POSTAL HISTORY

Baroda did not have a fully organised state post comparable with those of Hyderabad or Travancore and Cochin. No regular postal service existed in the Baroda territory for the convenience of the general public. Government correspondence was sent with sowars and halkaras employed in Gaekwar Dawk. People privately managed to hand over their letters to those sowars or deputed special kassids (messengers) in urgent cases.

Bombay GPO was established about 1790 and post office rules were published at the same time. Max Smith in India Post # 121 quotes that, a twice-weekly dawke from Bombay to 'Brodera' (i.e. Baroda) was established by a notice dated 29 June 1802. The route was via Surat, and the rate for a single letter was 1 quarter 50 reas which had to be prepaid. The rate from Surat to Baroda was 50 reas per single letter. These rates were increased fairly soon afterwards, on 30 August 1802, to 2 quarters 50 from Bombay, and 1 quarter 50 from Surat. This states that the post office was in existence in Baroda since 1802.

Following tables shows the postage rate to Baroda from various places as mentioned in the Postage Rate tables displayed in Post Offices and reproduced each year in the Bombay Calendar.

Postage rates at December 1805 from Bombay

Not exceeding tolas

1 (Single)
Rs-quarter-reas

2 (Double)
Rs-quarter-reas

3 (Treble)
Rs-quarter-reas

To Baroda

0-2-50

0-3-75

1-1-00

A daily dawke to and from Surat to Baroda was lately established.

Postage rates from 1 December 1809 from Bombay

Not exceeding tolas

1(Single)
Rs-quarter-reas

2 (Double)
Rs-quarter-reas

3 (Treble)
Rs-quarter-reas

To Baroda

0-2-50

1-1-00

1-3-50

Postage rates in 1809 within Bombay Presidency

From

Single

Double

Treble

Tannah to Baroda

0-2-30

1-0-60

1-2-90

Damaun to Baroda

0-1-75

0-3-50

1-1-25

Surat to Baroda

0-1-50

0-3-00

1-0-50

Broach to Baroda

0-1-00

0-2-00

0-3-00

Baroda to Cambay

0-0-34

0-0-68

0-1-02

Baroda to Kaira

0-0-60

0-1-20

0-1-80

By 1820, the rates per single letter for Bombay to Baroda was reduced from 0-2-50 to 0-2-20. For Nowsary and Gandavy the rate was 0-1-75 (R-q-rs) from Bombay. In 1824, postage rate from Bombay to Baroda was increased and it was 0-3-00

A brief notice in August 1822 announced that a Dawk had been established between Baroda and Pertaubghur.

Postage Rates effective from May 1826 from Baroda to various places

 

Before Currency Conversion
Rs-quarter-reas

After Currency Conversaion
Rs. - Anna- ps.

Ahmedabad

0-1-0

0-4-0

Ahmednagar

0-2-25

0-9-0

Asseerghur

0-2-25

0-9-0

Aurangabad

0-2-0

0-9-0

Belgaum

0-2-75

0-15-0

Bhewandy & Tannah (Bhiwandy & Thana)

0-2-0

0-8-0

Bhooj (Bhuj)

0-2-0

0-8-0

Bombay

0-2-0

0-8-0

Broach

0-0-75

0-3-0

Damaun (Daman)

0-1-50

0-6-0

Dapoolie

0-2-25

0-9-0

Deesa

0-1-50

0-6-0

Dharwar

0-2-75

0-11-0

Dhoolia (Dhulia)

0-2-0

0-8-0

Kairah (Khaira)

0-0-75

0-3-0

Mallegam (Malegaum)

0-2-0

0-8-0

Mhow

0-2-0

0-8-0

Poonah (Pune)

0-2-25

0-9-0

Rajkote (Rajkot)

0-1-75

0-5-0

Rutnagurry (Ratnagiri)

0-2-50

0-10-0

Sattarah (Satara)

0-2-50

0-10-0

Sholapur

0-2-50

0-10-0

Surat

0-1-25

0-5-0

There were no major changes of rules or of postage rates between 1826 and 1837,

Baroda P.O. was in the Inspecting Postmasters' Division of Guzerat (Gujarat) and remained so for a long time after the numbered lists of obliterators were published in 1855, when Baroda was allocated No.28. The post office in Baroda was probably located in Cantonment area, outside the Gaekwar territory and known as Camp P.O. It was mostly used by British Officers and residents of the Cantonment area. The headquarters of the Inspecting Postmaster, Guzerat were located at Baroda and by 1869 he was responsible for 44 offices, although by no means all of them were within the territory of Baroda State. The Imperial PO paid no attention to State boundaries when creating its areas of responsibility.

In October 1856, the British Postal Authorities first mooted the question of opening post offices in Baroda territory for the convenience of the public. They recommended opening post offices at Beesnagar (Visnagar), Sidpore (Sidhpur) and Puttan (Patan). But in December 1856, HH Gaekwar Government informed the British Authorities that they wanted to introduce the own postal arrangements. Further it was explained in July 1858, that the arrangement of introducing its own post would be advantageous to it inasmuch as all official correspondence would be carried free of charge. Nothing further seems to have occurred until 1863. The question was revived in 1863, when the postal authorities expressed the desirability of opening post offices in large towns in Baroda territory.
At last, in March 1863, HH Gaekwar Government agreed to the arrangement of opening post offices in the Baroda territory. In return it was agreed that HH Gaekwar Government would be given an annual refund of the value of postage stamps affixed to official correspondence.

The Baroda Government provided the land for the erection of the post offices, runners' huts and stables in the state. Necessary guards and escorts for the protections of mails were also provided. In the districts, post offices were linked to a certain number of villages by messenger, who at fixed intervals made their visits. In 1882 the postal authorities, with a view to extend postal facilities to places in the interior of the state, where it was not possible to establish independent post offices requested the Baroda Government to permit village school masters to undertake the postal work. Gradually postal facilities were extended to the smallest and most isolated hamlets of Baroda territory. By July 1883, 54 Post Offices were opened in the state. The number rose to 76 in 1893 and 203 in 1905. In 1939 there were 419 post offices in the Baroda territory.

This Web Site is developed and updated by Visit Prashant Pandya's Web Pageon Monday, September 8, 2014 2:12 PM