October 21, 2011

Stamps from SriLanka

During our recent visit to SriLanka, i was surprised to see that people use the postal system(snailmail) quiet often; atleast i could see quiet a bit of crowd in most post-offices that i could spot from the buses. I happened to see a pretty big Post Office in Kandy, and wanted to get some stamps and first day envelopes(if at all SriLanka had it) for my collection. We had a terrible time crunch, and i never stepped into any of the post-offices, Alas!

But what came as an even bigger surprise was the small outlet of the SriLankan Post Office in the airport which I stumbled upon by chance. They had a pretty good collection of stamps(both used and not-used) and were selling it at the same rate - i.e, 5LKR per stamp. I picked up a few, and the following is an honest attempt in publishing them in the public domain and sharing the knowledge with others.

When i was browsing through their collection, i saw a large quantity of stamps depicting birds; the person also was selling a set of 20-40 bird-stamps for around 400-500LKR; i preferred buying in the loose and 'form my own collection' than buying it as a set. I do not like the idea of buying a 'set' of stamps - it looks very 'pre-configured' to me.

From top -left to bottom(go along the reading direction) : Coucal, Arenga, Blue Flycatcher, Hill Mynah, Oriole, Rufous Babbler, Head Laughing Thrush, Blue Magpie, Layard's Parakeet, Yellow Fronted Barbet, Yellow Eared Bulbul, Lorikeet, Slender Loris, Leopard, Lyre Head Lizard

Two main tourist attractions in SriLanka are their nature and ruins; and this has been adequetly presented in their philatelic collections. The coins and statues unearthed from the ruins in Anuradhapura and Pollanurawa have been suitably captured and presented. Also, you can see the beautiful natural reserves of Hortan plains and Knuckles.

The rectangular photo in the third row in the following picture is probably the longest stamp that i have in my whole collection.

I was presently surprised to find the following 2 stamps : on Tsunami disaster in 2004 and the other on Corruption. I am not sure whether India has a stamp on Corruption, but this was a welcome surprise to me. Also, another trivia : Dec-9 is the International Anti-Corruption Day(nice!).

SriLanka also has some interesting stamps of different patterns; though i do have triangular and diamond shapes of a few countries, am stumbling on a trapezoidal shape(the middle one) for the first time. Sports and Cricket are the themes in many stamps.

In fact, the person in the booth wanted to sell a commemorative collection of stamps on Muthaiah Muralitharan's (collector's edition) for 220LKR, but i somehow, i did not buy it.

I hope to take pictures of my stamp collection and post some interesting stamps in here. I guess, i would learn lots of aspects of philately during the due course and also meet interesting people in this community and exchange , which is the most crucial aspect to this hobby.
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