Postal services have been one of the oldest and most trusted ways of communication originating way back in 2000 BC in Egypt. The Indian Postal Service has existed in the country for over 150 years! There’s no better way to grasp the significance of postal offices than to visit some of the coolest POs ever. On account of this World Postal Day, Booking.com, the leading travel brand has curated a list of notable post offices in India and around the world. Visit some of these iconic post offices to instantly flex on your friends and colleagues who love to travel!
The Highest PO- Hikkim
Hanging at 15,500 ft over the sea level in Himachal Pradesh’s glorious Spiti Valley lies a small cabin with snowy walls and a red letterbox. The nearest town Kaza is 23kms away from it but even then, beating all odds, the frail but picturesque post office has been functioning since November 5, 1983. Internet and mobile phone signals are non-existent in these isolated valleys, leaving post as the residents’ only medium to reach the outside world. Every day, two dedicated runners hike to Kaza in turns to deliver the mail, which is then taken to Reckong Peo by bus, then to Shimla, further to Kalka by train and lastly to Delhi from where it’s sent to its final recipients.
Floating Post Office- Srinagar
The Floating Post Office in Srinagar claims to be the only one of its kind in the entire globe and is constructed atop a finely carved houseboat. While floating on Dal Lake, one can use all regular postal services here. A historic post office that has been in operation since colonial times, it was once known as the Nehru Park post office until John Samuel, the previous head postmaster, changed its name in 2011. The mark used on everything posted from this distinctive post office features a striking image of a boatman rowing a shikara on the Dal Lake, along with the date and address.
Dakshin Gangotri Post Office – Antarctica
Situated in Dakshin Gangotri, India’s first scientific outpost in Antarctica, was established during the third Indian expedition to the arctic “White Continent” and opened for business on February 24, 1984. It was a component of the base’s multi-support systems, which also comprised labs, storage, and entertainment areas as well as ice-melting equipment. On January 26, 1988, the Dakshin Gangotri PO was integrated into the Department of Post in Goa. Its first honorary postmaster was scientist G. Sudhakar Rao, who travelled to Antarctica in 1987 as part of the Seventh Indian Scientific Expedition. Interestingly, this post office posted and cancelled close to 10,000 letters in its first year of operation.
Underwater Post Office – Hideaway Island, Vanuatu
Vanuatu, an archipelago republic made up of 83 islands in the South Pacific, is home to the only recognized underwater post office in the world. The working post office debuted in 2003 and is nine feet underwater close to Hideaway Island. It has been a treat for both snorkelers and divers. You can buy waterproof postcards at gift stores on land if you wish to send mail from Vanuatu’s Underwater Post Office. The underwater clerk will approve the mail using an embossed cancellation tool rather than stamping the postcard with ink.
The Central Post Office – Manila
The Manila Central Post Office is the head office of the Philippine Postal Corporation. It is located on the bank of the Pasig River in the historic fortified part of the Philippine capital city. The structure designed in neoclassical style was built in 1926 but suffered severe damages during the Second World War. Thankfully, the edifice was restored to its original splendor after the war and has inspired local students of architecture and those around the world with its immaculate design ever since. The Manila Central Post Office Building was designated an Important Cultural Property by the National Museum in November 2018 due to its historical importance and inherent beauty.