By: ML Verma
Shimla:India Posts has brought out a set of commemorative postage stamps on six postal heritage buildings, including Shimla GPO, Lucknow GPO, Delhi GPO, Nagpur GPO, Udagamandalam HPO and Cooch Behar HPO.All the stamps issued are in denomination of rupees five.
According to Ambesh Upmanya, director, postal services, HP circle, Shimla GPO building finds place in the set of these six postal heritage buildings. Shimla GPO was established in year 1883 in the heart of the city – the Mall. The site was initially known as ‘Conny lodge’ and was purchased from one Mr. Peterson at that time. Mr F Dalton was the first postmaster of the GPO whereas AK Hajari was the first postmaster of Indian origin of this GPO.
The building was mainly a timbered structure with a tin-roof. An interesting element about its design in large hollow pillars of stone and brick that transverse its height, making it an excellent example of English hill architecture. A fire broke out on the first floor of the building on September 21, 1972, in which most of the old records were brunt. The building was again renovated with its architectural features still preserved and in the year 1992, it was declared as one of the heritage post office buildings in the country.