India post issued a stamp on 3rd November 1989 featuring the ancient postal service of India, the Pigeon Post.
Pigeons – man’s closest companions – have been in his service since centuries. A pigeon is not just a pet or a decorative part of their houses, but are extremely helpful and useful. These delicate and handsome birds offer an extremely valuable service as a carrier of messages. Pigeons have a natural habit if returning to their homes after a flight.
This habit has been put to good use my man who trained them to carry mails. In India, the Pigeon Post is still an active part of the Postal Service. However, the state in India which has adopted maintained this type of communication system is the Orissa Post.
The Odisha Police Pigeon Service was started in 1946 when 200 pigeons were handed over to the state’s police personnel by the army on an experimental basis to communicate in remote areas with no wireless or telephone links.
First started in the mountainous Koraput district, this ancient system of sending missives was later introduced in all districts. Soon after, the Police Pigeon Service’s headquarters was established in Cuttack where a breeding center for Belgian Homer pigeons was set up.
Interestingly, on April 13, 1948, the then-Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru sent a message to state officials in Cuttack from Sambalpur through a pigeon. The short message read: “The arrangements for the public meeting should not be such as to separate the speaker from the audience in Cuttack.”
On the 70th Anniversary of the Independence of India, a stamp honoring the Pigeon Post was issued. The stamp was issued with the denomination of Re.1 depicts two postmen and pigeons along with the letters and mailboxes.
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