India Post has issued a set of two stamps and a miniature sheet on holiday destinations of India.The MS depicts Thar desert of Rajasthan. First stamp depicts City Palace Udaipur and second stamp depicts an image of Stone Chariot of Hampi (Karnataka). Denomination of both stamps is 15 Rs each.

Technical Detail: Date of Release: 15th August 2018, Quantity: Stamps- 5 Lakh each; Miniature sheet-1.10 Lakh, Printing Process: wet offset, Printer: Security Printing Press Hyderabad, Stamps/Miniature Sheet/FDC designed by: Smt. Alka Sharma, based on selected entries.

Department of Posts has been conducting stamp design competition or photography competition on various themes since 2015 on the occasion of Republic Day, Independence Day and Children’s Day at national level. Based on the entries received from the participants, stamps are designed and released. Selected participants are given cash awards. This time, a nationwide photography competition on the theme “Holiday Destinations in India” was conducted on the occasion of Independence Day, 2018. Based on the selected entries, Stamps, Miniature Sheets, First Day Covers and Brochures have been designed. The first three winners of Photography Competition are Sh. Sandeep Nema, Sh. Maninder Singh Sodhi and Sh. Pranil Anil Borkar. Five consolation prize winners are Ms. Tina Verma, Sh. Prashant Singhal, Sh. Patel Narayan Dwarkadas, Sh. M. Vinoth Kumar, Sh. Dattaprasad V. Mantri. Based on the prize-winning entries of the instant competition, two stamps and a Miniature Sheet have been designed. The Miniature Sheet is designed with the photograph showing the Thar Desert and its integral relationship with the local culture. The Thar Desert, also known as the Great Indian Desert, is a large arid region in the northwestern part of the Indian subcontinent. It is the world’s 18th largest desert, and the world’s 9th largest subtropical desert. The desert provides recreational value in terms of desert festivals organized every year. Rajasthan desert festivals are celebrated with great zest and zeal. This festival is held once a year during winters. Dressed in brilliantly hued costumes, the people of the desert dance and sing haunting ballads of valor, romance and tragedy. The fair has snake charmers, puppeteers, acrobats and folk performers. Camels play a stellar role in this festival, where the rich and colorful folk culture of Rajasthan comes alive. Desert safaris on camels have becomeincreasingly popular around Jaisalmer. Domestic and international tourists frequent the desert seeking adventure on camels. During the is one of the most diverse and colorful countries in the world. It is home to numerous attractions, amenities and activities. Starting from the valleys of Kashmir to the tri-colored sea of Kanyakumari, tourist attractions abound. Therefore, people from various countries come to India every year to visit these historic sites and places of pilgrimage. During travel, a tourist must assimilate what nature has to offer, what relics of history teach and what life ultimately seeks to convey. Travelling helps the visitors get acquainted with the culture, customs, language and way of life of the local people. Besides, travel brings the much relaxation to our mind, body and soul. safaris, tourists are able to view the fragile and beautiful ecosystem of the Thar Desert.

The prize-winning photographs selected in this competition depict the geographical and cultural diversity of the country. One of the stamps is designed based on the winning photograph showing the City Palace of Udaipur, Rajasthan. Often referred to as the ‘Venice of the East’, the city of lakes Udaipur is located around azure water lakes and is hemmed in by lush green hills of Aravallis. Udaipur was founded in 1553 by Maharana Udai Singh II as the new capital of Mewar Kingdom. It is located in the fertile, circular Girwa Valley to the southwest of Nagda, which was the first capital of Mewar. The beautiful City Palace adds to the architectural grandeur of the city. The City Palace towers over Lake Pichola. The balconies, cupolas and towers of the palace give a panoramic view of the lake and the surrounding city. The main part of the palace is now preserved as a museum displaying artifacts.

The other stamp depicts the Stone Chariot of Hampi of Karnataka which is also one of the most visited tourist destinations in India. Hampi, also referred to as the Group of Monuments at Hampi, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site located in east-central Karnataka, India.It became the capital of the Hindu Vijayanagara Empire in the 14th century. Hampi’s ruins are spread over 4,100 hectares (16 sq mi) and it has been described by UNESCO as an “austere, grandiose site” of more than 1,600 surviving remains of the last great Hindu kingdom in South India that includes forts, riverside features, royal and sacred complexes, temples, shrines, pillared halls, mandapas, memorial structures, water structures and others”. The “Stone Chariot”, as it is often referred is the flagship tourist attraction of Hampi. This is not a chariot, as the name suggests, rather ashrine built like a chariot. This stone shrine was built with many giant granite blocks. The joints are smartly hidden in the carvings and other decorative features that adorn the Stone Chariot.

Other prize-winning photographs depicted in First Day Cover and Brochure also display the splendor of tourist destinations in India.

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