India is home to some of the most unusual things in the world. After all, a country this large and diversified has to have a wide range of colours in its palette. The only floating post office in India is one such remarkable location. It is considered to be the world’s only floating post office, and it is located in Srinagar, Kashmir. Yes, you read it correctly: a floating post office. This post office lies gracefully atop a giant houseboat in Dal Lake against the backdrop of snow-clad mountain peaks, making it one of the most stunning vistas to see in Kashmir’s valleys.
This is an architectural gem that should not be overlooked while planning a trip to Kashmir. Travelers go to this location not just to visit this one-of-a-kind location, but also to send postcards from here to their loved ones.
Facts about the floating post office:
• This is a 200 year old post office that was started in the British era and still is active in delivering letters.
• The postman here delivers letters by travelling in shikara.
• All letters that are sent out from here bear a special seal of a shikara with a boatman on it.
• It takes hours to ferry the letters on boat but postmasters here have enjoyed soaking in the fresh breath of nature while delivering letters. It adds to the charm of this unique place.
• This post office houseboat has two small rooms – one is the office and the other is a small philately museum. This small museum has all traces of the philatelic history of the state postal department.
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“This is a 200-year-old post office dating from before the Maharaja’s reign to the British era.” Finally, it was designated a floating post office. The number of messages transmitted remains the same. We don’t have time to converse when there is a high volume of tourists. Thousands of people visit this post office to take photographs. They may purchase unique covers, postcards, and stamps from this location. The mail is delivered to houseboats by the Postman, who rents a shikara. This has been going on for years and is still going on. Farooq Ahmad, Post Master, told the journalists.
The emergence of social media and the power of the internet has altered the dynamics of age-old communication practices. Instead of putting details on delicate paper with a pen or pencil, smartphones have taken their place. Everything appears to be just a click away nowadays, yet it was never always this simple or accessible. When every house excitedly awaited the delivery of a postman, sending out letters was one of the oldest modes of communication.
Put this location on your Kashmir itinerary right immediately, and don’t forget to send a postcard!