Unseen Passage: Floating Post Office

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’s— 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 then 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. ? 1-2 crore is deposited per month in the 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 fear 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 in 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 do you need a fan in this post-office.

Q. Answer the following questions on the basis of the passage you have read:

  1. What is the location of the Floating Post Office in Srinagar ?
  2. What is special about the seal used in the post office ?
  3. How is the post office helpful in promoting toursim ?
  4. Who renamed the post office as ‘Floating Post Office’ ?
  5. What are the two rooms of the post office used for ?
  6. How is the post office benefical to the locals ?
  7. What is the greatest fear that the post office has ?
  8. How is the post office a big boon to the people ?
  9. Find the word from the passage which means the same as ‘attraction’, (para 5)

Answer

  1. The Floating Post Office, one of the tourist attractions of Jammu and Kashmir is built on an intricately carved maroon houseboat, which is fastened on the western edge of the Dal Lake in Srinagar.
  2. The seal used in the post office on everything posted from the Floating Post Office is unique. It bears the design of a boatman rowing a shikara on the Dal Lake along with the date and address.
  3. The letters posted for the Floating Post Office in Srinagar carries the picturesque scenery of Dal Lake and Srinagar as its special design. Whichever address these letters are posted to, these pictures reach there hence, promoting Kashmir as a tourist destination across the world.
  4. The chief postmaster John Samuel renamed it as ‘Floating Post Office’.
  5. One of the rooms in the post office’s houseboat serves as the office and the other as a small museum that traces the philatelic history of the state postal department. It has a shop that sells postage stamps and other products.
  6. Communities living in and around the Dal Lake can deposite and save their money in the Floating Post Office. It helps them as a bank.
  7. The greatest fear that the post office face is the recurrence of floods in the lake.
  8. The post office is a boon to the people as it is a major source of attraction as well as a source of income for the people.
  9. Fascination.

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