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Home > India@60 > Did you know

The world's highest post office!

September 20, 2007

When you live in a nation like India -- with its vast landmass, varied people and ancient history -- it's quite possible that there are many things you may not know about her.

In this series, we hope to satisfy your curiosity with interesting nuggets of information about India:

With 1,55,618 post offices and over 5,66,000 employees, India has the largest postal network in the world.

We can also boast of the world's highest post office, Hikkim (pin code 172114). Located at 15,500 feet, Hikkim is part of the Lahaul and Spiti district in Himachal Pradesh.

And, if you'd like to know about one more postal record, the world's first official airmail flight took place right here in India, on February 18, 1911. It was a journey that spanned 18 kilometres and lasted 27 minutes. Henri Pequet, a French pilot, ferried around 15 kilos of mail (approximately 6,000 letters and cards) across the Ganga, from Allahabad to Naini.

The journey was made in aid of charity, to help the Holy Trinity Church in Allahabad build a hostel.

A special postmark, First Aerial Post, was created for the event. Each mail had a surcharge of 6 annas.

Since the Purna Kumbh Mela was taking place at the same time, hundreds of thousands of Indians witnessed the flight.

Included in this historic airmail was a letter to King George V of England [Images]. His secretary wrote to Commander Sir Walter George Windham, who was also involved with the event, 'The King desires me to send you his thanks for the letter he received from India, bearing the inscription 'first aerial post,' which will be an interesting addition to His Majesty's stamp collection

Information courtesy Story Of The First Airmail, Wikipedia

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