There are museums for technology, artefacts and music. The latest addition to this list is one that is dedicated to the journey of communication. From one of the oldest phone models to the newest postal covers and stamps, Sandesh has it all.
Touted to be Indias first museum dedicated to postal communications, the Department of Post, Karnataka Circles initiative also honours the moniker for Museum Road as the museum is situated in the old Postal Divisional Office building on the same road.
The museum, which was inaugurated on Thursday, coinciding with Independence Day, has been divided into six rooms. The first room, Sandesh has stamps on three themes: birth of the nation, Indian culture and Mysore anche.
The second room, Samparka, exhibits various items of modes of communication of the yesteryears, such as Morse Code, Petromax light, mail bomb detector, stamps and seals imprest with army postal uniforms.
The third room, Samputa, exhibits old order books, bags and sorting cases. The fourth room, Samvahana, showcases the VSAT apparatus.
Sanghathi, the fifth room, exhibits brass weighs and raincoats. The sixth room, Sangraha, displays philately frames and is an activity room.
Apart from these, special covers and stamps, letter boxes and stamp cancellation machine are also on display.
Charles Lobo, Chief Postmaster General of Karnataka Circle, said north Karnataka has an interesting history with regard to postal services. Bijapur (Vijayapura), Belgaum (Belagavi), Dharwad and Karwar belonged to the Bombay Presidency, Bidar and Raichur were with Hyderabad Nizam Presidency, Bellary (Ballari) was with Madras Presidency and Chitradurga and others were with Mysore Presidency. We have collected all the four postal services systems and have displayed it here in the museum.
He explained how postal services have changed since the first postal stamp was released in 1854, prior to which postage was paid in the form of cash.
The building housing the museum which is a combination of Madras terrace, Mangalore tile roofing and Dravidian style architecture dates back to 1804. Boasting of historical importance, it finds mention in T.P. Issars book City Beautiful. The Government Museum was located in this building, which is how the road got its name.
The Department of Posts also released a special cover during the event, which has renowned artist Paul Fernandess cartoon of the Museum Road Post Office.
Even though I studied in St. Josephs School, which is right across the street, I never really gave a thought about the postal services. But as I grew up and Bengaluru started changing rapidly, I started drawing these buildings to remember them, he said.
Well-known diplomat Pascal Alan Nazareth,who inaugurated the museum, said, I have gone down this lane and always wondered why it was called Museum Road. I discovered the reason now. On the impact of postal services on the lives of people, he added, I think that the most loved government office in India is the Department of Post.