Centres of Culture & Tourism

Complete set of 4 nos. of commemorative postage stamps on Indepex 97 :

1. Ruins of Nalanda University [Buddhist Cultural Site]2. Bodhi Gaya [Buddhist Cultural Site]3. Kushinagar Stupa [Buddhist Cultural Site]4. Vaishali Stupa & Pillar [Buddhist Cultural Site]

Issued by India

Issued on Jun 6, 1997

Issued for : The world Philatelic Exhibition, Indepex ’97 was organised at Delhi by the Department of Posts to coincide with the Golden Jubilee Celebration of India’s Independence. The exhibition held from 15-22 December ’97 in hall nos. 8-11, Pragati Maidan, New Delhi.

A Special Logo had been designed for Indepex ’97 which depicts the caparisoned elephant, a symbol of traditional welcome in India. It signifies peace, prosperity and goodwill. A special postage stamp depicting the logo of Indepex ’97 was released on 5th of October ’96.

This being a major international exhibition which was held approximately once every ten years, the Department of Posts was bringing out a series of stamps to herald Indepex ’97. This was the first such set.

Picture : India is a country of great cultural heritage. This set of four stamps on Nalanda, Bodhgaya, Vaishali and Kushinagar depicts four cultural centres. Nalanda, Bodhgaya, and Vaishali are located in the state of Bihar and Kushinagar in Uttar Pradesh.

Type : Stamps, Postal Used

Watermark : No

Colour : Multi Colour

Denomination : 200, 600, 1000 & 1100 Paise

Overall Size : 3.91 X 2.90 cms.

Printing Size : 3.60 X 2.55 cms.

Perforation : 13.5 x 13.5

Paper : Matt Chromo

Stamps Printed : 0.5 Million each in sheets of 10 blocks

Printing Process : Photo Offset

Printer : Calcutta Security Printers, Kanpur

About Nalanda : 

  • The first stamp in the series, depicts the ruins of Nalanda University, a monastic University which flourished here from 5th to 11th Century AD. It is believed to be the oldest university in the world. Lord Buddha himself is said to have preached at Nalanda.

About Bodhgaya : 

  • The stamp on Bodhgaya depicts the giant Bodhi Tree where Prince Siddharth gained enlightenment. Bodhgaya has also the famous Mahabodhi Temple with a soaring spire. Its walls are covered with scenes depicting various aspects of Buddhism. The temple is said to stand at the site of the original 3rd Century B.C. temple built by Emperor Ashoka.

About Vaishali : 

  • Vaishali, the ancient land of Mithila was the capital of the Licchavis, one of the earliest republics of the world. Emperor Ashoka erected a pillar here to mark the spot of the last prayer meeting of Lord Buddha. This pillar and the stupa of Vaishali are depicted in the stamp.

About Kushinagar : 

  • Kushinagar, in Uttar Pradesh, completes the series; it was at this place that Lord Buddha breathed his last and attained Maha Parinirvana. The stamp depicts the Stupa at Kushinagar.

The above centres which have a rich historical background, located among two of the largest and most populous states of the country attract a large number of tourists from all over the world.

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