Unseen Passage: Dal Lake

Tourists to Jammu and Kashmir have another attraction – a floating post office on the Dal Lake in Srinagar, the first in the country. ‘Floating Post Office, Dal Lake – claimed to be the only one such post office in the world – is built on an intricately carved maroon houseboat, fastened on the western edge of the Dal Lake.

This post office lets you avail of all the regular postal services available in the country while being afloat. The seal used on everything posted from Floating Post Office is unique – along with the date and address. It bears the design of a boatman rowing a Shikara on the Dal Lake. The special feature of this post office is that letters posted from here carry a special design which has the picturesque scenery of Dal Lake and Srinagar city. These pictures reach wherever these letters are posted to and hence promote Kashmir as a tourist destination across the world.

This is actually a heritage post office that has existed since British times. It was called Nehru Park Post Office before 2011. But after that the chief postmaster John Samuel renamed it as ‘Floating Post Office’.

The post office’s houseboat has two small rooms – one serves as the office and the other a small museum that traces the philatelic history of the state postal department. It has a shop that sells postage stamps and other products.

But for the locals, Floating Post office is more than an object of fascination. Rupees 1-2 crore is deposited per month in Floating Post Office by communities living in and around the Dal Lake. The lake has several islets that are home to more than 50,000 people.

The greatest difficulty was is the recurrence of 2014 like floods in which the houseboat had gone for a toss uncontrollably pushed by the flood. Rescue teams had to anchor it using special mechanism at a nearby highland. Then it was brought back on the Dal after the water receded. The biggest boon is that at no time of the year, you need a fan in this post-office!

Q. Answer the following questions:

  1. Where is floating post office situated?
  2. Who renamed the post office as “Floating Post Office”?
  3. What is the greatest fear of the Post office?
  4. Find the word from the passage which means the same as “attraction”.
  5. The seal bears the design of
    1. Aeroplane
    2. Bus
    3. Ship
    4. Shikara
  6. Floating Post office is fastened on which edge of the Dal Lake?
    1. Eastern
    2. Northern
    3. Western
    4. Southern
  7. In which year flood struck floating post office?
    1. 2014
    2. 2004
    3. 1994
    4. 1894
  8. The monthly deposits per month in Floating Post office is ________.
    1. 4-5 crore
    2. 3-4 crore
    3. 2-3 crore
    4. 1-2 crore

Answers

  1. Floating post office is situated on Dal Lake in Srinagar (Jammu & Kashmir).
  2. The Chief Post Master, John Samuel named the post office as “Floating Post Office”.
  3. The greatest fear of the post office is floods recurrence of floods.
  4. Fascination
  5. Shikara
  6. Western
  7. 2014
  8. 1-2 crore

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