Sunday, January 29, 2012

Special Cover: Floating Post Office and Museum, Dal Lake - Srinagar

Date of Issue: August 22, 2011

India Post - Jammu & Kashmir Circle, Srinagar issued two special covers on occasion of inauguration of India's first Floating Post Office and Museum at Dal Lake, Srinagar.

Dal Lake:  a lake in Srinagar, the summer capital of the northernmost Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir. The urban lake, which is the second largest in the state, is integral to tourism and recreation in Kashmir and is nicknamed the "Jewel in the crown of Kashmir" or "Srinagar's Jewel." The lake is popular as a visitor attraction and a summer resort. Swimming, boating, snow skiing (particularly when the lake is frozen during the severe winter), and canoeing are amongst some of the water sports activities practiced on the lake.

Houseboats:  Houseboats and the Dal Lake are widely associated with Srinagar and are nicknamed "floating palaces", built according to British customs. The houseboats are generally made from local cedar-wood and measure 24–38 metres (79–125 ft) in length and 3–6 metres (9.8–20 ft) in width and are graded in a similar fashion to hotels according to level of comfort. One such boat is now converted into a "Floating Post Office and Museum."

Besides offering normal services, the place is also having a philately museum and a shop that will sell postage stamps and other products. In addition, pictorial postmark (see image on right) is introduced showing Shikara, which will attract tourists.

Shikara:  A shikara is small paddled taxi boat, often about 15 feet (4.6 m) long) and made of wood with a canopy and a spade shaped bottom. It is the cultural symbol of Kashmir and is used not only for ferrying visitors but is also used for the vending of fruits, vegetables and flowers and for the fishing and harvesting of aquatic vegetation. A shikara can seat about six people and have heavily cushioned seats and backrests to provide comfort in Mughul style. 

All houseboat owners provide shikara transport to their house guests free of charge. The shikara is also used to provide for other sightseeing locations in the valley, notably a cruise along the Jhelum River, offering scenic views of the Pir Panjal mountains and passing through the famous seven bridges and the backwaters enroute.

Text source: Wikipedia

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Naval Hospital: INHS Kalyani - 25th Anniv Special Cover

Date of Issue: May 18, 1987

Special Cover issued to commemorate 25th Anniversary of INHS Kalyani - Indian Navy Hospital at Vishakhapatnam, Head Quarters - Eastern Naval Command. This year 2012 marks 50th Anniversary, and I think there may be a special cover issued.

INHS Kalyani - the only Naval Hospital in the Eastern Naval Command was inaugurated by Vice Admiral R D Katari on 26 Apr 1962 by converting sickbay INS Circars into a Naval Hospital. It was commissioned on 18 May 1962 as a 60 bed hospital within the premises of INS Circars by the first Commanding Officer Surg Cdr Manindra Chandra Nath. In 1966 the crest of INHS Kalyani was published in NO 97/66.

The crest depicts a lotus flower with the rising sun in the background depicting life and health which is the major mission of INHS Kalyani. The word Kalyani means “Auspicious” and also refers to the holy temple baths of the scriptures that are credited with healing powers. A dip in the holy bath is considered enough to cure all physical ills and provide mental peace and tranquillity. The name was chosen to represent the holistic healing process being bestowed on all who come into contact with INHS Kalyani. The word “Kalyani” is also the name of the Goddess of Welfare.

Text Source:

Monday, January 9, 2012

French Ship Forbin (D635)

Date of Issue: November 11, 2011

The French Southern and Antarctic Lands (TAAF - Terres australes et antarctiques françaises) and Saint-Pierre and Miquelon (S.P.&M. - a self-governing territorial overseas collectivity of France, situated in the northwestern Atlantic ocean near Canada) jointly issued stamps on Nov 11, 2011. The miniature sheet shown above is of TAAF.

Forbin (D635): Six ships of the French Navy have been named Forbin in honor of the 17th century admiral Claude Forbin-Gardanne. The Forbin D635 is a T 53 Class Destroyer and fleet escort ship (1955 - 1992).

Sunday, January 8, 2012

My Blog - 3rd Birthday

On this very same day three years ago, I took my first step in blogging for my hobby.  Now today I'm celebrating 3 golden years and stepping into fourth.

A few interesting stats about my blog and visitors:
Number of posts published:  373
Visitors from: 150 countries
Followers: 89
Total Views: 42,172
Unique Visitors: 18,258
Newest Country Visitor: Afghanistan (Jan 2, 2012)
Last New Visitor: France (Jan 8, 2012 - today)
Top 10 referral sites to my blog:

Many thanks to all my blog readers and visitors who made this happen, and continue to visit often.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Postcard from Netherland - RMS Titanic advert

Received this great postcard through, sent by user Esso71 (Esther), from Netherland.

The card design is an advertisement poster for RMS Titanic of White Star Line.

Receiving a Titanic related postcard in its 100th Anniversary year is something very special.

MS Cap San Diego - Hamburg - 50 years

Thanks again to friend, Mr. Wolfgang Beyer, Germany for this envelope with special postmark to commemorate 50 years of the ship MS Cap San Diego.

The MS Cap San Diego was constructed by the Deutsche Werft, Hamburg, contract No. 785. The vessel is from bow to stern a Hamburg ship and was designed by the well known Hamburg marine architect Cäsar Pinnau. She was delivered on March 27th, 1962 to the fleet of the "Hamburg-Südamerikanische Dampfschifffahrtsgesellschaft". She is the youngest of 6 sister ships, named "Cap San Antonio", "Cap San Augustin", "Cap San Lorenzo", "Cap San Marco" and "Cap San Nicolas".

With their sleek hulls and massive sterns, these ships resembled elegant yachts rather than freighters with a loading capacity of 10,300 tons.

Text Source:

FGS Passau M1096 - Minesweeper

Thanks to friend, Mr. Wolfgang Beyer, Germany for sending me this envelope with beautiful postmark of FGS Passau (M1096), a KULMBACH class (type 333) minesweeper commissioned in December 18, 1990. The postmark design shows FGS (Federal German Ship) Passau passing Kiel canal.

Minesweeper: A minesweeper is a small naval warship designed to counter the threat posed by naval mines. Minesweepers generally detect then neutralize mines in advance of other naval operations.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Galley and Galleon

Date of Issue: June 28, 2002
Scott #: 418

A colorful miniature sheet showing design of a Galley and a Galleon.

Galley: A galley is a type of ship propelled by rowers that originated in the Mediterranean region and was used for warfare, trade and piracy from the first millennium BC. Galleys dominated naval warfare in the Mediterranean Sea from the 8th century BC until development of advanced sailing warships in the 16th century. 
After the fall of the Western Roman Empire galleys formed the mainstay of the Byzantine navy and other navies of successors of the Roman Empire, as well as new Muslim navies. Medieval Mediterranean states, notably the Italian maritime republics, including Venice, Pisa, and Genoa, used galleys until the ocean-going man-of-war made them obsolete. The Battle of Lepanto was one of the largest naval battles in which galleys played the principal part.

Galleys were in common use until the introduction of broadside sailing ships of war into the Mediterranean in the 17th Century, but continued to be applied in minor roles until steam propulsion.

Galleon: A galleon was a large, multi-decked sailing ship used primarily by European states from the 16th to 18th centuries. Whether used for war or commerce, they were generally armed with the demi-culverin type of cannon.

The galleon was powered entirely by wind, using sails carried on three or four masts, with a lateen sail continuing to be used on the last (usually third and fourth) masts. They were used in both military and trade applications, most famously in the Spanish treasure fleet, and the Manila Galleons.

The galleon continued to be used into the 18th century, by which time purpose-built vessels such as the fluyt, the brig and the full rigged ship, both as a trading vessel and ship of the line, rendered it obsolete for trade and warfare respectively.

Text Source: Wikipedia
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