Indian Railways in Postal Stamps (2000-2003).

Western Railway: Churchgate Building, Mumbai.

Churchgate building was originally the headquarters of Bombay, Baroda and Central India Railways (BB&CI), one amongst the famous railway companies in British India.

BB&CI was incorporated in 1855 to start a railway route from Surat to Bombay to ensure regular supply of cotton in Gujarat area.

The headquarters was originally located at Surat and later shifted to Mumbai Construction of the headquarters buildings at Churchgate was started in 1894 and completed in 1899 under the direction of Mr. Fedrick William Stevens.


The construction cost then was Rs. 750,000.

The tower of this building is square from the base up to 100 feet when it becomes octagonal and is surmounted by a circular dome.

 The building was an oriental character with facings of rough-hewn basalt inlaid with bands of Bassien sandstone and white stone dressings.

The dome looks like a Gothic Revival composition, as that is the structural language employed.

Date of Issue: 27.12.1999
Denomination: 1500p

100 years of Railways in Doon Valley

In the later half of nineteenth century, despite laying of railway line up to Hardwar and Saharanpur, access to the valley and the nearby Mussoorie hill station was extremely difficult on account of the steep Shivaliks skirting the valley from south east to north west. The tourists traveled up to Saharanpur by rail and used bullock or horse driven carts for Dehradun or up to Rajpur from where pones or dandies carried them to Mussoorie. Railway line between Hardwar and Dehradun was sanctioned on 18th November 1896. The contract for the construction and working of Hardwar-Dehra Railway between the Secretary of State and the Hardwar-Dehra Railway Company was signed on 26th March 1897. Land was made available free by the government. Work on the track and buildings was completed by early 1900 at a cost of about Rs.26 lakhs and the line was opened for traffic on 1st March 1900. Opening of railway led to prosperity of Dehradun. Mussoorie and its adjoining areas also gained substantially from the far easier access.

Date of Issue: 6.5.2000
Denomination: 1500 p
Overall Size: 4.05 x 4.80 cms
Printing Size: 3.60 x 4.40 cms
Number per Issue Sheet: 40
Colour: Multicolor
Perforation: 13.5 x 13.5
Paper: Matt Chromo
Printing Process: Photo Offset
Number Printed: 0.7 million
Designers/Printers: Calcutta Security Printers Ltd.

150 years of Railways in India.

The stamp
The miniature sheet

Railway have been a great integrating force in India for more than a century, particularly so after the attaining of independence in 1947. It has bound the economic life of the country and helped in accelerating the development of industry and helped in accelerating the development of industry and agriculture. It has brought together people from the farthest corners of the country and made possible the conduct of business, education, pilgrimage and tourism. The history of Railway in India began on 16th April 1853, when the first train steamed off from Boribunder to Thane, covering a distance of 34 Kilometers. From such a modest beginning, the Indian Railways have grown into a large network of about 7,000 stations spread over a route length of nearly 63,000 Kms. Today it is one of the largest organizations in the world, employing the work force of 16 lakhs. It provides the principal mode of transport for freight and passengers in India. The country observed an year long celebration in 2002-03 to mark the 150 anniversary of India's first train journey. The Depts. posts tried to capture the spirit of the vent with issue of commemorative stamp and the first miniature sheet in Indian railways. The design of the stamp and the miniature sheet tries to re-create the Indian landscape of 1853, with the first train chugging away in the distance, on its journey to Thane on the 16th of April.

Date of Issue: 16.4.2002
Denomination: 1500 p
Overall Size: 5.25 x 2.62 cms
Printing Size: 5.25 x 2.62 cms
Number per Issue Sheet: 27
Colour: Six color
Perforation: 13.5 x 13.5
Paper: Matt Chromo
Printing Process: Photo Offset
Number Printed: 3 million
Designers/Printers: Calcutta Security Printers Ltd.

100 years of Kalka Shimla railway.

The journey from Kalka to Shimla is absolutely out of this world. The toy train provides a breath-taking view of the Kushalya river, the moment it enters the foothills. On 9th November 1903, a 96 km. railway line was launched in the limestone and shale rocks of the Shivalik Hills after three years of dedicated labour. Laid on sharp curves, the line passes over 864 bridges and through 102 tunnels using a narrow gauge of two feet and six inches in deference to hill formation and gradient.

Nature unrolls its bounty as one travels. Gurgling brooks flowing down mountains, passing under the stone bridges; greenery and fragrances that live beyond photographs; clouds of mist gingerly touch the traveler. The train meanders through Kumarchatti, and then enters the Barog tunnel (1144 mts. Long) which crosses the Punchmunda ridge about 900 feet below the road. At Barog, it is mealtime on the morning trip. Though the English firm of 'Spencers' which built the restaurant at Barog is no longer there, the hospitality continues to live.

From Barog to Kandaghat, the train runs downhill, past beautiful and quaint retreats of Solan and Saloghra. At Shogi, a heartwarming view of the Chail Valley brings numerous anecdotes associated with a Prince from Punjab. Banished from English society at Shimla, he built for himself a palace at Chail, a nearby resort. Past Taradevi, the railway takes one under Prospect Hill to Jutogh, winding its way like a naughty current of air teasing, till it pauses at Summer Hill. Finally, under the Inverarm Hill, one emerges like a happy child at Shimla.

Date of Issue: 9.11.2003
Denomination: 500 p
Overall Size: 2.9 x 3.91 cms
Printing Size: 2.9 x 3.91 cms
Number per Issue Sheet: 50
Colour: Four color
Perforation: 13 x 13
Paper: Imported unwatermark stamp paper
Printing Process: Photo Offset
Number Printed: 3 million
Designers/Printers: Eagle Press Pvt.Ltd.

Kalia Bhomora Bridge.

The River Brahmaputra has remained a technical challenge for decades due to its ferocity and magnitude along with most unpredictable behavior. The first ever bridge across the Brahmaputra was constructed by the Indian Railways in 1962 at Saraighat near Guwahati. Incidentally, Indian Railways on behalf of the North Eastern Council also constructed the second bridge. The bridge forms a part of the total schemes of providing a 23km-long link between National Highway #52 on the north bank and National Highway #37 on the south bank. The need for a second bridge across the Brahmaputra on its course of 920km in India was long felt from socio-economic considerations of the North Eastern States, which remained connected with the rest of the country only through the existing bridge at Saraighat. The North Eastern Council - an agency under the Ministry of Home Affairs, Govt. of India, sponsored the project in November 1975. After detailed studies, the project was finally commissioned in March 1979 by awar

ding the prestigious construction of the 3km-long bridge alongside a massive guide bund of 2km including a 1.7km river approach for Indian Railways - in recognition of the technical excellence of Railways in bridging all the major rivers of the country. The NE Railways Construction Organization took up this challenging task and physical work on the bridge started in October 1981. The bridge was completed in a record time of 64 months by working against all odds. KALIA BHOMORA after whom the bridge has been named was a prominent figure of the 18th century in the history of Assam. He was appointed as autonomous Governor, called Bar Phukan in Guwahati. He fought several battles to crush rebellions against the Ahom Kings.

He organized and trained armies to a high level of war skill. Apart from being an efficient General and an able administrator he made outstanding contribution to religion and public welfare. He had conceived a plan to build a bridge across the river Brahmaputra at Bhomoraguri, near Tezpur. He made advanced preparations for the actual construction of the bridge. Even today large sal wood logs and other material for the construction of the bridge can be found in this area. The site of the modern bridge inauguration was the same as that chosen by Kalia Bhomora.

The 200p multicolor stamp shows an over view of the Kalia Bhomora Bridge across the Brahmaputra river in Tezpur.

Date of Issue: 14.4.1987
Denomination: 200 p

Kirloskar Centenary.

The Kirloskar story began in 1888 when Laxmanrao Kirloskar set up a small bicycle repair shop at Belgaum. Laxanrao and his brothers set up a model industrial colony called 'Kirloskravadi'. Their new company 'Kirloskar Brothers Limited' was the parent of all the 26 companies that flourish under the Kirloskar banner today. The end of World War II brought a tremendous upsurge of industrial activity under Laxmanrao's eldest son 'S.L.'. Kirloskar Electric Company Limited at Bangalore, and Kirloskar Oil Engines Limited at Pune were established in 1946, the latter was in collaboration with U.K based Associated British Oil Engines Export Ltd., the first instance of an Indo-Foreign collaboration. Next came Kirloskar Pneumatic Company Limited (1958) and Kirloskar Cummins Limited (1962) both at Pune. The latter won a citation from Lloyd's Register of Shipping.

Later the Kirloskar diversified into industrial consultancy and five star hotels among other activities. Today the Group's annual sales exceed Rs. 700 crores. It has been a long march from a small shed to 26 powerful units, from a work force of four to over 20,000 employees- the Kirloskars have kept pace with India's march to freedom, to self-sufficiency, to export around the globe, and contributing to the country's core industries such as defence, power generation, oil and gas, agriculture, steel, coal and mining, railways and transportation. The Kirloskars describe themselves as 'businessmen engaged in winning freedom and prosperity for our country through our chosen method - engineering excellence'.

Date of Issue: 20.6.1989
Denomination: 100 p

Sayaji Rao Gaekwad III.

Sayaji Rao Gaekwad III (1863-1939) was born on 11th march, 1863, in a village in the Nashik District of the then Bombay Presidency. Originally named Gopalrao, he, with his two brothers, went to a dilapidated primary school, the only one in the village. At the age of 13, the Dowager Maharani of Baroda State adopted him. He was re-named Sayaji Rao Gaekwad III and put through a crash program to prepare him for his life as a ruler. Almost from the word go, Sayajirao was in conflict with the British, having continuous and longstanding verbal and written disputes with the British Residents.

On assuming the reins of Government, some of his first tasks included education of his subjects, upliftment of the downtrodden, judicial, agricultural and social reforms, building a network of railways to connect areas of his dispersed territories. His educational and social reforms included, along others, ban on child marriage, legislation of divorce, removal of untouchability, spread of education development of Sanskrit and ideological studies, religious education, encouragement of fine arts and his total commitment to free and compulsory primary education, which placed his territory far in advance of contemporary British India. Fully aware of the fact that he was a Maratha ruler of Gujarat, he identified himself with the people and developed their cosmopolitan attitude and progressive, reformist zeal. His rich library became the nucleus of today's Central Library of Baroda.

He was the first Indian Ruler to introduce, in 1906, compulsory and free primary education in his State. Though a prince of a native state, an admirer of the English people and in many respects of the English rule in India, he jealously guarded his rights and status even at the cost of annoyance to the Indian Government. The English bureaucracy considered him a 'Patron of Sedition' as he talked to his countrymen on love of the country, Swadeshi, Indian heritage and the need for political reforms. After a long and eventful rule of 63 years, Sayajirao Gaekwad III died on 6th February 1939.

Date of Issue: 6.10.1989
Denomination: 60 p

Madhavrao Scindia.

Madhavrao Scindia, the only son of Jiwajirao and Vijayaraje Scindia, was born on March 10, 1945. He did his higher studies in the United Kingdom, before entering the public life at the age of 25. He rose to serve in the Union Council of Ministers and held various important portfolios. As Minister of Railways, turning it to be a 'golden era', he introduced superfast short distance passenger trains like the Shatabdi Express and also undertook great efforts to computerize rail reservations and booking. As Minister of Civil Aviation and Tourism, he opened up the Indian skies for the private airlines and provided new destinations for the Indian tourists. In his brief tenure as the Minister of Human Resource Development, he outlined bold proposals to increase budget allocations for primary education and to set up the National Cultural Fund. He was deeply committed to the cause of education, more particularly the education of girls.

Madhavrao Scindia also served as the Deputy Leader of Opposition in Parliament. He excelled in all the fields where he remained and left shining examples for others to follow. He had been the Chairman of the Committee on Science and Technology during 1990-91. His special area of interest, apart from education, was wildlife preservation and development of sports, cricket and golf in particular. He was the President of the Board of Control for Cricket in India during 1990-93. The country lost a great aspiring leader, to untimely death in a plane crash near Kanpur, at the age of 56 years.

Date of Issue: 10.3.2005
Denomination: 500 p

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