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Photos of Pre-1950 Tibet Post Offices

Printed From: Rainer's Stampcorner
Category: Tibet
Forum Name: Tibet Postmarks and Postal History
Forum Description: Please use for the discussion of Postmarks and Postal History
URL: http://www.fuchs-online.com/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=120
Printed Date: 22 November 2017 at 12:49pm
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Topic: Photos of Pre-1950 Tibet Post Offices
Posted By: Brian Smith
Subject: Photos of Pre-1950 Tibet Post Offices
Date Posted: 24 May 2011 at 6:13pm
Does anyone have information as to the EXACT whereabouts of Tibet's pre-1950 Post Offices?  When I visited Tibet in 1988 I only saw the Shigatse and Lhasa Post Offices - but they were modern Chinese buildings.
I welcome any information - or maybe a member could Post photographs.
 
Brian W Smith



Replies:
Posted By: Rainer
Date Posted: 24 May 2011 at 6:34pm
Brian,

in an 1995 Tibet Handbook in Chinese Language i fond the shown images which apparently shows an post office in Tibet. Maybe some Chinese speaking members can translate the Chinese text below the pictures?






Posted By: Bob Gilbert
Date Posted: 24 May 2011 at 9:47pm
Brian,
In his book Lhasa the Holy City (1938) F. Spencer Chapman describes the post office at Phari but locates it only as being adjacent to 'The Phari Bungalow' (presumably the Dak Bungalow for travellers), which is: 'flat-roofed, as are all the buildings here, and faces into a cobbled courtyard together with the Post Office and the rooms of the Postmaster, who is a Nepali, and the hut-keeper, who is a rather superior-looking Tibetan with a long plait, and a heavy gold ring in his left ear. The Post Office, at 15,000 feet, is supposed to be the highest in the world'. (p. 33)
I have never seen a street plan of Phari, but examination of pre-1950 captioned photographs of Phari ought to make identifying the building possible.
Other books of the 1920-1950 period refer to the post in Tibet and I will try to put together a list of references. One problem is the lack of distinction between British Indian and Tibetan post offices, which were, I believe, not usually the same premises.


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Bob Gilbert


Posted By: Enakshi Majumdar
Date Posted: 01 June 2011 at 5:07pm

Post and Telegraph Offices existed in Sovereign Tibet ( pre-1950) the first was Gyantse and the second Lhasa. Got to check David MacDonald's LAND OF THE LAMA  for the exact date of establishment. P&T Dept. of the Govt. of India regulated P&T services in Tibet. It fell under Darjeeling Postal Division of British Bengal . This arrangement continued till 1954, years after the British left India (see Richardson's History of Tibet, 1962). My father a clerk with Darjeeling Divisional Office was threatend to be transferred to Gyantse P&T Office in 1949.  A punishment of sorts for organising strike of the P&T Employees . My father use to tell a lot about Gyantse Post Office, Anecdotes he heard in Darjeeling . Unfortunatly no written record exists. I shall await further information.



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truth


Posted By: Brian Smith
Date Posted: 17 June 2011 at 4:36pm
Smile  Rainer.
Thanks for your response. Wonderful photographs - now all I need is a Mandarin translator to find out where they are?were.  I do not remember any Post Office like those when I was in Tibet in 1988.   Brian W Smith


Posted By: Brian Smith
Date Posted: 17 June 2011 at 4:47pm
Smile
Bob,  Thanks for response. I have the Spencer Chapman book.  There are one or two photos of the Dak Bungalow at Phari in the Tibet Collection of Photographs (see Link on Geoffrey Flack's Tibet stamps site. Click on "Tibet", then Link below) but one cannot be sure where the Post Office is!
I too have found several references to Tibet Postal services in various books of the period you mention,  but no photographs of the Offices. I feel that any future book on Tibet Postal History should address this point.  Brian W Smith


Posted By: Brian Smith
Date Posted: 17 June 2011 at 5:00pm
Smile
Enakshi,
 
Your reply intrigues me.  I was in Darjeeling in March this year - what a pity we could not have met! I also visited Darjeeling Post Office - now a Heritage building! If your father was a clerk with the Divisional Office and had stories & anecdotes about Gyantse Post Office you must tell members what you know. Or maybe write an article for the Postal Himal magazine?
 


Posted By: Rainer
Date Posted: 16 October 2013 at 8:37pm
Originally posted by Brian Smith Brian Smith wrote:

Smile  Rainer.
Thanks for your response. Wonderful photographs - now all I need is a Mandarin translator to find out where they are?were.  I do not remember any Post Office like those when I was in Tibet in 1988.   Brian W Smith


Brian,

could you already locate a Mandarin translator for the translation of the photo text?


Posted By: Michael Dillon
Date Posted: 19 October 2013 at 7:39am
Rainer,
I have only just seen the request for translations of the captions to the two Tibetan post office photographs.
 
Plate 18: Originally the Danjilin Temple [I don't have the Tibetan name for this to hand but I will try to check]. The Tibetan Local Government [ie the independent government] established the Jhokang Post Office here in 1912 and it operated until it was closed down in 1959.
 
Plate 50: Lhasa Post Office, officially established 1 July 1952. This was the old site of the post office in the 1950s.
 
I hope that is of some help.
 
Michael Dillon
 


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MSD


Posted By: Rainer
Date Posted: 19 October 2013 at 11:27am

Dear Michael,

thanks for the reply. I just wonder what City/Post Office Jhokang had been? Was it in Lhasa as there is a famous place/temple? But in that case it appears, based on the translation of the other photo, that there had been several Post Offices at Lhasa.



Posted By: Michael Dillon
Date Posted: 19 October 2013 at 1:53pm
On the basis of those two photographs it does look as if there were two post offices in Lhasa, at least between 1952 and 1959. The Jokhang is of course in Lhasa and so was the Danjilin Monastery. I am fairly sure that this is the Tengyeling Monastery that was demolished in 1912 because the monks had cooperated with the Chinese military. I will see what further information I can find on this.

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MSD


Posted By: Snow Lion
Date Posted: 23 June 2015 at 4:58pm
Hi !
Indeed the photographs show the Lhasa Post Office after 1959.
It was established towards 1912-13 in a remnant building of the destroyed Tengyeling (bstan rgyas gling)monastery. This monastery was destroyed,(and the monks expelled),as punishment because those monks had sided with the Qing Manchu troops during the 1909-1912 occupation.
After 1959, the chinese converted this building into a housing one, for as many families as there were available rooms. No running water, no individual kitchen, etc etc... Incidentally, one of the rooms was home for Namdrol Lhamo's family (one of the "singing nuns", one of the youngest prisoner of opinion sentenced to repeated long term imprisonments, and finally released towards 2004 and escaped to India).
Well, these are the photographs, a decaying building going progressivly to ruins. However, in the 80ties, with the financial, material, and manual help of a foreign NGO (and a symbolical one from the chinese, i.e. the paper authorization to do so !)this building was renovated and rehabilitated, still to be, of course, a housing one, but very more convenient and secure. - Best.



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