History & Culture

Postal services in Jammu: Then

Jammu Postal Services: which started as Imperial services in 1891 has been connecting Jammuties with their loved ones and the world outside. We all are acquainted with its old building at Pacca Danga. However not many people are aware of the fact that it started its functioning (during the reign of Maharaja Pratap Singh) from a building belonging to Dewan Badrinath at Darbargarh where Vidya Peeth school came to be housed later. Its first postmaster was Guaranditta Mal. Later on the same was shifted to a new building at Pucca Danga.A building git built by Sardar Khem Chand who was household-in-charge of Maharaja
Before the partition of India, the administrative control of the post office laid with Sialkot Postal Divisional Superintendent who was under the Punjab P&T Circle with headquarters at Lahore. After partition the same came under Punjab P&T circle located at Ambala. Later on a separate Kashmir Postal Division came up which has now become Jammu and Kashmir Postal Circle.
Before the establishment of this Imperial Post office in Jammu in 1891, the state had its own postal communications system within the state and the Post office at Jammu was the key post office in the system. A postal evidence of Jammu and Kashmir State bearing an inscription in Devnagri script shows that Jammu Post Office of the state existed in 1859.
It reads as: Shri Raghunathji Sahay, Dak Khaana,Jambu Samvat 1916.
There was a mail line between Jammu and Srinagar via Banihal which was manned by 75 postal runners with 38 Dak Chowkis enroute. These runners used to cover the distance in 100 to 140 hours. They received salary of two and half rupees a month. The mail usually consisted of official letters along with some private ones. It is said that the rate for private letters was half an anna for a quarter tola letter and one anna for letter weighing between a quarter tola and one tola and one anna for every additional.

…..History Beyond Classroom

 

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