Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Postal card from India

I recently received a cover containing some stamps from India. In order to stiffen the envelope the sender had used a piece of cardboard, so that the stamps do not get bent during the transport. In fact this piece of cardboard is a postal stationery, a postal card that I found quite interesting. Here it is (the actual colour of the card is yellow, I do not know why it turned pinkish on the scan).
The other side of the card is blank, there is no picture or no illustration. The first thing I noticed was the ad near the franking : “Philately king of hobbies - Collect India Postage stamps – Contact nearest philatelic bureau”, reusing part of the famous “Philately king of hobbies and hobby of kings”. Now let’s have a closer look to the printed stamp. Here is a zoom.

I do not know if this is the design of an actual postage stamp, or if it exists only on this type of postcards. The stamp refers to “Rock cut Rathas Mahabalipuram”. I had no idea what it was, and thanks to the Internet (thank you Google !) I could find out more information. First of all Mahabalipuram is the name of an Indian city. In this city you can see the Rathas of Mahabalipuram, also called the “seven pagodas”. These are small replicas of actual temples that have been sculpted out of a monolithic rock (hence the “rock cut” reference on the stamp). The rathas are not very large, the biggest measuring 42 feet by 35 feet, and the tallest is 40 feet high. They are, in every details, exact reproduction of temples that would be built later. They were a sort of experiment before the construction of the actual temples. I saw some pictures and they are effectively very nice.

Funny to see how a small piece of cardboard used to stiffen an envelope made me travel through time and space, only using my computer and a search engine.

1 comment:

Velu said...

Hi there.

Nice blog.

About the postcards, The word "Rath" in Hindi means "Chariot". These are seven chariots which are drawn by elephants.

Also I'm not sure how to put links here, but the indian postal dept has come out with meghdoot cards which are for just 25 paise. Check out the following link of the postal dept.:

I wrote about it here:

Cheers again. Keep up the good work & let me know if you need some stamps. :)