Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Cover from Kathmandu

Among the bunch of nice covers I received these last week, there was one coming from Nepal, posted from Kathmandu. It arrived in a bad shape, the left side was torn, the envelope being opened. Fortunately nothing was missing in the cover. Anyway I decided to share it with you today. Here it is.

The stamp located on the right has been issued on the 12th of April 2006. It is a part of set of 16 stamps about Orchids, a very popular subject on stamps ! The stamp pictures a bamboo orchid (Arundina graminifolia). This species of orchids can be found in India, Nepal, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, South China and Indonesia. The common name “bamboo orchid” comes from its thin, tall stem with alternating leaves that appears as bamboo.

Here is a picture of the souvenir sheet containing the 16 stamps of the set.

The second stamp was issued on the 2nd of April 2008. The stamp commemorates the golden jubilee of the diplomatic relations between Nepal and Germany. The stamp pictures the Dattatreya temple and the cathedral of Cologne.

The Dattatreya temple is located in Bhaktapur. It is a temple dedicated to three supreme gods of Hinduism : Brahma, Vishnu and Maheshwor (Shiwa). Its construction dates back to 1427 AD. It is a three stories temple that is said, according to the legend, to have been built form the stem of a single tree !
The choice of this temple to illustrate this stamp is a tribute to the on going cooperation with Germany in restoring cultural artefacts in the area of Bhaktapur.

The cathedral of Cologne is one of the largest churches of the world, being the largest Gothic church in Northern Europe. Its construction started in 1248 and was completed only in 1880 ! In 1996, this very beautiful cathedral was elected as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The stamp also pictures the flags from Germany and from Nepal to symbolize the relations between both countries. Nepal is the only country that has a national flag which is not rectangular ! In fact the flag is a combination of two single pennants from different branches of the previous rulers. The red colour of the flag is the colour of the rhododendron, the national flower of Nepal. The blue border symbolizes peace, whereas the crescent symbolizes the royal house, and the sun the Rana families, who were prime ministers until 1961. This flag was adopted in 1962. To be noted that before 1962, the crescent and the sun had human faces.

Surprisingly, I do not think that this stamp is a part of a joint issue with Germany, I did not find the German counterpart.

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