List of Museums of Delhi

National Philatelic Museum

The National Philatelic Museum is situated in Dak Bhavan of Sardar Patel Chowk on Parliament Street or Sansad Marg and easily accessible by local transport and metro link with Patel Chowk as the nearest metro station. It is also known by many as the paradise for Philatelists as it homes a collection of the most uncommon and unique stamps that has graced India which creates a platform for all philatelists to study stamps and their progression through the centuries.

'Philatelic' originated in 1864 when Georges Herpin realised the need to have a better name for 'Stamp Collection' as a hobby which was earlier named as 'Timbromanie' and was not considered as a very impressive name. Herpin derived this named from two Greek words 'Philo' which means 'attraction for a thing' and 'Ateleia' which means 'exempt from Taxes and Duties' and hence the name 'Philatelie' originated because before this all recipients had to pay for any postal charges which ceased after the introduction of postage stamps which any sender of the letter would need to pay for and fix it with the letter and hence recipients were free from paying any charges. The earlier names slowly graced out and the new name was greatly accepted since then.

Philately delves into the study of stamps holistically and also to detect the fakes from the original ones and earlier did not involve stamp collection. The technical attributes from the production of stamps up till its identification was the traditional study of Philately. It includes the design process; the paper used for the stamps; printing method to be used; the glue to be used; separation or perforation method to be used; overprints and under-prints to be used and finally the study of philatelic forgeries and fake stamps. Other branches of philately is 'Aero Philately', which is the study of airmail and 'Thematic Philately' which is the study of the pictures printed on the stamps such as sports, animals, birds maps and many other themes like these ones. 'Cinderella Philately' involves the study of seals and propaganda labels that look like stamps but are not one. 'Revenue Philately' is the study of stamps used in legal documents relating to courts, tobacco, alcohol, playing cards, newspapers, medicines and hunting licenses that attract heavy taxes while 'Maximaphily' involves the study of Picture Postcards fixed with Postage stamps. 'Postal Stationery Philately' involves the study of Stationery stamps like postcards and envelopes etc.

All types of philately focuses on the study of the various aspects of stamps used on a mail and the entire gamut of its procedure beginning from selection of postmarks, post-office, authorities, rates, taxes, how to carry the mail from the sender to the receiver which includes the study of using the easiest and fastest route and conveyance method to deliver mails. A Historical and ancient example to quote is the 'Pony Express' used in the United States which was considered as one of the most reliable and fastest method of delivering mails across the States in just a few months time opposed to other traditional methods being used then. Any Cover in possession by any collector that has a seal of the original Pony Express mail is extremely high priced and prized due to its historical significance.

Eventually Philately made a huge impact after numerous philatelists who spent all their time studying stamps and collectors who collect them from Indian and International clubs came together under one platform to exchange their knowledge and share their collection of rare and unique stamps. For this reason, The Indian Government also felt the need to have one centre to hold the country's largest collection of Stamps and hence the National Philatelic Museum was established. It holds precious and rare stamps dating between from pre-independence and post independence era.

The Museum displays the Philatelic Heritage of India including the first stamp that was ever printed and issued in 1854 by 'Sindh Dak' or 'Sindh Post-office' and a range of stamps issued by the Indian Government, the Princely States (1765-1947), post Independence since 1947 onwards and a few exquisite and rare foreign stamps including first day Covers, cancellations both usual and special ones and many others.

The National Philatelic Museum has a small Sales Counter section set up outside for all visitors who would like to purchase stamps from across the globe. It is opened between 1000 hours and 1700 hours from Mondays to Fridays only as Saturdays, Sundays and National Holidays are closed for public viewing. The entry is free however photography and filming is prohibited and allowed only after prior permission is obtained from the museum authorities.

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