Dam on river Narmada, as a tourism destination to promote water tourism in the state. This thrilling event will not only open new vistas of tourism in the state, but will also mark a new beginning in water tourism sector. Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shri Shivraj Singh Chouhan and Union Urban Development, Housing and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Shri Venkaiah Naidu inaugurated the 10-day mega water tourism event Jal-Mahotsav at Hanuwantiya tourist complex tent city on 12th February 2016.
A Special Cover on Jal Mahotsav was released by M.P. Chief Minister Shri Shivraj Singh Chouhan and Union Urban Development, Housing and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Shri Venkaiah Naidu on 12th February 2016 to commemorate first Jal Mahotsav and to celebrate the tourism at biggest manmade lake on backwaters of Narmada dam.
Special Cover on Golden Jubilee of Inner Wheel Club Madras – 11th February 2016.
International Inner Wheel Club is one of the largest women’s voluntary organizations dedicated to making a difference in the lives of less privileged women and children across the world. Inner Wheel was formed during 1923 by wives of Rotary Club Members in Manchester with the objective of supporting worthy service projects carried out by Rotary Clubs. Inner Wheel Clubs foster friendship as their guiding philosophy.
Barbara Kelly Home is a key project of Inner Wheel Club of Madras (IWC) aims at providing girls of single parents a new lease of life. Located at Shollinganallur, the Home provides such girls food, clothing, shelter and education so that they stand on their own two feet. Success stories abound and some girls have completed computer engineering, now well placed with leading info – tech companies. IWC of Madras imparts vocational training in tailoring for women at Triplicane and also runs a “Balwadi” for children in Nungambakkam.
To mark the Golden Jubilee of Inner Wheel Club Madras a Special Cover was released by Shri Mervin Alexander, Postmaster General, Chennai City Region in presence of Mrs. Charlotte De Vos, International Inner Wheel President and Mrs. Mamta Agarwal, Association President, Inner Wheel Clubs and Seema Bhargava, IWC District Chairman at the function held on 11th February 2016 at The Westin, Chennai (Special Cover approval no. TN/05/2016).
Courtesy: Sreejesh Krishnan, Thiruvananthapuram
Gunturpex-2016, Guntur District Level Philatelic Exhibition – 8th – 9th February 2016.
A Guntur district level philatelic exhibition was organized at Balaji Kalyana Mandapam, Sri Venkateswaraswamy temple, Brundavan Gardens, Guntur on 8th and 9th February 2016. The exhibition was inaugurated by Divisional Railway Manager, Guntur, Shri Vijay Sharma. Philatelic Workshop was also organized with the support of Guntur Numismatic and Philatelic Society. Philatelic Quiz competition, Letter Writing and Drawing Competitions were also organized for school children.
On the inaugural day two Special Covers on Guntur Chillies and Undavalli caves were released by DRM, Guntur, Shri Vijay Sharma in presence of Superintendent of Posts Shri D. Satyanarayana, Assistant Director, India Posts, Vijayawada, Shri Ansari and President of Sri Venkateswara Swamy Temple Committee, Ch. Mastanaiah (Special Cover approval nos. AP/02/2016, AP/03/2016).
Special Cover on Guntur Chillies (Guntur Mirchi) – 8th February 2016.
Guntur district is the main producer and exporter of most varieties of Chillies and chilli powder from India to countries like Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Middle East, South Korea, U.K. and USA & Latin America. Chilies have various colors and flavors because of the level of Capsaicin in them. Guntur chilies form an important part of curries and various popular dishes of the state of Andhra Pradesh. Guntur Sannam or Capsicum annuum var. Longhum, is one of the most famous types of chillies and has a huge demand throughout the world. It widely grows in Guntur district of Andhra Pradesh and Warangal, Khammam districts of Telangana state. It is well known as a commercial crop used as a condiment, culinary supplement or as a vegetable.
Special Cover on Undavalli caves – 8th February 2016.
The Undavalli Caves, a monolithic example of Indian rock-cut architecture and one of the finest testimonials to ancient viswakarma sthapathis, are located in Undavalli of Guntur district of Andhra Pradesh. The caves are located 6 km south west from Vijayawada, 22 km north east of Guntur City.
These caves were carved out of solid sandstone on a hillside in the 4th to 5th centuries A.D. There are several caves and the best known largest one has four stories with a huge recreated statue of Vishnu in a reclining posture, sculpted from a single block of granite inside the second floor. Undavalli caves are an example of how many Buddhist artifacts and stupas in Andhra were converted into Hindu temples and deities. It was originally a Jain cave resembling the architecture of Udayagiri and Khandgiri. The main cave is one of the earliest examples of Gupta architecture, primarily primitive rock-cut monastery cells carved into the sandstone hills. Initially the caves were shaped as a Jain abode and the first floor abode still retains the Jain style; the vihara exhibits Jain monastics and includes tirthankara sculptures. This first level of the cave is a carved vihara and includes Buddhist art work. The site served as the Bhikkhu monastic complex during ancient period. The walls of the caves display sculptures carved by skilled craftsmen. The caves are associated with the Jain kings of 420 to 620 A.D.
Valedictory function was held on 9th February 2016. Prizes were awarded to first, second and third position winners of the exhibition by Director Postal Services, Vijayawada Region, Shri K. Somasundaram.
First Prize Winner: Ch. Lakshmi sarojini (Collection on Insects)
Second Prize Winner: V. Sai Krishna (Collection on Teluguvelugulu) (In photo receiving second prize)
Third Prize Winner: T. Bhanu Sai Sri (Collection on Reptiles)
Courtesy: V. Sai Krishna, Guntur | Sagi Srinivasraju, Hyderabad | The Hindu
New addition to 11th Definitive Series on ‘Makers of India’.
Department of Posts has issued one more definitive stamp in new 11th Definitive Series on ‘Makers of India’ in denomination of Rs. 5 depicting Lal Bahadur Shastri. This is 8th stamp in the denomination of Rs 5 in the 11th Definitive Series.
Special Cover on TB Bhagao, Zindagi Bachao – 6th February 2016.
Tuberculosis (TB) is a contagious and airborne disease, and ranks as the 2nd leading cause of death from a single infectious agent, after the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV). The incidence of TB has been steadily increasing in the country, with India having the highest burden of TB in the world; an estimated 20 lakh cases annually which accounts for one fifth of the global incidence of the disease. Lupin Laboratories along with the Rotary Club, Mumbai, Rotary District 3140 have joined hands for the anti-TB campaign to create awareness, detect and combat TB in Mumbai. Under this campaign, special TB camps are being set up across 150 Rotary clubs in Mumbai District of Rotary. TB Bhagao.. Zindagi Bachao… a major awareness and detention campaign of Rotary International District 3140 is to fight this menace. Phase 1 of TB Bhagao Campaign was started 13th September, 2015 with generous support of Lupin Laboratories and Club Members.
On the occasion of District Conference of RI District 3140 held on 6th and 7th February 2016 a Special Cover on TB Bhagao, Zindagi Bachao was released at Mumbai (Special Cover approval no. MH/12/2016).
Cover Courtesy: Suresh Rao, Bengaluru
International Fleet Review Special Issues.
Commemorative stamp on International Fleet Review was released by President of India Shri Pranab Mukherjee at Visakhapatnam on 6th February, 2016.
In addition to Commemorative Stamp, First Day Cover and Brochure, the Department of Posts has also released a booklet (folder) in commemoration of past President’s Fleet Reviews titled “AIKYA”. The booklet contains write ups, photographs and images of stamps brought out on the occasion of past President Fleet Reviews. The booklet was released by Member (Planning), Postal Services Board, Mr. Shekhar Kumar Sinha in presence of Mrs. Sharda Sampath, Postmaster General, Visakhapatnam, Mr. M. Sampath, Postmaster General, Vijaywada and Commodore Amit Vikram on 7th February 2016 at the function held at Visakhapatnam. The booklet is priced at Rs. 325 and can be obtained from Philatelic Bureau, Visakhapatnam.
A special pack consisting of first day cover, block of 4 stamps and a brochure was also released by Department of Posts. The Department of Posts had established two stalls, one at slipway jetty and another at IFR 2016 village in Visakhapatnam.
As a part of the various facilities organised for the participants of International Fleet Review 2016 (IFR-16), the Indian Navy in liaison with the Department of Posts extended the facility of ‘My Stamp’ at Visakhapatnam. New ‘My Stamp’ sheet on International Fleet Review depicting warship imprinted with ‘Indian Navy’ was released on 6th February at Visakhapatnam. My Stamp facility was made available at two ‘My Stamp’ stalls, one each at the IFR Village and hospitality centre (slipway jetty) and sheets were made available at the Special discounted price of Rs. 240.
Image Courtesy: The Hindu | Cdr. G Sri Ramarao, I.N. (Retd.), Visakhapatnam
Commemorative Stamp on International Fleet Review – 6th February 2016.
A Naval Fleet Review is a long-standing tradition followed by navies all over the world. It is a grand occasion when every operational ship is spruced up, proudly displaying its crest and its company in a spirit of loyalty and allegiance to its sovereign and the state. The idea of a Review was perhaps conceived as a show of naval might or an inspection of readiness for battle at sea. The Hon’ble President of India being the Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, once in his/her term, reviews the Indian Naval (IN) Fleet as part of the ‘President’s Fleet Review’ (PFR). This review aims at assuring the country of the Indian Navy’s preparedness, high morale and discipline. The Indian Navy is the fifth largest in the world, and was known as the Royal Indian Navy in the British Raj.
International Fleet Review (IFR) allows the host nation an occasion to display its maritime capabilities and the ‘bridges of friendship’ and trust it has built with other maritime nations. In India the last IFR was conducted in January 2001, off Mumbai with participation from 29 countries. International Fleet Review 2016 is an International Military Exercise hosted and conducted by Indian Navy on behalf of the President of India. Its objective is to enhance mutual trust and confidence with neighbouring navies by inviting their ships to participate in the event. The Indian Navy conducted the International Fleet Review 2016 at a larger scale from 4th to 8th February 2016, in Visakhapatnam. More than 100 warships from 50 countries, including the US, Russia, China, Japan, South Korea and Australia took part in the event at the Bay of Bengal to showcase naval combat readiness.
President of India Shri Pranab Mukherjee released commemorative stamp on the occasion of International Fleet Review 2016 jointly with Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, Union Defence Minister Shri Manohar Parrikar and other dignitaries at Visakhapatnam on 6th February, 2016.
Photo Courtesy: PIB
Punpex 2016, 3rd Punjab State Level Philatelic Exhibition - 6th to 9th February 2016.
Punpex 2016, 3rd Punjab State Level Philatelic Exhibition was inaugurated by the Adviser to the Administrator, UT, Chandigarh, Mr. Vijay Dev at DAV College, Sector 10, Chandigarh on 6th February 2016. Other dignitaries present at the inaugural function were Shri R. S. Dhaliwal, President, Chandigarh Group of Colleges, Shri B. C. Josan, Principal D. A. V. College, Chandigarh, Ms. Achla Bhatnagar, Chief Postmaster General, Punjab Postal Circle, Chandigarh, Ms. Manisha Bansal Badal, Director Postal Services (HQ), Ms. Meenakshi Yadav, Director Postal Services, Chandigarh Region and Ms. Radhika Dhir, SSPO, Chandigarh.
On the inaugural day three special cover and one carried cover was released.
Special Cover on DAV College, Chandigarh – 6th February 2016.
A Special Cover on DAV College, Chandigarh was released at Punpex-2016, Chandigarh.
DAV College situated in Sector 10, Chandigarh was founded in 1958. It is affiliated with Punjab University. DAV College is managed by the Dayanand Anglo-Vedic College Trust and Management Society, founded by Mahatma Hans Raj, and inspired by the visionary Swami Dayanand Saraswati, the doyen of the Arya Samaj who believed that, "True education consists in promoting knowledge, civilized manners, virtuous character, self-control and other moral qualities and in dispelling ignorance". The DAV movement, which started in 1886, aims to develop a scientific approach among the students, coupled with an understanding of their roots in the ancient Vedic Culture.
Special Cover on Chandigarh Group of Colleges, Jhanjeri – 6th February 2016.
Chandigarh Group of Colleges (CGC) Jhanjeri is the one of the best colleges in the North India, providing the best quality of education and various courses. Faculty of Engineering is offering B. Tech (Computer Science Engineering, Electronics and Communication Engineering, Mechanical Engineering and Civil Engineering) and M. Tech (courses in CSE, ECE). Faculty of Management has the courses for Bachelors’ and Masters’ degrees of BBA and MBA in Management. CGC also offers other courses like BCA (Bachelors in Computer Applications), B.Com (Professional), B. Sc (Agriculture) and B.Sc (Fashion Technology).
Special Cover on Punpex-2016 – 6th February 2016.
Third Special Cover was released bearing Logo of Punpex-2016 exhibition. Common special cancellation was provided on all three special covers.
Carried Cover on Indian Dak Runner (Bhartiya Dak Harkara) – 6th February 2016.
A Carried Cover on Indian Dak Runner was also released on the occasion. Covers were carried on foot by postal runner dressed in ancient Dak Harkara uniform from exhibition venue to delivery destination Chandigarh GPO (Special Cover approval no. PB/11/2016).
The Indian dak runners are predecessors of the postmen we see nowadays and were first appointed by the British Raj. In the early years, "Dak Runners" (Dak Harkara) were the embodiment of "Service before Self." They had to face all sorts of risks, hazards and hardships in carrying mails through jungles, terrains and deserts. In the process, they encountered wild animals, bandits and risked their lives. By evening they had to light a lantern for better visibility and to scare wild animals away but the journey to deliver messages did not stop. There were cases when the Runners on duty were carried away by tigers, drowned in flooded rivers, bitten by venomous snakes, buried in avalanche or murdered by robbers. The dak runners were not merely messengers, but reporters who brought important news from neighbouring villages. Their realm began where the roads ended. They had to cover miles of beaten path, cross rivers, climb mountains and sometimes traverse their own route to deliver the messages. They also played a vital role in the Indian independence movement.
Approx. 300 frames are showcased in the exhibition. My Stamp facility and philatelic counter are also set up at the exhibition. Stamp design competition and philatelic workshop were also organized on the inaugural day of exhibition.
Day : 2 : 07.02.2016
On second day of Punpex-2016 three special covers were released.
Special Cover on Butterflies of Chandigarh – 7th February 2016.
A Special Cover on Butterflies of Chandigarh was released on 7th February 2016 at Punpex-2016 to commemorate butterflies of Chandigarh.
Chandigarh is famous for the Butterfly Park located in Sector 26. The park is developed by the department of Forest and Wild life, U. T. Chandigarh and spread over an area of 7 acres with a meticulous landscaping. Special care has been taken to create a good habitat for butterflies. This park is full of vegetation with a variety of trees and shrubs. The park is having wonderful varieties of host plants for butterflies which include Ashoka, Salix, Mango, Citrus, Amla, Palm, Calotrpis and Capris, etc. Flowers and butterflies need each other. To meet this requirement a variety of flowering plants such as Marigold, Petunia, Lantana, Gazenia, Salvia, Dahlia and other species are also planted in the butterfly park.
Butterflies species found in Chandigarh are Common Mormon (Papilio polytes), Painted Lady (Vanessa cardui), Yellow Pansy (Precis hierta), Common Leopard (Phalanta phalantha), Blue Pansy (Junonia orithya), Red Pierrot (Talicada nyseus), Lime Butterfly (Papilio demoleus), Common Sailer (Nepris hylas), Peacock Pansy (Junonia almana), Common Jay (Graphium doson), Common Silverline (Cigaritis vulcanus) and many more.
Special Cover on Sukhna Wild Life Sanctuary, Chandigarh – 7th February 2016.
A Special Cover on Sukhna Wild Life Sanctuary was released at Punpex-2016.
Sukhna Wildlife Sanctuary near Chandigarh spreading over an area of 26 Sq. km. is situated at 1 Km. in the North-East of Sukhna Lake. It forms the part of Sukhna lake catchment area falling in Shivalik hills. Due to its ecological faunal, floral, geomorphological, natural and zoological significance for the purpose of protecting, propagating and developing wildlife and its environment the area was declared as wildlife sanctuary by Chandigarh Administration in a notification dated 6th March, 1998.
The resident mammalian species are sambar, spotted deer (chital), pangolin (anteater), wild boar, jackal, small Indian civet, jungle cat, porcupine, Hanuman langur, rhesus monkey, Indian hare, common mongoose, and three- striped palm squirrel. Prominent among the varieties of birds found in the forest area are peacock, red jungle fowl, grey partridge, cuckoos, night jars, golden oriole, kingfisher, swifts, hoopoes, hornbill, barbets, woodpeckers, rollers, barn owls, parrots, doves, jacanas, plovers, coots, hawks, geese, swan, ducks, grebes, black drongo, tree pie, jungle crow, bulbul, hill myna, koel, bee-eater, common myna etc. There are more than 250 varieties of birds in the sanctuary. The varieties of reptiles including snakes like cobra, rat snake, Common krait, Russell’s viper, Indian python and common monitor (Gho), freshwater turtle inhibits the Sanctuary. The wildlife inhabitant also houses wide variety of butterflies, moth, honey-bee and other micro-organisms in abundance.
Special Cover on Migratory Bird, Sukhna Lake, Chandigarh – 7th February 2016.
A Special Cover on Migratory Birds of Sukhna Lake was also released on 7th February 2016 at Punpex-2016.
Sukhna Lake in Chandigarh is a reservoir at the foothills of the Himalayas, the Shivalik hills. This 3 km² rainfed lake was created in 1958 by damming the Sukhna Choe, a seasonal stream coming down from the Shivalik Hills. Originally the seasonal flow entered the lake directly causing heavy siltation. The lake has been declared as a protected national wetland by the Government of India. Sukhna is a sanctuary for many exotic migratory birds like the Siberian duck, Storks, Cranes, Brahmi ducks, Common Pochards, Red-crested Pochards, grebes, geese, shell ducks, marsh ducks, diving ducks, rails, coots, stilts, hill kingfisher, mallard, pintail, cormorants, Siberian ducks and sandpipers during the winter months. Migratory birds from far away countries arrives at Sukhna Wildlife Sanctuary on their annual sojourn. The birds come here from Siberia, China, Afghanistan and the Himalayan region to escape the biting cold climate there.
Day : 3 : 08.02.2016
Three Special Covers were released on the third day of Punpex-2016 Exhibition on health awareness and campaigns.
Special Cover on ‘FIGHT THE BITE’ – 8th February 2016.
A Special Cover on the Campaign ‘FIGHT THE BITE - Let’s make the Chandigarh a dengue free city’ was released.
We all know that mosquitoes can spread serious diseases when they bite and there is currently No Cure and No Vaccine for mosquito-borne disease. The only way to protect yourself and your family is to avoid being bitten. “Fight the Bite,” is a public education campaign for preventing the spread of dengue fever. The Fight the Bite campaign is now used across the United States and in Canada, Europe and Asia.
Special Cover on ‘No Mosquito - No Malaria’ – 8th February 2016.
A Special Cover on awareness about Malaria with message ‘No Mosquito – No Malaria’ was released.
Mosquitoes are generally known as the sneaky pest that creeps up and bites, leaving you with an itchy bump on the surface of your skin. Malaria is an exceptionally harmful disease that causes infection within the red blood cells which can lead a human to endure headache, fever, and to coma. It is particularly prevalent in areas where mosquitoes are very widespread such as tropical regions. No Mosquito No Malaria is a comprehensive anti-malaria campaign run by various organizations in various cities to create awareness about the disease.
Special Cover on H1N1 Flu – 8th February 2016.
A Special Cover on awareness about H1N1 Flu, which is curable depicting easy ways to protect the family from H1N1 Swine Flu was released.
The H1N1 flu virus caused a world-wide pandemic in 2009. It was called “swine flu” because the virus was similar to those found in pigs. The H1N1 virus is currently a seasonal flu virus found in humans. It is a respiratory disease caused by influenza viruses that infect the respiratory tract of pigs and result in a barking cough, decreased appetite, nasal secretions, and listless behavior. Transmission of swine influenza viruses to humans is uncommon. However, the swine influenza virus can be transmitted to humans via contact with infected pigs or environments contaminated with swine influenza viruses. H1N1 flu exhibits two main surface antigens, H1 (hemagglutinin type 1) and N1 (neuraminidase type1). Treatment of H1N1 flu is largely supportive and consists of bedrest, increased fluid consumption, cough suppressants, and antipyretics and analgesics for fever and myalgias. Severe cases may require intravenous hydration and other supportive measures. Antiviral agents may also be considered for treatment or prophylaxis. The best treatment for influenza infections in humans is prevention by vaccination.
Day: 04: 09.02.2016
Special Cover on Thapar University, Patiala – 9th February 2016.
Thapar University, formerly known as Thapar Institute of Engineering and Technology, was founded in 1956 by Karam Chand Thapar and is situated in Patiala. It was granted full autonomy and the status of a university by the University Grants Commission in 1985. It was ranked #5 by the limited participation CSR-GHRDC Engineering Colleges Survey 2011. Thapar University is today considered among the leading privately managed engineering institutions of the country. National Assessment and Accreditation Council, an autonomous body funded by the UGC, has accredited Thapar University with 'A Grade'. On 24 November 2014, Thapar University signed an agreement with Trinity College, Dublin, as part of its efforts to impart global standard education at its campus in Patiala.
Special Cover on Netaji Subhas National Institute of Sports, Patiala – 9th February 2016.
Netaji Subhas National Institute of Sports commonly known as National Institute of Sports (NIS), is the Academic Wing of the Sports Authority of India (SAI) and Asia's largest Sports Institute located in city of Patiala. Founded in 1950, the Institute was renamed as Netaji Subhas National Institute of Sports in January 1973. Spread over 268 acres, NIS is housed in the palatial monumental building and sprawling lawns built by the erstwhile Maharaja of Patiala whose descendants dedicated this complex for the promotion of sports to the people of India. Several items of sports memorabilia, like a hass (doughnut-shaped exercise disc), weighing 95 kg, used by The Great Gama, for squats, and Major Dhyan Chand's gold medal from the 1928 Amsterdam Olympics, and PT Usha 1986 Seoul Asiad shoes, are housed at the National Institute of Sports Museum.
Covers Courtesy: Vipan Kumar Thakur, Chandigarh
Mappex-2016, 12th Madhya Pradesh State Level Philatelic Exhibition - 5th to 7th February 2016.
Mappex-2016, 12th Madhya Pradesh State Level Philatelic Exhibition inaugurated at Pritam Lal Dua Auditorium, Regal Chauraha, South Tukoganj, Tukoganj, Indore on 5th February 2016. Exhibition was inaugurated by Dr. R. S. Kureel, Vice Chancellor of Dr. B. R. Ambedkar University of Social Sciences in presence of Dr. D D Bhawalkar, Retired Sr. Scientist, Raja Ramanna Centre for Advanced Technology, Shri Ajay Kumar Roy, Postmaster General, Indore Region, Ms. Priti Agarwal, Director Postal Services, Indore and Mr. Dinesh Chandra Sharma, Member of Jury.
Two Special Covers and Six booklets were released on the inaugural day of exhibition.
Special Cover on Dr. B. R. Ambedkar University of Social Science, Mhow – 5th February 2016.
A Special Cover on Dr. B. R. Ambedkar University of Social Science was released by the dignitaries on the dais.
Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar University of Social Science, is the first university of Social Sciences in the country, dedicated to the memory and ideals of Bharat Ratna Dr. B.R. Ambedkar, was established by the Government of Madhya Pradesh at his birth place, Mhow on 14th November, 1988, to provide facilities for specialized teaching courses, research, extension, sensitization and training in Social Sciences with a focus on the problems of weaker sections including scheduled castes, scheduled tribes, other backward classes, minorities, women and children. It was established as Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar National Institute of Social Sciences. Now the institute has attained the status of the university and known as Dr. B. R. Ambedkar University of Social Science.
Special Cover on Unique Hathkargha (Handlooms) of Madhya Pradesh – 5th February 2016.
Another Special Cover on Unique Hathkargha (Handlooms) of Madhya Pradesh with actual specimens affixed on cover was also released.
Madhya Pradesh is the weaving hub of India’s finest handloom traditions and the art of handloom weaving and designing lies at the heart of Madhya Pradesh. Popularity of handlooms in Madhya Pradesh is due to the Chanderi, Maheshwari and other styles of weaving.
Chanderi is a small town in the high dry hills of North central Madhya Pradesh. It has been famous for its handlooms since the reign of the Scindia royal family. These chanderi sarees are produced from three kinds of fabric i.e. pure silk, chanderi cotton and silk cotton. The motifs woven are inspired from nature, such as birds, trees, flowers, fruits and heavenly bodies.
The beautiful Maheshwari sari, a favourite among women of all ages has got its name from Maheshwar, where it is made. This ancient town situated at the banks of river Narmada even finds mention in the Puranas as a place of great religious importance and is now also synonymous with the beautiful weaves created here with the motifs inspired by the local architecture and a striped Pallav.
Bagh printing is traditional handicraft printing work done in the remote areas of Bagh located in the Dhar district of Madhya Pradesh. The history of bagh block printing starts from 1962 when a group of weaver (Muslim khatri weavers) originally from Sindh (now in Pakistan), migrated from the nearby Manavar to Bagh village. Bagh prints have unique hand block printing, printed using vegetable dyes. Bagh prints are trendy, cool and comfortable cloth material. The fabric used originally was cotton, but now tassar, crepe, and silk are being used with excellent results.
Bhairongarh a tiny town near Ujjain, nestled on the banks of River Sipra in Madhya Pradesh, is famed for its elegant batik work with eloquent patterns/designs and contrasting colours. Batik is a method of creating patterns/ designs on a fabric using wax resist technique. The word ‘batik’ originates from the Jawanese (tic means to dot). It is a method of decorating the fabric by covering parts of it with molten wax and then dyeing it. While the wax portion retains the background, the remaining fabric gets dyed, creating contrasting designs on the fabric. Batik is created in various ways. While the screen-printing method involves a stencil, hand drawing requires a special pen. The scratch-and-starch resist is another method.
Six booklets on Women Empowerment, Dr. B. R. Ambedkar and Constitution of India, India’s Saviour’s, Dr. A. P. J. Abdul Kalam, Sachin Tendulkar and Charkha were released on the occasion.
Day: 2, 06.02.2016
On the second day of Mappex-2016 two special covers were released.
Special Cover on 109 years of National Insurance – 6th February 2016.
The country’s oldest non-life insurer National Insurance Company has completed 109 years. A Special Cover was released to mark 109 Glorious years of National Insurance Company at Mappex-2016, Indore on 6th February 2016.
in Kolkata on 5th December, 1906 to fulfill the nationalist aspiration for Swaraj. 66 years later, after nationalisation it was merged along with 21 foreign and 11 Indian companies to form National Insurance Company Ltd, one of the 4 subsidiaries of the Govt. owned General Insurance Corporation of India. It was also the first Indian insurance Company to enter into Strategic Alliances with the country’s largest Automobile manufacturer M/s Maruti and Two Wheeler major M/s. Hero Moto Corp and many others.
Special Cover on Police Training College, Indore – 6th February 2016.
A Special Cover on Police Training College, Indore was released on second day of Mappex-2016 at Indore.
Police Training College, Indore is the largest police training centre of Madhya Pradesh having capacity of 1500 trainees at a time. It's a centre of excellence for constables. The Police Training College predates country’s independence. It was used for the training of Holkar State’s army. It was designated as a training centre for police inspectors in 1948 and in July 2012 it was upgraded as Police Training College. More than 66 batches of nearly 15,000 inspectors have received training at the college. This is the only police training college in the state where male and female inspectors are imparted training side by side.
Day: 3, 07.02.2016
Special Cover on Simhasth Kumbh Mahaparv – 7th February 2016.
A Special Cover on Simhasth Kumbh Mahaparv was released on last day of Mappex-2016 at Indore.
Simhasth Kumbh Mahaparv is one of the four “Kumbh Melas” celebrated by largest spiritual gathering. Simhasth Kumbh Mahaparv is rejoiced by holy dip in the sacred river Kshipra in ancient and religious city Ujjain (Madhya Pradesh). Simhasth Kumbh Maha Parva is based on the celestial line-up of Planets and the Signs of the Zodiac, which occurs every 12 years. “Kumbh” in its literal English translation means “Pot”, which emerged from “Samudra Manthan” (Churning of the Ocean) between Gods and Devils. The term ‘Mela‘ signifies’Fair‘. Kumbh Mahaparv is held at four places in India – Haridwar, Prayag (Allahabad), Ujjain and Nasik. At Ujjain, Kumbh Mahaparv is specifically called “Simhasth Kumbh Mahaparv” because the Sun (in Sanskrit “Surya”) is in the zodiac Aries (“Mesh” in Sanskrit) and the Jupiter (“Brahaspati” in Sanskrit) is in the zodiac Leo (in Sanskrit “Simha”) when it takes place. There are ten unique and uncommon yogs which exist and facilitate the organizing of Simhasth Kumbh Mahaparv.
This time Simhasth Kumbh Mahaparv is going to take place from April 22nd to May 21st 2016 (in Sanskrit Chaitra Shukla Purnima – Vaishakha Shukla Purnima, Vikram Samvat 2073). The holy dip in river Kshipra is taken on the auspicious day at a defined time at which it is believed that ‘Nectar’ from ‘Kumbh’ was dropped in the pious river. It is believed that taking a dip in river Kshipra on this ocassion purifies the soul and overcomes all the sins.
Image Courtesy: Om Prakash Kedia, Indore
Special Cover on Platinum Jubilee Celebration of CSI Corely Higher Secondary School – 4th February 2016.
C.S.I. Corely Higher Secondary School, East Tambaram was started as Primary School by the Methodist Missionaries then it was upgraded as a middle school in the 1941. The school was named after a Methodist Missionary Prof. Ferrend Edward Corley who worked in Madras Christian College as a professor of history. In the academic year 1978 - 1979 the school was upgraded as a Higher Secondary School.
As a part of the platinum jubilee celebration of CSI Corley Higher Secondary School a Special Cover was released by Shri Mervin Alexander, Postmaster General, Chennai City Region on 4th February 2016. Shri M. Karikalan, Chairman, Tambaram Municipality and Shri Paul Dayanandan, Vice President, Diocese of Madras received the first special cover from Shri Mervin Alexander (Special Cover approval No. TN/04/2016).
Courtesy: Sreejesh Krishnan, Thiruvananthapuram
Special Cover on 12th South Asian Games 2016 – 2nd February 2016.
The 2016 South Asian Games, officially the XII South Asian Games, is a major multi-sport event which took place from 5 February to 16 February 2016 in Guwahati and Shillong. A total of 2,672 athletes competed in 226 events over 22 sports. Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi inaugurated the 2016 South Asian Games in Guwahati on 5th February 2016. India won 188 gold, 99 silver and 30 bronze medals.
In a curtain raiser for the 12th South Asian Games 2016, Union Minister of State for Sports and Youth Affairs Sarbananda Sonowal accompanied by Chief Minister Mukul Sangma and Sports and Youth Affairs Minister Zenith Sangma released a My Stamps and Special Cover on the 12th South Asian Games at the State Convention Centre, Shillong on 2nd February 2016 (Special Cover Approval No. NE/01/2016). The special cover features the image of “Tikhor” the baby Rhino, the official mascot of the games at Shillong (Special Cover approval no. NE/01/2016). Official mascot Tikhor the baby Rhino was unveiled on 19th December 2015 for the 2016 South Asian Games. According to the organising committee, Tikhor carries the message of Peace, Progress, and Prosperity in the South Asian region.This is in line with the official motto, "Play for Peace, Progress and Prosperity". Official Games jingle, “Ei Prithibi Ek Krirangan” (The world is a playground) by the legendary Bhupen Hazarika was also released on the occasion.
Covers Courtesy: Viswas Menon, Madikeri