Postal system

Indian post


  • The Indian post office, founded in 1837 and issuing the first Indian postage stamp in 1852, is the most widely spread postal system in the world.
  • The world’s first official airmail flight took place in India, on 18 February 1911. It was a journey that spanned 18 kilometres and lasted 27 minutes. Henri Pequet, a French pilot, ferried around 15 kilos of mail (approximately 6,000 letters and cards) across the Ganges, from Allahabad to Naini. Included in the historic airmail was a letter to King George V of the United Kingdom.
  • As of March 2013, India had over 154,822 post offices (about 139,086 in rural sector and the rest 15,736 in the urban areas). At the time of independence there were 23,344 post offices only!
  • Over 12,600 departmental post offices are computerized.
  • On an average a post office serves an area of 21.23 sq. km. and a population of 7,817.
  • Indian Post has 573,749 post letter boxes.
  • Indian post has a staff of over 2.1 lakh employees.
  • Indian Post has about 238 million savings accounts, with outstanding balances at Rs 68.4 trillion, as of March 2013.
  • India has the highest post office in the world in Hikkim, Himachal Pradesh at a height of 15,500 feet (postal code – 172114).
  • India Post inaugurated a floating post office in August 2011 at Dal Lake in Srinagar in Kashmir.


  • Indian Postal System offers airmail services daily to all parts of the world. The Business Development Directorate offers Express Parcel Post, Corporate Money Order and Hybrid Mail, Speed Post Service and the Business Post.
  • The Money Order department of the Indian Post office has 717 centers, connected through VSAT and Extended Satellite Money Order Stations. Due to a tie-up with Western Union, money orders can be done to 205 countries in the world.
  • ePayment enables customers to pay their multiple bills under one roof, at the post office.
  • As of 2008-09, schemes like Public Provident fund (Rs 226,895 million), National Savings Certificate (Rs 533,092 million outstanding), Indira Vikas Patra, Kisan Vikas Patra (Rs 1633,301 million outstanding), Monthly Income scheme (Rs 1795,033 million outstanding), Recurring Deposit Account (Rs 650,733 million outstanding), savings account (Rs 226,895 million outstanding), Senior citizen’s savings scheme (Rs 206,509 million outstanding) are very popular schemes run by the Indian post.
  • Postal Life Insurance (PLI) schemes are also very popular, covering a sum assured of Rs 126,171 million through 29 lakh policies (as of March 2010).

Indian postMail handled annually (in millions)

Source: Indian Post annual report

Registered Un-registered Money order
(Rs million)

Indian postal systemRevenues (in Rs millions)

Source: Indian Post annual report

Speed Post Business Post Other services

Note: In 2009-10, Indian post incurred losses of over Rs 76,396 million compared to Rs 35,931 million in 2008-09

Other major postal systems

  • The United States has the world’s largest postal system in terms of total mail handled. The system is operated by an independent government agency called the United States Postal Service.
  • The Canada Post Corporation delivers to about 11 million addresses in all parts of Canada. Canada Post was incorporated by the Canadian Parliament in 1981. It had previously operated as a government department.