Postal Developments of Dhaka City


As a capital, though, Dhaka city is four hundred years old, it was known as an important township in different names from time immemorial. It is older than most of the cities of eastern India. The Bangla term of postal communication ‘Dakbyabostha’ was coined from the Bangla word ‘Dak’ (‘to call’ or ‘to draw attention’). Though the matter is closely related to different activities of human civilization, it never attracted to the interest of the researchers. Couriers of ancient rulers used to call out in high pitched voice before he reaches one post so that the runner of that post prepares for his turn of run. The couriers use to carry messeges of the ruler to his subordinates of the remote places and borders and inform the rulers about the condition of the kingdom regularly. Sher Shah introduced courier service that extended from Sonargaon to Sindh. Dhaka had close linkage with Sonargaon. During Hussain Shahi dynasty (1494-1538) communication system was treated as an important department of the Sultanate.

During the reign of Jahangir (1605-27), Wakia-Nabwis was responsible for the courier service of the Emperor. Dhaka was the pivotal point of communication of the then Bengal. Then, Dak-Chowki acted as the base post office and Dhaka had a naval force under a Nayeb-i-Najim (sub-governor). East India Company developed the exhisting Mughal postal communication all over India for their own benefit. In October 1854, when the first postage stamps of India was introduced, a letter can be sent according to its weight, not by the distance. In 1878, Dhaka was made the headquarter of East Bengal Circle. Bengal Circle was renamed Assam and East Bengal Circle in 1907. Its headquarter remained in Dhaka. Among the old post offices of Dhaka city, the name of Dhaka Sadar and Ramna were worth mentioning. During Pakistan era, East Pakistan was divided into two postal circles and among 296 postage stamps issued, 51 had subject related to East Pakistan, but only 7 stamps depicted Dhaka city. During Pakistan period, the movement of philately was in the hands of the non-Bengali community. Postal activities during the Liberation War influenced the world population grately. Since independence, Bangladesh Post Office took up different programmes in developing and extending its services to the people. By 1980, the country was divided into four circles. At present Dhaka city has 111 post offices including 23 disbursing post offices. During the last 38 years, Bangladsh had 1012 postage stamps, of which 58 stamps depict Dhaka city. Philately developed greatly in Bangladesh during the last 40 years, philatelic associations were formed, exhibitions, seminars and auctions were held, many books were published, some of which were awarded abroad. (443 words)
Postal Developments of Dhaka City
Siddique Mahmudur Rahman*
Almost all the activities of a country are closely linked with movement, supply and exchange of information. Communication system, or to be more precise, the postal system as a subject, is the part of history and sociology, and as the movement of letters related to revenue, it can also be linked with economics and business. The subject matter has not been included in the arena of history, sociology, economics or business and long been neglected by the researchers. Though modern development of postal communication, integration of its services with the activities of the government and society, expansion, and in particular, issuance and wide-scale use of postage stamps, collection and trading of postage stamps and its evolution entered into human knowledge 170 years ago, but the role of communication system played, in different modes and methods, in the development, since the dawn of human civilization. All these were not been enearthed or evaluated ever since.

Since ancient past, the area now comprises Bangladesh occupied an important part of memoirs, descriptive essays, literature and writings of travelors and historians. In some occasions, it is a undivided kingdom, at times they qyerrelled with each other dividing into many warring states. Though Dhaka is four hundred years old as the capital of Bengal, it has been proved to be a much older settlement known with different names in different times. The capital Dhaka is much older than any othder townships of eastern India. If we are to accept the controversy about the existance of Gangaridi[1], we are sure to accept the existance of a much populace settlement that had very good interactive influence among other settlements of this region. Because, if we consider the distance, townships of Gaud or Khulna or Pandua were not very far from this city and communication among these townships were not very problematous. If we look into the township of Wari-Bateshwar near Narsingdi, the Sonargaon during Isha Khan or of earlier period, Idrakpur Fort etc. we can come to a conclusion that the entire region was very populous and was full of bustle. Even if we reduce the time span to only 1000 B.C., it is undeniable fact that this area was much more developed politically and economically than the Mahasthangarh during Maurya dynasty, though there may be some controvercy about the antiquity of the whole of Bangla, especially, about the entire area of greater Dhaka.[2] Possibly, from here different important commodities of this region were exported and were port of call of the exportable products of Assam region of Brahmaputra basin to Malay peninsula at that time.

It can be found in Bangla literature that a good numbers of couriers, messegers were in service, who used to convey the information of the far-flanked ares to the kings and rulers and to communicate their instructions and orders to the administrators and army commenders. Envoys played important role between the warring or friendly rulers. Ancient writings reveal that these envoys were supposed never to be executed. Under no circumstances they were executed, tortured or imprisoned. It is said that the couriers used to call out loudly before approaching a post so that the courier of that post can become ready go the next stipulated distance. From this, the term ‘Dak’, (means ‘to call’ or ‘to draw attention’) has been coined to be used for ‘Dak-byabostha’ (postal service), ‘Dak-harkara’ (postal couriers) or ‘Dak-mashul’ (postal charges). The couriers, while delivering ruler’s messages, approaches a village or a marketplace used to draw attention of the members of public by calling out in high-pitch voice or made noise by beating drums or any metallic objects.

Historian Firista wrote, Sher Shah Suri built a road that extended from Sonargaon of Bengal to the bank of river Sind, totaling a length of more than a thousand miles. The road connected all the major cities of the vicinity on both sides of the road. Sher Shah introduced courier service of horse runners during 1540 to 1545, in line with Muhammad bin Tughlaq’s ‘El-Wolok’ and ‘Ed-Dawah’. There were serais, resting places, at limited intervals, which served food, shelter and fresh horses for the couriers. This serais also provide shelters for the travelers. There was a post of ‘Daroga-i-Dak Chowki’ at its in-charge. This helped the service move very fast. Sher Shah also arranged on-foot messengers for shorter distance.[3] Tired runners used to take rest after handing over his lot. There was always ample number of energetic couriers and fresh horses ready for the next distance. So it was possible for the Shah to have the messages reach its destination quickly. It can be assumed the Dhaka had good linkage with Sonargaon.

From ancient times, Karwan Bazar of Dhaka city served as a bustling market, trading centre and resting place. Traders from different destinations used to come in caravans and naturally this place served a place for exchange of communication also. This place was full of activities even during the Company rule and also later. The tradition still goes on.

For administrative benefits there were easy and regular movement of communicational among Rajmahal, Musshidabad, Sonargaon, Dhaka, Narayanganj, Mymensingh, Jessore, Dinajpur, Rangpur, Bakerganj (Barisal), Goalpara (Assam), Sylhet, Karimganj and Chittagong cities. Traders of Bakerganj and Chittagong had good trading transactions with the countries of Far Eastern Asia, Eastern and Western coasts of India and of Middle East. The value of sincere and dedicated messengers in the movement ‘hundi’ (bill of exchange) system was very high. This hundi system was very common among the traders and business persons of Bengal.[4]

Sea-faring trading ships used to anchor at Narayanganj and the traders and businessmen used to travel all the way to Sonargaon and Dhaka to deliver and take the commodities. Until the introduction of steam ships Chittagong-based ship-building industry flourished and known widely all over Europe and northern Asia. The labourers employed used to come from all over Bengal, specially from Dhaka-Mymensingh-Comilla region. They used to maintain regular contacts with their kith and kin. Wandering population of the country, the hazams (barbers), paalki-bearers, majhi/naia (boat man), (garoan/garial) bullock cart driver, peddlers, sanpurey (snake-charmers), bedey (gypsies’) etc. played important role in the exchange of information. As they had good mutual contacts with all walks of people of the country, high and low, they were happy in helping these teeming millions with this work. Even the couriers and messengers and the duts used to assist the people in communicating their personal messages to their relatives residing in faraway places.

During the Hussain Shahi Dynasty (1494-1538) the communication service played an important role under the central secretarial service and was an important section of administration. This department was looked after by an senior official, named Dabir-Khas. This official, used to keep close coordination with his subordinates and also foreigners. This section worked in line with the department of same nature of Delhi rulers. It can be assumed that Dabir-e-Khas is assisted by some dabirs. This section used to take assistance from the staff of Kar-e-Farman.[5] Kar-e-Farman used to prepare instructions of the ruler and Katib used to write or copy the instruction or documents.[6]

During the reign of Emperor Jahangir (1605-1627) Wakia Nabis was responsible for the movement of all communication of the kingdom. He used to inform the Emperor directly every day about all the information of the kingdom. Provincial administrators or army commanders were responsible in erecting and commissioning the dak-chowkis. Daroga-i-dak Chowkis used to work diligently in movement of information. All information of Bangla used to be controlled from Dhaka.[7] During Jahangir’s reign, there were six types of communication[8]. These are as follows:

a. Farman (Emperor’s order);
b. Shuqquk (Emperor’s letter to a certain person);
c. Nishan (Letter of any member of the royal family);
d. Hasb-ul Huqum (Minister’s letter conveying Emperor’s order);
e. Parwanah (Administrative instruction to the employee of lower order);
f. Dastaq (Administrative permission)

Daroga-i-dak Chowki of Dhaka used to forward all letters coming from different places of the province to Mir Bakshi without checking theses. Mir Bakshi, on the other hand, used to check all the letters, except those with were addressed directly to the Emperor. Daroga-i-Dak Chowki was responsible for movement of all the letters. The lowest employee of this communication system was called Harkara. These Harkaras, in addition to usual delivery of letters to and from the centre, used to collect secret and confidential reports and delivers those to the Subadar Emperor Jahangir had a very good number of pigeons flock for delivery of information to a definite distance and he used to depend on these pigeons for sending confidential information.[9]

After the expansion of inter-region trade and commerce the traders and businessmen started to develop their own system of courier service. Initially, though it was related to the information related to the rulers, in later years it also included all the matters of commodities.

Before Dhaka became known as the capital of this region, the place surrounded by three rivers had become important in trade and commerce since time immeorial. The city became the capital of provincial capital of Subah Bangla during 1608-1717. During 1639-1659, Prince Shah Suja transfer the capital to Rajmahal due to his personal and political reasons. During eighteenth century the glory, grandeur, promonency and importance of Dhaka starte to wane. Though due to the change of the apex of trade and commerce and also conflict between the Subader and Dewans the capital was shifted from Dhaka to Murshidabad or sometimes to Rajmahal. To make the administration of this riverine nature of the region, the rulers were aware of importance of developing boat or river-based transport and establish a cantonment and a naval flotila at Dhaka and was placed under the control of a Nayeb-e-Nazim or deputy governor. Though, Dhaka’s importance diminished more and was ruled from Murshidabad or sometimes from Rajmahal.[10]

When East India Company started to rule this country after winning the Battle of Plassey in 1757, they established their headquarter at Calcutta, so Dhaka became only a large regional city, loosing all its importance in all fields. As the business at Bengal gradually flourishing it was imperative to develop the dak services, estsblishment of dak routes, dak chowkies and exchange houses all over Bengal, which let mor expences. After the East India Company got hold of the Dewani of Bengal, Behar and Oriisha in 1776, they had to rely on the Zaminders for collection of revenue and despatch of its mails. The Company used to waive taxes of the Zamindars for this activities. The Zamindars took complete advantage of this situation and they used to realize the expenditure from their rayots (peasants) [11]. This system went on till 1775. In 1766, Lord Clive made some arrangement for smooth delivery of the Company’s mail from one place to other. In the Minutes of the Governor’s Circulation dated 24 March 1766, it reads[12],[13]:

‘Ordered that in future all letters be dispatched from Government House. The Post Master or his assistant attending every night to sort and see them sent off. That the letters to the different inland settlements be made up to the different inland settlements be made up in separate bags, sealed with the Company’s seal. That none may open the packets except the chief of mail services at the different places, who are to open only their own respective packets. . . .’

According to the system introduced in 1766, the Zamindatrs and land owners were responsible in supplying ‘runners’.

The Company’s Court on 1771 decided to appoint own officers instead of relying on Dewani officials for management of postal communication. Warren Hastings on 1772 established 16 Dak Chowkies. Before that the Company appointed District Collectors in each districts of Bengal introducing District administration. Hastings took measures in developing the interest of their business along with the postal service in the country. He took initiative in establishing a General Post Office at Calcutta and introduced rates of carrying letters according to distance. The matter was accepted in the working paper of the Company on 17 January 1774. It was said in this circular that:

a. Permitting private citizens to avail of the facilities of postal services, till then to carry official mails on payment of postage at the rates prescribed;
b. Division of the postal area of Calcutta into four divisions for administrative convenience;
c. Appointment of a Post Master General at Calcutta with the Deputy to have control of the entire establishments, and
d. The appointment of Deputy Post Masters at Moorshedabad, Patna, Benaras, Ganjam, Dacca and Dinagepur.

The proceedings of the Council dated 6 December 1775 issued the following instruction[14]:

The Zamindars and farmers will be ordered to deliver to the several fawzdars an account of the number of zamindari thannahs in their districts, with the names of the persons by whom they are held and will be strictly enjoyed to the Fowzdars in all matters relating to his jurisdiction.[15]

In 31 March 1774, a Post Master General was appointed and from 1 April, the Calcutta GPO started functioning. The responsibility of the PMG was to ensure proper functioning of the office and to ensure smooth delivery of postal materials to accurate destination and in proper time. Accordingly six major postal routes were opened from Calcutta, these are Dhaka, Ganjam, Maldah, Laksmipur (Chittagong), Murdshidabad and Chittagong. Dhaka was connected with Calcutta through Dinajpur. As there was a long lasting strife was going on with Coochbehar, another routes cwere opened from Dinajpur to Rajmahal. The table below displays the distance and number of employees of different cities.

Table 1: Postal service of 1774 showing distance of certain cities and number of employees[16]

Postal system Mile Furlong Medium Hurkara Mashalchi Drummer
1. Calcutta to Gunjam 358 2 42 126 42 42
2. Calcutta to Patna 398 6 48 144 48 48
3. Caalcutta to Dhaka 179 4 21 63 21 21
4. Calcutta to Rajmahal
through Dinajpur 77 2 9 27 9 9

Among the postal officials Munshi was worth mentioning. Under each Munshi, there were two Ghariwal (who used to maintain timing). In each area, Munsis were accredited to Deputy Post Master. In Calcutta, one Deputy Post Master, One Mard (Assistant), seven dispatchers, one Zamadar (Guard) and fifteen peons worked under the Post Master General.

That was the beginning of the zamindari dawk system in Bengal. In this system, we find the inception of a police dawk system where the zamindars, farmers and land holders were asked to maintain a communication link with the fauzdars and police courts for transmitting constant intelligence of all matters relating to the peace of the country.

At that time the rates of the letter and procedure of handling the mails were as follows:

1. The public letter was accepted at the rate of 2 annas as for every 100 miles
2. Half of postage of the Letters sent by ship have to be collected at the time of delivery of the letter
3. Postal rates will have to be put on display for the public at the post office building.
4. Calcutta GPO will be open for public from ten in the morning to one o’clock in the afternoon.
5. Listing will be made of all the letters to be sent to different destinations and for delivery

With the introduction of this system all the members of the public had the opportunity to send their personal letters to any distance by paying specified postage at a rate of minimum two annas to five rupees. For sending a letter, weighing one tola (weight equal to one silver sikka coin, that was in circulation at that time), from Calcutta to Chandannagar one have to pay two anna. Postage for sending one letter from Calcutta to Burdwan was three annas and for sending to Lukhnow eleven annas was needed.

It is known from another document that persons traveling in the boat carrying mails have to pay according to distance of his destination. It also shows the time to reach the destination and mode of transport.

Table 2: Rate carrying passengers from Calcutta by river (rate of Dhaka and Chittagong)[17]

Place Rate of fare Time required Mode of transport
Chittagong 40 rupees 60 days Passenger boad
Dhaka 29 rupees 37 days – do –

A new order issued in 10 March 1781 enabled the Zamindars to contribute more in developing district postal system. An European Deputy Post Master was appointed in Murshidabad, Patna, Banaras, Ganjam, Dhaka and Dinajpur covering 1179 miles at 139 stages with 417 hurcurrahs and 139 massalchies (torchbearers) and 139 drummers. His office includes one assistant, two writers, one Zamadar and 15 peons. Salary of the Deputy Post Master was 500 rupees, which was enhanced to 1000 rupees in 1781.[18] It also shows the rate of passenger charges for travel by riverboat under the management of Dawk with number of days as follows[19]:

Table 3: Rate of passenger charges from Calcutta

Place Rate No. of Days Mode of Transport
Goalpara (Assam) Rs. 50.00 75 days Passenger boat
Chittagong Rs. 40.00 60 days ”
Dacca Rs. 29.00 37.50 miles ”

In 1785 postal rates were again revised according to the weight of the postal materials and destination:

Table 4: Postal Rates introduced in 1785 (rates of only Dhaka and Chittagong in given here)[20]

From Calcutta 2.5 Sikka or less From 2.5 to From 3.5 to More than 4.5 Sikka

3.5 Sikka 4.5 Sikka
Rupee Anna Rupee Anna Rupee Anna Rupee Anna
Dhaka 0 3 0 6 0 9 0 12
Chittagong 0 6 0 12 1 2 1 8

In 1790 Lord Cornwallis introduced police administration along with the existing zamindari system and also introduced ‘Police Dawk’ system. Accordingly, the total postal system of nineteenth century was changed.

For long time, the postal system of the Company that developed and flourished under zamindari system started to diminish. This system ceased to exist during 1903.

In the Calcutta Gazette of 30 June 1791, it was said[21],

‘an evidence of insecurity of the post’ connected with the dawk arrangement when the packet mail posted at Madras, attracting heavy postage for large packets, were sent to Bengal by sea instead of by foot dawks.’

This year the PMG issued a revised rate of postage from Calcutta to various places in the Presidency of Bengal superseding the earlier notification. The table shows the varying rates of postage as follows[22]:

Table 5: Varying rates of Postage from Calcutta to various places of Bengal

Rates Places
3as Dacca, Bakergang
6as Chittagong

Lord Cornwallis, under the Permanent Settlement Regulation of 1793, destroyed the traditional zamindari system of administration and introduced new zamindari procedure. Under Regulation I and VIII the zamindars were removed from the civil and police administration and it was placed under the police department. However, they had the liability to establish dawk services (Regulation XXII of 1793) by recruiting runners etc. and to pay a fixed sum towards costs of police establishment as land burden to the Government (Regulation I & VIII of 1793)[23]. Under another regulation issed in 1802 the postal rates were fixed to 2 annas for the distance of 50 miles, 3 annas for 100 miles and 4 anna for 150 miles and additional 1 anna for additional 100 miles and thereof.

According to Act XVII of 1837 issued on 24 July 1837, The Company retained exclusuive right on all kinds of postal communication. No private postaal couriers was forbited. Earlier, due to the some irregularities of the Company’s postal service, many priivate business person, traders, investors etc. used to maintain their own services for their own benefit. At one time it became very popular so common pople used to take this advantage in sending their letters. After the introduction of this order, all these activities ceased to work. Though a very limited persons, such as the Governor, Principal Secretary of the Government, Judges, Chiefs of Armed Forces were allowed to maintain their own mode of communication.[24]

Under this rule some local traders and members of the public used to take benefit of this service by handing over their letters to the people travelling in the mail couches unofficially. In this rule, a list of post office functioning in Bengal are shown. These are as follows:[25]

Bakerganj, Beuliea (Boalia, Rajshahi), Bhulua (Noakhali), Bogra, Chandpur, Chittagong, Dhaka, Dinajpur, Faridpur, Gazipur, Jamalpur, Jessore, Kumarkhali, Laksmipur, Mymensingh, Mirzapur, Nalchithi (Barishal), Pabna, Raghunathpur (Pabna), Rangpur, Sardah, Sylhet, Tripura (Comilla).

Before 1837, postal service of Bengal was controlled from Calcutta and it was known as Bengal Circle. Dhaka was then known only as a as district headquarter. In 1873 Assam Circle was established. It’s headquarter was first situated in Gauhati and later it was shifted to Shillong in 1875. In 1878, Eastern Bengal Circle was formed with its headquarter in Dhaka. With this the importance of the city started to gain ground. Bihar Circle formed in October 1877, was annexed to Bengal Circle in 1905. The Eastern Bengal Circle was annexed with Assam Circle and was renamed as Assam and East Bengal Circle and its headquarter remained in Dhaka. In 1914, the East Bengal and Assam Circle was renamed as Bengal and Assam Circle.[26] The table shows the changes of the postal circles during 1837 and 1923.

Table 6: Changes of Postal Administration of Bengal during 1837 to 1923

Sl. No. Name of the Circle Headquarter Year Remarks

(Circle Code) Estd. Dissolved
1. Bengal (C) Calcutta Before 1837 — Renamed Bengal

and Assam
2. Assam (G) Guahati Dec. 1883 May 1907 New Assam Circle

(S) Shillong June 1875 was merged with

Bengal Circle
3. Bihar Dinapur Oct. 1877 Oct. 1905 Merged with
Bengal Circle
4. Eastern Bengal Dhaka Sep. 1878 May 1907 Merged with Assam

and East Bengal Circle,

May, 1907
5. East Bengal and Dhaka May 1907 April 1914 Merged with Bengal

Assam and Assam Circle, April, 1914

First postage stamps of the Indian sub-continent were introduced in 1 October 1854 with the introduction of a unified postal rate was introduced. The great advance made in 1854 was the introduction of postage stamps and the fixing of postage rates for letters irrespective of distance. The rates were as follows[27]:

Table 7: Postal Rates as on 1854 on every letter
Not exceeding ¼ tola in weight 6 pies
Exceeding ¼ tola and not exceeding ½ tola in weight 1 anna
Exceeding ½ tola and not exceeding 1 tola in weight 2 anna
Exceeding 1 tola and not exceeding 1½ tola in weight 2 anna
Exceeding 1½ tola and not exceeding 2 tola in weight 4 anna
For every tola in weight above 2 tola in weight 2 additional anna

It is assumed that oldest post office of Dhaka city was situated somewhere near Sadarghat. Some say that it was situated southern side of Bahadur Shah Park. Among other ancient post offices Ramna (now extinct), Dhaka Sadar (now situated beside the Bangla Bazar Square, Pilkhana, Posta, Segun Bagicha, Tejgaon and Tejgaon Airport, Chawk Bazar, Wari, Nawabpur, Lakhmi Bazar and Mitford post office. In later years, during British rule, Curzon Hall, Alia Madrasa, Shahbagh (later known as PG Hospital Post Office and recently have been shifted to Aziz Super Market) post offices were established.

When Pakistan and India became independent, after the British rule ceased to function in August 1947, entire East Bengal, and after referendum, Sylhet district of Assam, joined Pakistan, assuming the name, East Bengal. Later, in 1956 constitution this area was named East Pakistan. Dhaka was named the capital of East Pakistan. Initially Dhaka Sadar was termed Head Post Office, but after Ramna post office was established, it was name as head post office. In 1964, when Dhaka General Post Office was set up at its present spot, it was named GPO. Until 1966, the postal administration of East Pakistan was under one administrative circle. In 1966, the country was divided into two circles, namely Eastern Circle, which include all the districts lying east of Padma and Jamuna rivers with it’s headquarter at Dhaka and Western Circle, which include all the western districts, with its headquarter at Khulna.

After the British government started issuing postage stamps for this country in 1854, they issued 174 postage stamps up to 1947. During this long period of 93 years (1854-1947) there was not a single stamp depicting Bangladesh or Dhaka.

Before the Partition, the majority area now comprise Bangladesh was under the administration of Bengal and Assam Postal Circle under Calcutta GPO, when in 1946 a new Circle, known as East Bengal Circle, Dacca was created. After the Partition, this area and one district of Sylhet were placed under Dacca GPO, later this Circle was named as East Pakistan Circle in 1960. In 1964, the East Pakistan Circle was divided into two Circles, namely Western Circle, East Pakistan, comprising all the post Offices of Western Districts, with its headquarter at Khulna and the remaining post offices on Eastern Districts was named as Eastern Circle, East Pakistan, with its headquarter at Dacca. There were 3036 post offices in entire Pakistan at Partition of 1947.

During the Pakistan period of 24 years (1947-1971) Pakistan issued 296 postage stamps. From the table below, it can be seen that out of these 296 stamps only 51 stamps represent East Pakistan subjects, whereas only six stamps depict Dhaka city. Of which three stamps show Sir Salimullah Muslim Hall, one stamp show Kamalapur Railway Station and two stamps show map of Asia showing Dhaka city.

Table 8: Subjectwise distribution of postage stamps of Pakistan (1947-1971)[28]

Year Total East Pakistan
1947-51 64 3 (4.7)
1952-56 37 11 (29.8)
1957-61 35 12 (34.2)
1962-66 78 12 (15.3)
1967-71 82 13 (15.8)
Total 296 51 (17.2)

After Pakistan Armed Forces cracked-down over its people in the midnight of 25 March 1971 and there were all-out genocide al over Bangladesh, including Dhaka city, Bangladesh declared independence in 26 March. Stamp dealers and other eminent personalities realized the commercial advantage and prospects of propaganda in favour the Liberation War of Bangladesh and started working in this field. Though that is different arena of study. First authentically important activity of postal communication of this country and one of the most major international publicity in favour of the nation-hood of Bangladesh was initiated on July 29, 1971. The Bangladesh Government in-exile issued a set of 8 postage stamps depicting liberation movement of Bangladesh and these were put on sale in Mujibnagar, Calcutta and London.. Interestingly, one of these stamp depict Dhaka city, rather Dhaka University. The text of these eight stamps is as follows:

Table 2: showing Text of First Eight Stamps of Bangladesh[29]

Denomination Text of the Stamps

10 p Map of Bangladesh
20 p Massacre at D.U. (Dacca University)
50 p 75 million people
Re 1 Flag of Independence
Rs 2 Broken Chain (of Subjugation)
Rs. 3 Ballot Box (of 1970’s election) and its result
Rs 5 Sheikh Mujibur Rahman
Rs 10 Support Bangladesh

After the Liberation War when Bangladesh became an independent state, the Post Master General’s office of Dhaka GPO, became also the office of the Director General of Bangladesh Post Office.

In 1979, the previously known Western Circle was divided into two circles, namely Western Circle, which included the districts lying South and West of Padma river with its headquarter at Khulna and Northern Circle, with the districts lying North of Padma and West of Jamuna river, whereas the earlier Eastern Circle was divided into two circles, namely, Central Circle, with the districts lying in the central regions of Bangladesh, with its headquarter at Dhaka and Eastern Circle with all the districts lying in the Eastern side of the country, with its headquarter at Chittagong. At present, Dhaka city have 23 disbursing post offices including two head post offices at Dhaka GPO and Dhaka Sadar and 88 non-delivery post offices to maintain the postal services of capital Dhaka. (Annexure A)[30].

Just before the Liberation war broke out, a senior most officer of the Postal department Mr. A.M. Ahsanullah, then Deputy Director General (Staff and Establishment) was on a visit at Dacca. He could not go back to his duty and was kept under detention. After the independence of Bangladesh, he was released and as there was no other senior officer to take charge of the postal department of this new nation, Mr. Ahsanullah assumed the charge of the Director General and started his office on 19 December 1972. As per Government Memo A.M Ahsanullah was made Officer on Special Duty in charge of Director General of Bangladesh Post Office[31].

He elucidated this matter in his article Bangladesher Daktikit: Adi Itihash o Kichhu Prashongik Kotha[32]:

By the end of February (1971) I came to Dhaka on tour to clear up a crisis related to employees union. But before the work is finished the tremendous movement started. It was impossible to return, even I did not wanted to return either. Because after observing the style and tempo, I was confident, that this movement must turn into liberation struggle. At the onset, I started to prepare how to make the postal service uninterrupted. The first problem I thought to come first is the supply of postage stamps. Because this is another item we have to depend on the West Pakistan, the Security Printing Press and the Mint were situated in West Pakistan. Therefore I sent a telegram to Karachi to send us at least six months supply. The first consignment reached during the Liberation war.

After Dhaka was finally liberated and the Liberation war ended on 16th December, the Bangladesh Government in-Exile merged with the existing secretarial administration of the Government in Dhaka on 28 December 1971. Before this merger, all the existing Field Post Offices in all fronts were closed and abolished. Following news item appeared in the December issue of the ‘Stamp Digest’[33]:

Mujibnagar Post Office merged with Dacca
“Mujibnagar Post Office which functioned for over nine months has now been merged with Dacca G.P.O, Mr M.A Aziz, who was Special Officer, Bangladesh P. and T Department has joined back his civil service post as Deputy Commissioner, Rajshahi, Mr Idris, has also joined his old unit at Narayanganj, while the Postmaster of Mujibnagar P.O. Mr Nurul Islam has been posted, at Bogra. The historical Seals and Postmarks of Mujibnagar relic of sacrifice and suffering of nine months for Independence are now being displayed at the Dacca Postal Museum.”
At the time of Liberation there was two Postal Circles, namely Western Circle, East Pakistan, comprising all the post Offices of Western Districts, with its headquarter at Khulna and the remaining post offices of Eastern Districts was named as Eastern Circle, East Pakistan, with its headquarter at Dacca.

British MP Mr. John Stonehouse came to Dacca in a special Army helicopter with some dignitaries of Bangladesh Government. He brought with him a few hundred copies of the first eight-value stamps of Bangladesh, issued on 29 July 1971. He also brought with him three more stamps of this eight-value set, viz. 10p, Rs. 5.00 and Rs. 10.00, which were overprinted ‘Bangladesh Liberated’ in English (evsjv‡`‡ki gyw³ in Bengali) in very small type.

These eleven stamps were put on sale from Dhaka GPO on 20 December. Mr. Stonehouse informed Mr. Ahsanullah that due to unusual situation prevailing in the country, and no usual air transport is available, (all the airports being damaged due to war) he could not bring large quantity of these stamps with him. A large stock would be handed over to the postal administration of Bangladesh in a few days time. It was disclosed at that time, that overprints were done on all the eight stamps.

After a few days, it was revealed that, the eight stamps of 29th July 1971, as well as its overprinted varsities, had found their way to the stamp dealers, who were selling those stamps to the world stamp market at their own stipulated price, without obtaining permission from Bangladesh Post Office or giving them the accounts. At this news the Postal Administration of Dhaka cancelled its authority over the whole stock of stamps and termed those illegal.

It is worth mentioning that the Postal Department of a country is the sole authority of issuing or rejecting a stamp of its country. When it cancels its authority from a single stamp, it becomes a sought for item for a stamp collector, because the entire stock of that stamp lies with the postal authority. But when the entire goes out of the reach of the post office and the stamp is termed illegal, its importance comes to a minimum level. With no stamp in hand, Bangladesh Post Office started its journey empty hyanded, though theoretically the lot they used to inherit could be a humble start.

During January 1972, a set of 15 stamps, having denominations of 1p., 2p., 3p., 5p., 7p., 10p., 15p., 20p., 25p., 40p., 50p., 75p., Tk. 1., Tk. 2. and Tk. 5, showing three designs of the earlier eight stamps (10p., Re. 1., and Rs. 5.,) were found to be sold by the stamp dealers to the collectors at their own stipulated price in the markets of Europe and America. Those were supposed to be the first definitive (regular) stamps of Bangladesh. There were no authenticity as to how these stamps were printed and were put on sale in the world market before these were issued inside Bangladesh, the Postal Authority of Bangladesh also did not recognized their validity either.

Assuming the duty, A. M. Ahsanullah first took the initiative to print one commemorative stamp on the occasion of ‘In Memory to the Martyrs of Language Movement’, which was issued on 21 February 1972 and three stamps on First Anniversary of Independence, which were issued on 26 March 1972.

After the Liberation of Bangladesh, regular functioning of the postal service was urgently needed. There was no question of printing new postage stamps, because there was no security printing press available in the country, proper technology was absent and adequate material could not be ensured in the war-devastated country. To print the postage stamps from foreign country will take a considerable time. The quantity of stamps required was phenomenal, whereas huge quantities of Pakistan stamps of the previous regime remained in stock scattered all over the country in various treasuries and in almost all post offices. Due to lack of easy, prompt and proper transport and as well as for security reason, the recall of these postage stamps from each and every post office and overprinting those with a new name was not al all a practical proposition. On the other hand, for obvious political and sentimental reasons, it was felt undesirable to continue the use of the previous regime’s stamps without making any change, whatever trifles that may be which seemed feasible. And this gave rise to an interesting curiosity of philatelic history – the ‘Bangladesh’ rubber-stamps issues.

On 19 December 1971, a Post Office circular was issued, to the Head Post Offices instructing the Post Offices at descending levels of hierarchy, to use their own initiative in making and using rubber hand stamps to be impressed on all Postage stamps and Postal Stationary available at that Post Office. The original circular reads[34]:

Arrangements are being made to get the Bangladesh postage stamps printed. But as it will take sometimes, it has been decided that rubber stamps bearing the word ‘Bangladesh’ should be got prepared locally and impressed on the existing stock of stamps before those are put on sale. The rubber stamp should contain the word ‘Bangladesh’ both in Bengali and English in small type. (Para 1(b) of letter Ref. M/A-1/RLG).

The subject of this circular was not an innovative one. In fact, a general Government handout reveals that there was a general instruction to strike out the name ‘Pakistan’ from all printed papers, signboards and names where-ever applicable and to use ‘Bangladesh’. People from all walks of the community obeyed the instructions without question.

But the order issued by the post office gave rise to some discontent among the public, especially to most of the commercial houses, banks and some government offices, which had a large quantity of stamps in their stock. As the instruction was given to the post offices to imprint the rubber stamp on their stock only and not to the mails posted to them for delivery, there gave rise to some confusion about the mails coming to these offices to be sent to different destination. Their matter was taken into account and a revised notice was issued later on, which was published in the daily Morning News of 31 December 1971. It says, members of the public, including commercial enterprises, banks etc. having mint (unused) Pakistan stamps in their possession, were permitted to make and use rubber stamp to amend them.

The practical result of this measure was a whole variety of rubber stamp being used, leaving aside privately-used rubber stamps; a very large number of different ones were produced by the post office itself. The details of execution of the circular had been left to the Head and Sub-Post Masters. In some cases, Head and Sub-Post masters made rubber stamps and supplied them to subordinate post offices, in other cases, the job of making rubber stamps was passed on to the subordinate post offices themselves.

The Director General realized, it would be impractical to instruct about distinct design, type size of the rubber stamp and colour of prints to be used. Therefore, he kept the matter open. As a result, the design of the officially made rubber stamps varied considerably. Some post offices used more than one design. Even when two or more rubber stamps of the same design were made, the individual implements can often be distinguished by small differences in detail. Various colours were used. Most common was violet, from commonly used stamp pads of different shades and densities; fairly common was black of the postmark ink, provided by the post office, this also varied in different shades; rare was the blue fountain-pen ink and very rare were green and red.

Beside a small number of rubber stamps used by a few commercial firms and banks, there were designs developed by people with commercial interest in stamp collecting. Some stamp dealers obtained older issues of Pakistan stamps and hand-stamped those with a large variety of designs, some of those were fanciful and decorative. Overprints were done on even those of first overprints (press-printed ‘Pakistan’ on British Indian stamps of 1947) making them ‘Three Generation Stamp’. It may be mentioned here that, all the stamps and postal stationary of the British Indian Postal Department, overprinted with the word ‘Pakistan’ were declared invalid and ceased to be used in the then Pakistan in 1950. And again, after the introduction of decimal currency in 1961, all the pre-decimal stamps were invalid for use. And also, since the Director General of Bangladesh Post Office did not authorize the use of any such relics in the new sovereign state of Bangladesh, such items were unofficial and postally invalid. Still these were made and used by the philatelists for their own collection and stamp dealers for their own financial benefit. Thus, the philatelic market inside Bangladesh and also world philatelic market was flooded with innumerable varieties of rubber stamps.

When time came to make extensive study on this subject the researchers found out that it was a difficult task before them to differentiate between the original or recognized rubber prints and those made by the public for commercial purposes.

On 7 April 1973 the Director General issued another memo no. PS 1-72/72-73. In this circular the Director General orders all concerned to be known that the rubber-print of Pakistan stamps and the use of these will end on 30 April 1973. The order reads[35]:

. . . . the new definitive postage stamps will be issued on and from the 30th April ‘73 in lieu of the former Pakistani-print postage stamps – both Public and Service – of all denominations . . . the existing Pakistani-print postage stamps, now being sold with rubber-stamp impression of ‘Bangladesh’ shall cease to be legal tender on and from the 30th April, ‘73 for the purpose of prepayment of postage or any postal transaction in Bangladesh. . . . . . that the stock of such Pakistani-print postage stamps still lying in the post offices, should, on no account be sold to the public on or after the 30th April 1`973, nor should they ever be accepted by the post offices, in the prepayment of postage or any postal transaction with effect from the said date . .

On 30 April 1973, a set of 14 value stamps, namely, 1p., 2p., 3p., 5p., 10p., 20p., 25p., 50p., 60p., 75p., 90p., Tk. 1., Tk. 2., Tk. 5., and Tk. 10. were issued. This set was the first regular set issued and circulated all over the country and started to be used in all mails all over the country at a time. These stamps were printed by Bradbury, Wilkinson Pvt. Ltd. of England. With the introduction of these stamps, the hand-stamped Pakistan postage stamps ceased to be legal for prepayment of postage. The last day the Pakistan stamps were officially available at the post offices was on 28 April 1973 (29 April being Sunday, was a weekly holiday).

However, a very small number of stamps were sold on 20 April 1973, at Dacca Railway Mail and Sorting Office (commonly known as Dacca RM&SO from its abbreviation) and Chittagong RM&SO counters, which were open even on Sundays.

Though from 30 April 1973 Bangladesh had its own postage stamps and Pakistan stamp with rubber-print were no longer in use from that date, there was no bar in using postal stationeries, namely Embossed Envelopes, Registration Envelopes, Post Cards, Reply Cards and Aerogrammes of Pakistan in the mails. It remained valid for mails as usual. Finally vide Postal Notice No. 5 dated September 1974 all items which bears the name Pakistan were totally withdrawn from sale and use. The notice reads[36]:

It is notified for general information that Bangladesh Post Office has decided to withdraw from circulation Pakistan print stationeries, namely Embossed Envelopes, Registration Envelopes, Post Cards, Reply Cards and Aerogrammes with effect from the 7th October 1974. Consequently, these stationeries will not be sold to the public from 7th October 1972 from the post offices nor they will be accepted by the post offices in the prepayment of postage with effect from that date.

This ends the history of provisional period of Bangladesh postal service.

Whereas the job of the serious stamp collectors or philatelists, on the other hand, had only just begun and found themselves faced with a huge number of rubber-stamped varieties, the fruit of three long years of rubber-stamping with a scope for trophy-hunting and research by the collectors for many years to come.

During 1871-72 Bangladesh Postal Department has 6,667 Post Offices and 24,983 employees.

As per the Ministry of Post, Telegraph and Telephone, Government of Bangladesh (Bangladesh Post Office Department) memo number P&A 26-51/75-76 dated 15 February 1979, Khulna Circle was divided into two Circles namely Southern Circle, Khulna and Northern Circle, Rajshahi and Ministry of Post, Telegraph and Telephone, Government of Bangladesh (Bangladesh Post Office Department) memo number P&A 10-1851/78 dated 1 January 1980, Dacca Circle was divided into two Circles namely Central Circle, Dacca and Eastern Circle, Chittagong.

Table 9: Shows a comprehensive set-up of Bangladesh Post Office

Circles 4
GPOs 4
Class I Head Post Offices 21
Class II Head Post Offices 45
Upazila Post Offices 401
Dept. Sub Post Offices 943
Extra-Departmental Sub Offices 323
Departmental Branch Offices 10
Extra-Departmental Branch Offices 8139
Total (As on July 2005) 9886

During the thirty eight years of philatelic history, from 29 July 1971 to December 2005, Bangladesh issued as many as 840 different postage stamps. Table 10 shows the stamps issued during first decade (1971-1980).

Table 10 : Postage stamps issued during the first decade (1971-1980)

Year Commemoratives Definitives Souvenir Sheet

1971-1980 113 41 9

1981-1990 181 19 10

1991-2000 394 2 6

2001-2008 274 0 6

Total 962 62 31

During 1971-1980 in total 113 commemorative stamps, 41 definitive stamps and 9 souvenir sheets were issued. Highest numbers of commemorative stamps (17, 15.4%) were issued in 1974, and lowest (4, 3.4%) in 1975. During 1981-1990 in total 181 commemorative stamps, 19 definitive stamps and 10 souvenir sheets were issued. Highest numbers of commemorative stamps (31, 17.13%) were issued in 1990, and lowest (9, 4.97%) in 1986. During 1991-2000, in total 394 commemorative stamps, only 2 definitive stamps and 6 souvenir sheets were issued. Highest number of commemorative stamps (56, 14.21%) were issued in 1991, and lowest (24, 6.1%) in 1992. During 2001-2008, in total 274 commemorative stamps and 6 souvenir sheets were issued. No definitive stamp was printed. Highest number of commemorative stamps (56, 20.44%) were issued in 2001, and lowest (12, 4.38%) in 2006. In total 962 commemorative, 62 definitive stamps and 31 souvenir sheets were issued during the last thirty eight years.

Due to absence of own security printing press, the Bangladesh Post Office had to print all its postage stamps from other countries. Bangladesh had to wait nineteen years to have its own security printing press. . Bangladesh’s own was commissioned in December 1989. Before that Indian Security Printing Press printed 4 stamps. Bradbury, Wilkinson Pte. Limited of England printed 59 stamps and one souvenir sheet. Asher and Company of Australia printed 39 stamps. Heraclios Fournier of Spain printed only 4 stamps and two souvenir sheets. John Waddington of England printed only 3 stamps, Uberreuter of Austria printed 27 commemorative stamps and 2 souvenir sheets. Mezdunarodnya kniga of USSR printed 77 stamps and 1 souvenir sheets. Harrison and Sons of England, most popular name among the stamp printers printed 92 stamps and 9 souvenir sheets.

On 7 December 1989, a security printing press was commissioned by the Government of Bangladesh at Gazipur, Dhaka. On this day, a new stamp commemorating opening of this Security Printing Press was printed from here. Since then, all the stamps of Bangladesh are printed from here.

A comparative statement showing number of stamps printed by different security printing presses are shown below.

Table 11 : Foreign Security Printing Presses and number of stamps printed by them

Name of Printers Commemoratives Definitives Service Souvenir Sheet
Asher & Co. 12 13 12 0
Bradbury 29 18 14 1
Bruder Rosenbaum 19 0 0 0
Format International 11 0 0 0
Harrison & Sons 67 11 11 11
Heraclios Fourneir 4 0 0 2
Indian Security 4 0 0 0
John Waddington 2 0 0 0
Mezdunarodnya 54 17 10 1
Uberreuter 41 0 0 2
Overprints 20 0 0 0

Total 353 59 47 18

Designing is vital for maintaining quality and standard of production of stamps of a country. Designers and artists of our country and abroad, who designed Bangladesh stamps were M/s. K.G. Mostafa, Ahmed Fazlul Karim, Pranesh Kumar Mandal, Mahmub Akhond, Dr. Manzare Shamin, Mahbuba Khatun. Mr. K.G. Mostafa and Mr. Ahmed Fazlul Karim were the pioneers. Mr. Pranesh Kumar Mandal was specialized mostly on portraits. His portraits were almost lifelike. Amongst the later designers Mr. Mahmub Akhond started designing in late 1983. In the same year Dr. Manzare Shamin and Mahbuba Khatun came into limelight at a countrywide designing competition of the Post Office. Among other designers include M/s. BP Chitnish, W.Delder, P. Jackson, R.G. Berret and E. Roberts were from abroad.

M/s. Wahid Kamal, Nitun Kundu, Mahbuba Begum, Bakiruddin Sarker, Md. Shamsuzzoha, Anowar Hossain, Nurul Islam, Mozammel Haque, Muslim Miah, Motior Rahman, A.F.M. Moniruzzaman, A.K.M. Abdur Rauf, Rafiqa Hossain, Quiyum Chowdhury, Hashem Khan, Bimalesh Chandra Biswas, Dewan Shanaz Shaheen and some more to follow.

Among the designers, ten most remarkable designers are as follows:

Table 12: Designers and number of stamps they designed

Name of the Designers Number of stamps designed
Anowar Hossain 134
K G Mustafa 83
Ahmed Fazlul Karim 81
Motior Rahman 54
Mahbub Akhond 47
Pranesh Kumar Mandal 45
Muslim Miah 38
Shamsuzzoha 33
Mrinal Chakrabarti 28
Manzare Shamim 28
Other than postage stamps Bangladesh Post Office issued 10 different post cards with three basic designs, 14 different envelopes with 5 basic designs 24 different aerogrammes of three basic designs and 4 registration Envelopes with one basic design. It also issued 3 different pictoral post cards.

Bangladesh Post Office arranged two national-level stamp exhibitions, at Dhaka, with befitting manner, one in 1984 and another in 1992 and two regional exhibitions in Khulna in 1984 and at Rajshshi in 1995.

Since independence, collection of stamps and other related items developed greatly. The first organization, Bangladesh Philatelic Soceity, formed with the stamp collectors and for the stamp collectors was set up in 1972 under the patronage of Mr. A.M. Ahsanullah, the then Director General of Bangladesh Post Office.

The first organizing committee includes following philatelists:

President: Mr. Sikander Hayat Chowdhury, Vice-Presidents: M/s. M.A. Salam, Shamsur Rahman, and N.M. Mir, General Secretary: Kazi Shariful Alam, Treasurer: Mr. Abdus Salam (B.Com), Asstt. General Secretaries: M/s. Mominur Rashid Khan and Jahangir Kabir, Information Secretary: Mr. Abedur Rashid Khan, Publicity Secretary: Mr. M.A. Kader and Members: Nani Gopal Basak, Asaduzzaman, Siddique Mahmudur Rahman, Mafidul Islam, Dalil Ahmed Khan, Mohammad Shafi and Jillur Rahim Akhond.

This Society published one issue of philatelic research journal in 1973, some issues of philatelic news letters, arranged some philatelic auction and one philatelic exhibition in 1973 at Dhaka Press Club. Among some other private philatelic organizations, Bangladesh National Philatelic Association arranged 25 exhibitions and Philatelists Association of Bangladesh arranged 11 exhibitions, all of which were held in Dhaka. To popularize philately and create interest among the philatelists these two associations arrange auction on philatelic materials each month regularly.

Since 1986, Bangladesh Institute of Philatelic Studies (BIPS) is dedicated in research and publication of reading materials on Bangladesh philately. The Institute published following important books on Bangladesh philately – Bangladesh Stamps and Postal History, 1988, Bangladesh Philatelir Dui Dasak, 1991, Bangladesher Dakbyabostha and Bangladesher Daktikit, 1995, Postage Stamps of Bangladesh, a database, multimedia philatelic software in CD, 2002; Eminent Personalities of Bangladesh, a multimedia database software in CD, 2003; K G Mustafa and His Exceptional Designs, 2007; Bangladesher Dakbyabostha (Postal History of Bangladesh), 2008; Postage Stamps of Bangladesh 1971-2008 (coloured stamp catalogue), 2009. Author of all these publications is Siddique Mahmudur Rahman.

Siddique Mahmudur Rahman’s book Bangladesh Stamps and Postal History was awarded Silver-Bronze Medal from Cardinal Spellman Philatelic Museum Inc., USA, Bronze Medal from American Philatelic Society, USA both in 1990 and Silver Bronze Medal by Australian Philatelic Federation in 1993. His book Artist K G Mustafa and his Outstanding Designs was awarded Silver Bronze in Jakarta in 2008 and Bronze from South Korea. He was awarded Silver Bronze from Australia in 2005 for his unique philatelic software in CD Postage Stamps of Bangladesh and Silver medal in 2009 from American Philatelic Society, USA for his book Postage Stamps of Bangladesh 1971-2008.
Besides, The Meter Fanking Cancellations of Bangladesh written by Ishtiaque Ahmed Khan, published in 1996 was a remarkable study on Bangladesh philately. Dr. Kazi Shariful Alam’s publications ‘Mojar Shokh Daktikit Shongroho’ and Postal Stationeries of Bangladesh are also worth mentioning publication during these years.

Bangladesh Post Office regularly publishes Dak Probaha, which houses philatelic news.

The table shown below displays that during twenty-five years Bangladesh Post Office earned about US$ 1.86 million, which is equivalent to about 7.46 crore taka.

Table 13: Sales of postage stamps through Dhaka Philatelic Bureau

Period US Dollar ($) Bangladesh Taka ($)
16.12.71-June 1981 584,256.02 88,73,249.64
July 1981-June 1990 136,200.48 40,18,316.82
July 1990-June 1995 457,505.70 2,74,50,342.00
July 1995-June 2005 695,775.36 3,41,99,856.00
Total 1,863,737.56 7,45,51,764.46

If the Post Office took the marketing of philately in a more serious way and had they advertised their products in international philatelic journals regularly, they could earned even more than four times of the amount they are earning now.

During the last 38 years (1971-2008) Bangladesh post office issued as many as 1012 postage stamps. Out of these stamps, only 49 stamps portray different structures and personalities of Dhaka city.[37] (Annexure B).


Annexure 1: List of post offices of Dhaka City

(T.S.O. = Town Sub-Office, DA = Dhaka; E.D.S.O. = Extra-Departmental Sub-Office)
Post Offices that delivers all postal materials

Post Code Name of the Post Office

1000 Dhaka GPO (Grade A)

1100 Dhaka Sadar Head Post Office (Grade A)

1203 Wari Town Sub Post Office

1204 Gendaria T.S.O. (TPO DA 359)

1205 New Market (LSG) T.S.O.

1206 Dhaka Cantonment T.S.O. (LSG)

1207 Mohammadpur Housing Estate (LSG) T.S.O.

1208 Dhaka Polytechnic Institute T.S.O. LSG

1209 Jhikatala S.O. DA 405

1210 BD Sharif T.S.O.

1211 Posta (LSG) T.S.O.

1212 Gulshan Model Town (LSG)

1213 Banani T.S.O. DA 814

1214 Basabo T.S.O.

1215 Tejgaon T.S.O. (LSG)

1216 Mirpur Section 1 T.S.O.

1217 Santinagar (LSG) T.S.O.

1218 Mirpur Bazar (LSG) T.S.O.

1219 Khilgaon T.S.O. DA 584

1221 Mirpur Section 12 T.S.O. T.S.O

1222 Bango Bhaban T.S.O.
Non-Delivery P.O.s under Dhaka GPO

1. Azad Press T. S. O.

2. Arambag S.O. DA 56

3. Azad Muslim Club S.O. DA 7005

4. Air Head Quarter S.O.

5. BD Secretariat (1st Phase) T.S.O. DA 794

6. BIDC T.S.O.

7. Bangla Academy, T.S.O. DA 281

8. BDR HQ T.S.O. DA 716

9. Bokhs Nagar T.S.O. DA 612

10. Bangladesh Air Force Base T.S.O.

11. BD Secretariat T.S.O.

12. Badda T.S.O.

13. BD Secretariat (3rd Phase) T.S.O. DA 798

14. BD Secretariat (2nd Phase) T.S.O. DA 797

15. Combined Workshop T.S.O. DA 807

16. Curzon Hall T.S.O. DA 660

17. Dhaka GPO Night T.S.O. DA 822 (LSG)

18. Dhaka University T.S.O. LSG

19. Dhaka Medical College T.S.O. (LSG)

20. Dhaka Cantonment (Night) T.S.O. DA 134

21. Daily Ittefaq (Night) T.S.O. DA 892

22. Dhanmandi T.S.O.

23. Eidgaon Sub Office

24. Engineering University (LSG) T.S.O.

25. Green Road T.S.O.

26. Gazetted Officers Hostel T.S.O. DA 130

27. Gonobhaban T.S.O. DA 351

28. High Coart T.S.O.

29. Jatiyo Sangsad Bhaban S.O. DA 486

30. Kafrul T.S.O. DA 7003

31. Kalyanpur TSP .T.S.O. DA 896

32. Kanthal Bagan T.S.O. DA 661

33. Kazipara Madrasa T.S.O. DA 843

34. Khamarbari T.S.O. DA 7001

35. Leather Institute T.S.O.

36. Madrasa-E-Alia T.S.O.

37. Maghbazar T.S.O.

38. Malibagh T.S.O.

39. Mirpur Cantonment T.S.O.

40. Mirpur Section 2. T.S.O.

41. Mirpur Section 10. T.S.O.

42. Mirpur Section 11. T.S.O.

43. Mohammadpur Night T.S.O.

44. National Assembly Secretariat S.O. DA 895

45. Nakhalpara T.S.O.

46. Naval H.Q. T.S.O. DA 378

47. New Market (Night) T.S.O. DA 378

48. Ordinance Depot SO DA 518

49. PG Hospital (LSG) T.S.O.

50. PG Hospital (Night) T.S.O. DA 440

51. Pilkhana (LSG) T.S.O.

52. Public Health Institute (LSG) T.S.O.

53. Residential Model School E.D.S.O. DA 588

54. Rayer Bazar T.S.O.

55. Razarbagh Police Line T.S.O.

56. Razia Sultana Road T.S.O. DA 532

57. Santinagar (Night) T.S.O. DA 240

58. Sarak Bhaban T.S.O.

59. Secondary Education Board T.S.O.

60. Segun Bagicha T.S.O.

61. Sher-E-Bangla Nagar T.S.O. DA 240

62. Tejgaon Airport (Night) T.S.O.

63. VH Training Institute T.S.O.

64. Zia International Airport S.O. DA 822

65. Zia International Airport S.O.
Non-Delivery P.O.s under Dhaka Sadar Head P.O.

1. Baburbazar Day T.S.O.

2. Baburbazar Night T.S.O.

3. Chawkbazar Day T.S.O.

4. Chawkbazar Night T.S.O.

5. Civil Defence Academy T.S.O.

6. Dhaka Sadar Night

7. Dhaka Court T.S.O

8. IWTA (Day), TPO, DA876

9. IWTA (Night) , TPO DA 877

10. Faridabad Day T.S.O.

11. Faridabad Night T.S.O.

12. Farashganj T.S.O.

13. Jatrabari T.S.O.

14. Jagannath College T.S.O.

15. Laksmibazar T.S.O.

16. Mitford T.S.O.

17. Nababpur (Day) T.S.O.

18. Nababpur (Night) T.S.O.

19. Postagola T.S.O.

20. Sattar Match Works T.S.O.

21. Sayedabad T.S.O. DA 932

22. Tipu Sultan Road T.S.O.

23. Wari Night T.S.O.

Annexure 2: List of stamps depicting Dhaka city
First Stamp of Bangladesh

1971 July 29

10p Map of Bangladesh

20p Massacre at D.U.

50p 75 Millon People

Re 1 Flag of Independence

Rs 2 Broken Chain

Rs 3 Ballot Box with Results

Rs 5 Sk. Mujibur Rahman

Rs 10 Support Bangladesh
Martyrs of Language Movement

1972 Feb. 21 10p Martyrs Monument at Dacca

1973 Apr. 30 Tk.1 Court of Justic
Definitives (redrawn) *

1974 Oct. 9 Tk. 1.00 Court of Justice
Definitives (reduced)

1976-1977 Tk.1 Court of Justice (Horiz)


5p Lalbag Fort (Vertical)

40p Baitul Mokarram

50p Baitul Mokarram
Islamic Foreign Ministers Conference

1983 Dec. 5 50p Sangsad Bhaban

1983 Dec. 21

10p Dhaka GPO Counter

Tk. 1.00 Railway Station

Tk. 2.00 Zia International Airport
Dhaka Zoo

1984 June 17

1.00 Gavial and Crane

2.00 Tiger and Peafowl
35th Anniversary of Language Movement

1987 Feb. 21 3.00 Monument
1st Anniv. of Institutionalization of Democracy

1987 Dec. 31 10.00 Pres. Addressing at National Assembly
Archaeological Relics of Bangladesh

1988 Oct. 9 10.00 Lalbagh Fort
Dhaka GPO – 25th Anniversary

1988 Dec. 6

1.00 Dhaka GPO from north-west

5.00 Post Office Counter


1989 March 31 5.00 Curzon Hall, Dhaka University

1991 Jan 30 6.00 Sir Salimullah Muslim Hall
20th Anniversary of Independence


4.00 Dhaka University (Students)

4.00 Dhaka Cantt. (Armed Forces)
Banglapex ’92 – National Philatelic Exhibition


10.00 Ivory Elephant – 19th Century (Dhaka Museum)

10.00 Victorian letterbox & letter delivery (Dhaka GPO)
Archaeological Relics of Bangladesh

10/29/1992 10.00 Tara Mosjid – Northeast side
Nawab Sir Salimullah, 122 Birth Anniv.

6/7/1993 2.00 Portrait & Ahsan Manjil

12/3/1993 2.00 Bangla Academy Bld., Westn side
Dr. Mohammad Ibrahim, 5th Death Anniv.

1994 Sept. 6 2.00 Portrait and BIRDEM Building
25th Anniversary of Victory Day

1996 Dec. 16 Offset 12.5

6.00 Jubillant youth before Aparajeyo Bangla
Historic Speech of 7 March 1971

1997 March 7 Offset 12.5

4.00 Sheikh Mujibur Rahman (Race Course Maidan)
Poet Kazi Nazrul Islam, Birth Centinary

1998 Dec. 31 Offset 12.5

6.00 Poet
21st February, Intl Mother Language Day

2000 Feb. 21

4.00 Abdul Jabbar, Martyr of 1952

4.00 Abul Barkat, Martyr of 1952

4.00 Shafiur Rahman, Martyr of 1952

4.00 Rafiq Uddin Ahmed, Martyr of 1952
Archaeological Relics of Bangladesh

2001 Apr. 30

6.00 Lalbagh Kella Mosjid

6.00 Armenian Church, Armenitola
1st Completion of Full Tenure of the J.S.

2001 July 13 10.00 Parliament House
8th Parliamentary Election

2001 Sept. 30 2.00 Parliament House
Fifty Years of Language Movement & International Mother Language Day 2002

2002 Feb. 21 10.00 Monument
Rajshahi-Dhaka Direct Train Communication

2003 Aug. 14 10.00 Railway lines
49th CPA Conference

2003 Oct. 7 10.00 Jatiyo Sangsad Bhaban
Bhashani Novo Theatre

2004 Sept. 24 4.00 Exterior view of the building

Bangladesh-China Diplomatic Relations, 30th Anniv.

2006 March 6 10.00 Jatyo Sangsad Building
5 Years Peace and Development

2006 Dec. 6 10.00 Different infrastructures
Nobel Peace Prize Dr Muhammad Yunus & Grameen Bank

2007 August 29 10.00 Dr. Yunus and Peace medal
Stamp Day 2008

2008 July 29 MS 31 Tk. 50.00 features stamps No. 001-008 2o p. stamps depict D.U.
DCCI, 50th Anniversary

2008 Oct. 31 Tk. 8.25 DCCI logo
Dhaka 400 Years

2008 Nov. 28 Tk. 6.00 Nimtali Dewri
International Disables Year

2008 Dec. 3 Tk. 3.00 A disable looking at the Jatiyo Sangsad

* Siddique Mahmudur Rahman (MA in English literature), is making research on postal history and postage stamps of Bangladesh for a long period of time. He has nine books and some papers published in recognized journals of Bangladesh. He was awarded six international awards for his books.

[1] In the light of recent historical reconstruction, it can be said that the existence of Gangaridi lay beside the Ganga river, the old tract of Bhagirathi. Proposed name was Gaud (Khulna, Pandua, Tamralipti as suggested by Ptolemy and supported by Rennel in the 19th century). See Ashok Kumar Basu, Ganga Pather Itikatha, (Calcutta, 1989), p. 36

[2] Dilip Chakrabarti, Ancient Bangladesh (Dhaka, 1992), pp. 178-9.

[3] Ibn Battuta. Travels in Asia and Africa 1325-1354. Translated and selected by HAR Gibb, Lund Humphries, London, Bradford, 1929, Book II, ch.IV, P. 361.

[4] Syed Mujtaba Ali, Deshey Bideshey, Dhaka, 1986, p. 93-94

[5] The Deotala inscription of Nusrat Shah dated 1528; Abid Ali, p.171

[6] Debikot inscription of Nusrat Shah dated 1528; Abid Ali, p.171; Dani, Bibliography, p.70; S. Ahmed, Inscriptions, p. 222; cf. J.A.S.P., 1958, p. 208

[7] L.G. Shenoi and A.H.G. Sarma (eds.) Philatelic Yearbook and Directory 1981, Bangalore, India, p. 84.

[8] wmwÏK gvngy`yi ingvb, evsjv‡`‡ki WvKe¨e¯’v, XvKv, evsjv‡`k 2009, c„. 20|

[9] Mohini Lal Majumdar, Early History and Growth of Postal System in India, (Calcutta, 1995), p. 37.

[10] M.A. Rahim, Social and Cultural History of Bengal, 1st Vol. (Bangalir Samajik O Sangskritik Itihas, Tr. Md. Asaduzzaman, Dhaka), p. 26.

[11] Mohini Lal Majumder, The Postal History of Zaminderi Dawk, Rddhi, India, Calcutta, 1984, p 55. See also Shirin Akhtar, The Role of the Zamindars in Bengal 1707-1772, Asiatic Society, 1982 and Mohini Lal Majumdar, Op. Cit.,, p. 50.

[12] LG Shenoi & AHG. Sarma (eds), Op. Cit., p. 85.

[13] Geoffrey Clarke, The Post Office of India and its Story, 1919, John Lane The Bodley Head, London, p. 12

[14] Mohini Lal Majumder, Op. Cit., p. 385.

[15] Mohini Lal Majumdar, Op. Cit., (Calcutta, 1995), p. 56; also Shirin Akhtar, Op. Cit., and Mohini Lal Majumdar, Op. Cit., 1984

[16] Mohini Lal Majumdar, The Imperial Post Offices of British India (1837-1914), (Calcutta, 1990), p. 160

[17] †gvwnbx jvj gRyg`vi, fvi‡Zi WvKe¨e¯’vi BwZnvm, (KjKvZv, 2001), c„. 82|

[18] Geoffrey Clarke, Op. Cit., p. 36.

[19] Mohini Lal Majumder, Op Cit., p. 385.

[20] wmwÏK gvngy`yi ingvb, cÖv¸³, c„. 19|

[21] Mohini Lal Majumdar, Op. Cit., p. 174

[22] Ibid.

[23] Ibid., p. 385.

[24] L.G. Shenoi and AHG Sarma (eds), Op. Cit., p. 85

[25] wmwÏK gvngy`yi ingvb, cÖv¸³, c„. 30|

[26] Brig. D. S. Virk, AVSM (Retd.) Indian Postal History 1873-1923, New Delhi, 1991, pp. 28-29.

[27] Geoffrey Clarke, Op.Cit., p. 32

[28] wmwÏK gvngy`yi ingvb, cÖv¸³, c„. 56|

[29] wmwÏK gvngy`yi ingvb, cÖv¸³, c„. 64|

[30] evsjv‡`k WvKwefv‡Mi gnvcwiPvjK I †cv÷ gv÷vi †Rbv‡i‡ji `ßi n‡Z msM„wnZ Z_¨| (D‡j­L¨, wewjKvix WvKN‡i WvKwefvMxq mKj cwi‡lev cÖ`v‡bi myweav _v‡K, wKš‘ AwewjKvix WvKNi¸wj‡Z †Kej WvKmvgMÖx weµq I cwien‡bi Rb¨ WvKmvgMÖx MÖn‡Yi e¨e¯’v _v‡K|)

[31] GAI-1/71-72 dated 19 December 1971

[32] A.M. Ahsanullah. Bangladesher Daktikit: Adi Itihash O Kichu Prashogik Kotha, BANGLAPEX ‘92 Souvenir, Bangladesh Post Office, Dhaka, 1992, p.28

[33] Stamp Digest, Bibhash Gupta (ed.), Calcutta, India. vol. XI, No. 11, December, 1971, p. 5.

[34] Post Office Circular dated 4.2. 1972.

[35] Post Office Memo No. PS 1-72/72-73 dated 7 April 1973.

[36] Post Office Circular no. 5 of 13 September 1974.

[37] Siddique Mahmudur Rahman, Postage Stamps of Bangladesh, 1971-2008, Dhaka 2008.

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