A commemorative postage stamp on the First Sunrise of the Millennium :
Issued on Jan 1, 2000
Stamp Design : Based on material furnished by Andaman & Nicobar Administration.
Type : Stamp, Mint Condition
Watermark : No
Colour : Multi Colour
Denomination : 300 Paise
Stamp Overall Size : 3.91 x 2.90 cms.
Stamp Print Size : 3.55 x 2.54 cms.
Perforation : 13 x 13
Paper : Imported unwatermarked Adhesive Gravure Coated Stamp Paper in Sheets 50.8 x 53.5 cms.
Stamps Printed : 2 Million in sheets of 35
Printing Process : Photogravure
Printer : India Security Press, Nashik
- Katchal – the sunrise island as it is called now – is a tiny island situated on 8 degree latitude and between 93 degree and 94 degree longitude. It belongs to the Nicobar group of islands, in the Bay of Bengal.
- Katchal, is about 174 sq. kilometres in area and reaches a height of 835 feet on the eastern side, which is composed of hills of calcareous sand stone formed in the sea during the tertiary period. It is on the way to Great Nicobar, the southernmost island of Andaman and Nicobar and Indira point, the southernmost tip of India. The entire Nicobar group of islands including Katchal is declared as tribal area and hence not normally open for tourists. The population of Katchal as per the 1991 census is 5,072. Of these 2491 are indigenous settlers. However estimated population as on date is 9000.
- Katchal which was just another dot on the world atlas, has become the centre of attraction only during the first few months of 1999. Travel agencies, media and tourists from different parts of the world started exploring ways to reach Katchal, as the Royal Greenwich Observatory revealed that it is this islands which is going to witness the first sunrays of the Millennium year 2000. ‘Millennium a Rough Guide to the year 2000’ written by Nick Hanna published the relevant details supporting the news. As recorded, the universal day begins when it is mean midnight at the cross-hairs of the Airy transit circle in the Old Royal Observatory at Greenwich.
- When 1st January 2000 starts at 00.00 hrs. GMT at Greenwich the first sunrays of that year will be shining down on Katchal Island. The Geological Survey of India has confirmed the reliability of the information and the Hydrographic Office, Dehradun specifically pointed out the place, which is going to receive the first sunrise of the millennium year. It is on 8 degree latitude and 93.09 degree longitude, a place which falls 8 miles west of Katchal Island.
- Considering the uniqueness and historic importance of the occasion, the Government of India has decided to allow foreign as well as domestic tourist vessels to anchor in Katchal waters to view the first sunrise on 1st January 2000.
- The unique and historical value of the occasion has been portrayed for posterity through this special stamp being issued to commemorate the First Sunrise of The Millennium to be witnessed at Katchal, in the Nicobar group of Islands, of the Indian Subcontinent.
- Text: Based on material furnished by Andaman & Nicobar Administration.