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Saturday, 12 April 2014

Did you know Series (19): i) Postage stamps from Thailand commemorating the Buddhist Jataka Tales (Part I):

Did you know Series (19): Postage stamps from Thailand commemorating the Buddhist Jataka Tales (Part I):

(This is Part 1 of a four-part article narrating four Jataka tales based on a set of stamps brought out by Thailand Post)
Stamps celebrating the Magh Puja Day issued in 1996:

1) Temiya Jataka, 2) Mahajanaka Jataka, 3) Suvannasama Jataka and 4) Nemi-kumar Jataka

The ten Jataka stories are narratives about the previous lives of Bodhisattva concerning his attaining of the ten perfections which he had been practicing before he was born in his final life as Prince Siddhartha. Having attained enlightenment, he became the Lord Buddha who taught all living creatures how to end all sufferings (or end of “Dukha”).

These stories called the Jatakas” tell the legends of how the Bodhisattva achieved the ten-fold perfection in the undernoted areas:

1)   Temiya Jataka  narrating the “Perfection of Renunciation”

2)   Mahajanaka Jataka narrating the “Perfection of Endeavour”

3)   Suvannasama Jataka narrating the “Perfection of Loving-Kindness”

4)   Nemi-kumar Jataka narrating the “Perfection of Resolution”

5)   Mahasadha Jataka narrating the Perfection of Wisdom”

6)   Bhuridatta Jataka narrating the Perfection of Morality”

7)   Canda-kumar Jataka narrating the Perfection of Patience”

8)   Narada Jataka narrating the “Perfection of Equanimity”

9)   Vidhura-Pandit Jataka narrating the Perfection of Truth”

10)               Vessantara Jataka narrating the “Perfection of Giving”.

The front of the sixteen stamps album illustrating events from the ten Jataka tales

The first set of four stamps contained in the above stamp album. The inscription below the stamps states “Important Buddhist Religious Day (Maghapuja Day) Postage Stamps 1996 illustrating Temiya Jataka, Mahajanaka Jataka, Suvanna-sama Jataka and Nemi-kumar Jataka.

Maghapuja Day (“Four fold Sangha” or “Sangha” Day):
After residing for a few days at the Deer Park Sarnath (near Varanasi in present day province of Uttar Pradesh, India) during the first rains, the Buddha came to Rajagaha town.

On learning that the Buddha was in town, about 1250 Arahants along with his two main disciples Sariputta and Moggalana assembled to pay him their respects at the “Veluvana” Monastery. To this gathering, the Buddha delivered his sermon on the “Patimokkha” (or the rules & regulations of the monastic order).

This assembly had four distinct features:

 Firstly, 1250 disciples came to see the Buddha that evening without being summoned by him.

Secondly, all of them were “Arhants” or “Enlightened Ones” and all were ordained by the Buddha himself.

Thirdly, The Buddha taught all these Arhants the Principles of Buddhism called the “ovadhapatimoksha” which essentially are – to desist from all evil, to do what is good, and to cleanse one’s mind.

 Lastly, the gathering took place on the full moon day of Maghamonth (March).

Because of these factors, the festival is known as the Fourfold Assembly or Magha Puja or Sangha Day.

Magha Puja day, thus, marks the four auspicious occasions which happened nine months after the Enlightenment of the Buddha at Veluvana Bamboo Grove near Rajagaha in Northern India.

The third lunar month in Pali (the language of the Buddha) is known as Magha (in Thai “Makha”). Puja is termed “Bucha” in Thai. Hence Magha Puja Day is referred to as “Magha Bucha” Day in Thai which is for veneration of the Buddha and his teachings on the full moon day of the third lunar month.

The three jewels of Buddhism: The Sangha (or the spiritual community) is extremely important in Buddhism because it forms one of the three jewels of Buddhism, the others being the Buddha himself and the Dhama (The tenets of the Faith)

In Thailand, in the evening of “Magha” or Full moon day, candle-light processions are held in temples, which are called “wian thian (“Wian” means “to circle around” and “thian” means “ candle” – meaning to “circle around candles). Holding incense, lighted candles and flowers, the worshippers circle three times around the “phra ubosot” (meaning the “ordination hall”), each circle representing the three Jewels – the Buddha, the Dharma and the Sangha.  Then, the worshippers go through special observances etc. called “tham bun”. They also pledge themselves to the Five Precepts, practicing Renunciation and observe the Eight Precepts, practice meditation and mental discipline and stay in temples wearing white robes for several days.

In addition to Thailand, this Puja (worship/celebration) is also held in other countries where Buddhism is followed. It is, therefore, an important Buddhist festival celebrated on the full moon day of Magha in Cambodia, Laos and Thailand and on the full moon day of Phalguna in Burma. This Festival is celebrated to make the adherents to the Buddhist faith recommit themselves spiritually to the tenets of Buddhism viz.: not to commit any kind of sins, do only good, purify one’s mind.

1) The Temiya Jataka (or Temiya, the mute Prince) – The Perfection of Renunciation:
The illustration on the above 2 Baht stamp celebrating Magha Puja Day shows Temiya realising his strength and lifting the chariot in which he was brought to be killed in one hand as if it was a toy cart.

This story relates to a King of Benares or Varanasi, who despite having 16000 wives (wonder how he managed all of them) was heart-broken as he did not have any child. Chandadevi, the Chief Queen (Maharani), fervently prayed to the God Sakka, the King of the Gods, for the boon of a son. Her prayers reached “Tavatimsa” heaven, which was the throne of Sakka. Pleased with her prayers, Sakka chose the Bodhisattva and sent him down to Earth to be conceived in Queen Chandadevi’s womb. In addition, 500 of the other nobles’ wives also conceived at the same time, whose offsprings were meant to serve as attendants to the Bodhisattva.
Upon the Chief Queen giving birth to the Boddhisattva the King was ecstatic. Around the same time the 500 infants who were to act as attendants to the Bodhisattva were also born. The King presented the Chief Queen with 64 wet nurses chosen for their flawless beauty and granted her a boon as well, which she reserved to be asked for at a later date.

The King named his son Temiya-Kumaro(meaning “Prince drenched with water”) because of his high birth and the fact that he was born on a rainy day.

When he was one month old, Temiya made his first public appearance and was brought to the throne to sit upon his father’s knee. Many courtiers admired his handsomeness and the Brahmins proclaimed that he possessed every mark of good fortune.

However, on this occasion, four robbers were brought to be judged before the King for their crimes. The King decreed that one of them was to be subjected to 1000 lashes from thorn-baited whips, a second to be imprisoned in chains, a third was sentenced to death by a spear and the fourth was to die by impaling.

The infant Bodhisattva was horrified at his father’s apparent cruelty and thought to himself that a King acts as a judge and performs cruel actions every day and by condemning men to death or torture, he himself will be condemned to punishment in hell. He remembered that he too had been a King in Benares for 20 years and as a result of dreadful decisions carried out by him when he was the King, he had suffered 80000 years in hell. If he was to become King again, he will suffer the same fate!!

Upon the advice of his guardian angel sent from the Heavens by Sakka, he decided to pretend to be a crippled mute to escape being crowned a King once again. The Bodhisattva neither cried for milk nor uttered any sound. The attendants withheld his milk from him in the vain hope that he may make a sound. Later, he was tempted with the choicest food, fruits and toys etc., but everything left him unmoved while the other 500 children grabbed these items happily.
 When he was five, he was placed in a thatched hut which was set on fire to frighten him into screaming but he made no noise and had to be whisked away by the attendants before any harm befell him. On another occasion they let an elephant loose on him and still on another they released a snake to frighten him. All kinds of ruses did not make the Bodhisattva relent from his resolve, as he preferred to stay silent as opposed to rotting in hell.

When he was sixteen, he was tempted with beautiful maidens but he stopped his breathing lest he got weakened by their fragrance.

The King at his wit’s end summoned soothsayers and astrologers, perplexed that they had not predicted any affliction of this kind for his son. Not understanding Temiya’s behavior but unwilling to admit their ignorance, they explained that they had refrained from telling the King of this affliction at the time of Temiya’s birth, because they did not want to cast a shadow on the King’s joy when after so many years he had been blessed with a son.

To get rid of the Bodhisattva they opined that there were dangers to the King’s life if Temiya was allowed to remain in the kingdom. They advised him to yoke some horses to a chariot, send Temiya away in the carriage and have him buried in a graveyard near the city’s western gate.

The Queen, Temiya’s mother upon learning of this nefarious plan to kill her son, went to the King and reminded him of the boon which he had promised to grant her at Temiya’s birth, and  asked the King to give the Kingdom to Temiya saying that once he was crowned King, he would certainly speak. The King refused to grant her this boon on grounds that Temiya’s presence brought him ill-luck. She pleaded that Temiya be made a King for a reduced period say for seven years or even seven days. The King moved with her pleas relented and put Temiya on the throne for seven days.

During this time Temiya rode the Royal elephant in processions or was taken around on regal chairs on bearer’s shoulders but he remained mute thinking to himself that if he broke his silence, his mother’s heart would break and his entire sixteen year’s lifetime’s effort would be wasted in one second. He further reflected that if he remained silent then along with him both his parents too would be saved from hell due to his “penance”. He thought that the day was not far when he would be disinherited from the throne and he would be able to speak.

On the morning of the eighth day, the exasperated King gave orders to Sunanda the charioteer to yoke some horses to a chariot, take Temiya to the western gate, kill him and bury his remains in a hole dug for this purpose and return to the city.

Sunanda drove to the Eastern gate (also known as the Victory gate), thinking all the while that he was headed to the Western gate. As soon as the chariot reached the Eastern gate, the Bodhisattva knew that he was on the threshold of attaining his freedom. Through a miracle, a graveyard appeared and Sunanda stopped and removed Temiya’s royal clothing and ornaments releasing him with one stroke from his yoke of royalty.

The Bodhisattva was now free from his vow and as Sunanda was digging the grave, Temiya thought to himself that he had not moved his hands & feet for sixteen years, whether he could do it now. He rubbed his hands and feet and alighted from the chariot, walked back & forth on the ground and felt his limbs regain their strength. Now was his only chance to escape the Kingship and to enter the forest as an ascetic but could he overpower Sunanda?

Suddenly, he seized the back of the chariot and lifted it high with one hand as if it was a toy cart, walked to the charioteer and said “Behold, the man that you seek to kill is neither deaf, dumb or lame. Stop or bear the wrath of hell, for by this act you’ll die”. Sunanda looked up and was so dazzled with the Bodhisattva’s beauty that he could not recognize him at first. Then, he begged the Bodhisattva’s forgiveness and offered to carry him back home to inherit his kingdom.

However, Temiya was destined for Buddhahood and nothing would deter him now from leading a pure meditative life. He described his previous births and subsequent generations in hell for whom he had to undergo penance and ordered Sunanda to return to the palace and immediately tell his parents that he was alive and to spare them the unnecessary grief over the loss of their only son.
The King and Queen on being told the whole episode went out to request the Bodhisattva to return home. They found their son living in a hut of leaves prepared for him by Sakka himself. They saw that he had already donned ascetic’s garments and held a walking stick in one hand and he explained to them the reasons for his sixteen years of self-denial.

They understood his compulsions and no longer begged him to wear the crown but were themselves inspired to embrace a holy life. On returning to the palace, the King distributed the state treasury among the subjects and built a hermitage three leagues in length to facilitate all those who were willing to embrace a meditative life.

2) Mahajanaka Jataka, (The Lost Prince) – The Perfection of Endeavour:

The illustration on the above 6 Baht stamp celebrating Magha Puja Day shows the sea goddess Manimekhala rescuing Mahajanaka from the raging Sea. Also shown on the stamp is the sinking ship on which Mahajanaka was travelling, a sea creature swallowing a passenger and another looking at Mahajanaka being rescued who was its intended prey.

Mahajanaka was the King of Mithila in the kingdom of Videha. He had two sons – Aritthajanaka and Polajanaka. Upon the demise of the old king, Aritthajanaka became king and the younger brother his Prime minister.

As time passed, the younger brother grew more popular and Aritthajanaka became fearful of his popularity and had his younger brother clapped in chains and thrown into prison. Polajanaka pleaded his innocence and miraculously his chains fell off and he managed to escape to a small village near the border of the kingdom. Since he was a strong leader, he attracted many followers.

Over time, he decided to take revenge by declaring war on Aritthajanaka. Before Aritthajanaka went to war he made his pregnant wife promise that should he be killed, she would flee from Mithila in order to protect the unborn child.

Aritthajanaka was killed in battle by his brother Polajanaka and Aritthajanaka’s wife gathered her gold and jewellery in a basket and covered them with rice. Wearing clothes which made her incognito she slipped out of the city gates. The child in her womb was the Bodhisattva and his mother’s plight caught the attention of Sakka, the King of the Gods and he disguised himself as an old man driving a carriage and drove the Queen to Kalachampa city, a safe place, some sixty leagues away, where a Brahmin gave her shelter.

The Bodhisattva was born in time and was named Mahajanaka after his grandfather. In time, he grew into a strong and energetic child, however his friends called him the “widow’s son”. This nickname perplexed him and he sought the reasons therefor which he came to know of from his mother.

At the age of sixteen he determined to regain his father’s kingdom and told his mother of his plans. She offered him her gold and jewellery, of which he took only half. Later he boarded a vessel bound for Mithila which was also called the “Suvarnabhumi” (meaning “The golden land”) on account of its prosperity. Meanwhile his uncle Polajanaka fell ill in Mithila. On board this ship were men and animals from seven large caravans. On being met with rough seas the overloaded ship began to flounder and sink. Mahajanaka prepared himself for the ordeal by eating a full meal and then tying himself to a ship’s mast. As the ship went down, its occupants were devoured by sharks and vicious sea-turtles that infested the ocean, but the mast remained upright and moved further away from the ship as it sank.

Mahajanaka floated in the ocean for seven days. At last Manimekhala, the goddess of the Seas returned from her vacation and espied the young Bodhisattva whom she saved by bringing him to a mango grove.

Meanwhile his uncle, the King of Mithila died. Before dying, however, he told his ministers to find a man worthy of being his successor i.e. one who could answer any riddles, one who was strong enough to string the King’s mighty bow and who could please his beautiful and intelligent daughter Sivali. Many young men tried to win the kingdom but failed.

Ultimately, the ministers sent out an empty festive chariot followed by musicians and a large curious crowd, in the hope of finding a young man worthy of taking over the reins of the kingdom. They happened to chance upon the Bodhisattva sleeping in the mango grove, in whom they immediately recognized signs of his Royal birth, woke him up, asked him a few questions and on being convinced of his Royal birth accepted him as their king. Upon reaching the Royal palace, Sivali found that he could answer all her riddles with ease. He fulfilled all of Polajanaka’s conditions for being made a king including stringing his mighty bow.  It is said that he ruled Mithila for seven thousand years. He married Sivali and they had a son & heir to the throne.

One day Mahajanaka saw two mango trees. The one that was laden with fruit was broken and mutilated by persons who had come to pick its fruits while the other one which had been withered was now green and ready to bear fruit.

He deduced that possessions can only bring sorrow to the one owning them and became determined to leave his kingdom and take up the life of an ascetic and began to wander in the forests seeking his true self.

 Sivali followed him wherever he went with her retinue of servants. Mahajanaka realized that the time had come when he had to finally break up with her. He plucked a blade of grass and said to her that just as the blade of grass could not be joined again similarly they could not be together again as he was on a hermetic search for the higher truth. Saying this, he disappeared in the forest and was never seen again. It is said that he found his way into the Himavat forest and at the end of his time on Earth left for his Heavenly abode.

The distraught Sivali crowned her son King and she too led a hermit’s life till the end of her life whereupon she too went to the Heavens.

3) The Suvanna-Sama Jataka – (Sama the devoted son): The perfection of loving - kindness:

The illustration on the above 8 Baht stamp celebrating Magha Puja Day shows King Piliyakka accosting Sama after having shot him with an arrow mistaking him to be a deer which is shown standing very near to Sama. In his left hand Sama is holding a covered pot in which he was carrying water for his blind parents.
In ancient days when child marriages were the norm, two villages situated on opposite banks of the Ganges River dividing the Kingdom of Benares, both having chiefs who loved hunting animals, betrothed their infant children to each other shortly after their birth. Both these children were born with a golden hue.

Although these children were surrounded with huntsmen they refused to harm any living creature. They were destined for something special, because they were born to be pure, as atonement for evils done during a past lifetime. During that lifetime, they were born in a physician’s family who angered by a rich patient’s refusal to pay his fees for their curing his eye disease had given him a medicine which took away the sight of one eye. Though the harm was done by their father, they too were required to do penance as per the karmic cycle.

Thus, in this lifetime they were born into families of hunters and betrothed to each other although they begged their parents to annul their marriage as they were required to lead ascetic’s lives and to do penance.

The boy was named Dukulaka and the girl was called Parika. As they were unwilling to hunt or reside in their parent’s houses, they were permitted to go into the forest and live in a hermitage where they led lives of meditation and purity.
 Although Sakka, the King of the Gods, helped them with their small requirements, he was uneasy as he foresaw a grave misfortune befalling them as their past sins had not been fully cleansed. He tried to convince them that they should never have any children, but they were fearful for their old age and wanted someone to look after them. Sakka persuaded them that a pure conception could take place if at the proper time Dukulaka placed his finger on his wife’s navel.

A son, the Bodhisattva was born to them and was named Suvannasama or Sama. When Sama was sixteen, a misfortune befell his parents. One day when they had gone into the forest to gather firewood, berries and nuts, it began to rain and they took shelter under a tree where a snake got scared of their presence and spat out its deadly poison at them blinding them instantly.

Thus, it befell upon Sama to look after them. He tied ropes and bamboo poles in all directions for them to follow. He performed daily chores in the hut, got fruits from the forest and bathed and comforted them. He was so gentle that several deer also became his pets and followed him everywhere he went.

One evening, when Sama was fetching water in a pot (which one of the deer which was accompanying him used to carry for him), the King of Benaras called Piliyakka wandered into the forest and on seeing the deer loosed an arrow to kill the deer as game. Unfortunately, the deer ran away and the arrow struck Sama’s side and he began to bleed profusely. He shouted out as to who was responsible for such a dastardly deed and what did the archer thought he would gain by it.

The King was taken aback by the absence of any blame or anger in Sama’s words and ventured out from his hiding place. The King explained that he was aiming for the deer, but Sama knew that the King had deliberately shot him as he had mistaken Sama to be a deer himself. The King not able to bear it any longer admitted his mistake. Still the boy did not reprimand him but was fearful as to who would take care of his blind parents after he was gone. The King promised Saka that he would look after them as if they were his own parents.

Meanwhile, a daughter of one of the Gods who had been Sama’s mother in his seventh incarnation before this one, spoke to the King while she hid in a tree, advising him to go and nurse Saka’s blind parents after which the King’s evil deed will be forgotten. She also assured him that if he was of a charitable disposition, he would attain his place in heaven.

Piliyakka went to the hermitage where Saka’s parents lived and told them of the incident. So great was their suffering that their penance carried over several lifetimes immediately came to an end. They requested the King to take them to the place where their son’s body was. On reaching that spot, they knelt down and wept. As their past sins had been washed away, they were determined to bring their son back to life.

The other inmates of the hermitage too joined them, waiting for the “miracle” to happen. Throughout the night they stayed by Sama’s side and by the morning he rose, fully recovered from his wounds. His parents could see him because their eyesight was also restored and their blindness had ended along with their penance. 

King Piliyakka too was spared an eternity of hell as he by his evil act had actually served as an agent of good and without him Sama , the devoted son, would not have been able to end his parent’s ordeal.

4) Nemi-Kumar Jataka – (The Noble King): The Perfection of Resolution:

The illustration on the above 8 Baht stamp celebrating Magha Puja Day shows Nemi-kumar being taken around the depths of hell in the chariot fitted out by King Sakka, the King of the Gods to take Nemi-kumar to heaven. Also seen on this stamp are images of several sinners undergoing various types of punishment and tortures for sins committed while on Earth.

A King of Mithila, named Makhadeva spotted his first gray hair, plucked it out and put it in his barber’s hand saying that this was a sign that he was becoming old and that it was time he should renounce his kingdom and lead an ascetic’s life. He handed over his kingdom to his son who in turn vacated the throne when his first hair turned gray and so on.

Thereafter almost 83998 generations (two less than 84000) passed by and King Makhadeva from his place in heaven was pleased that his future generations had followed his example. One thought bothered him now – whether he or any of his progeny will attain Nirvana now.

To resolve this issue he decided to take birth on Earth again as the son of his descendant, the present King of Mithila. He decided that he would rule like the last time, become an ascetic when he became old – but with a difference, his son  would remain unmarried, thus ending the birth cycle of his  family.

This time he was born as the Bodhisattva and was named Nemi Kumar or “Prince Hoop” (after the hoop of a chariot wheel). As per tradition, he became King when his father’s first hair turned gray. He was the perfect King and set an example for his subjects to follow, helping many of them to attain Sakka’s (the King of the Gods) heaven.

But he was always troubled with a doubt as to whether he should lead an ascetic’s life right away to attain nirvana. Sakka appeared to him in the form of a fiery light and suggested that the ascetic’s life was better as it helped the mendicant reach Heavens faster.

When Sakka reached his abode in “Tavatimsa” Heaven, several of Nemi’s erstwhile subjects who had attained heavens and had achieved the status of Gods, expressed a resolve to see their beloved King Nemi in person. Sakka fitted out a chariot with one thousand steeds and sent his charioteer Matali to bring Nemi to Heavens to meet the Gods.
 Nemi graciously accepted Sakka’s invitation but before going to see him, he expressed a desire to be shown the depths of hell where the condemned sinners resided. They went through several portions/depths of hell and Nemi wept at the tortures and fires that he saw, even though Mitali told him of the sins committed by the persons undergoing these punishments. Nemi thought that he had seen enough, but Matali took him to even greater depths where he saw unimaginable ways in which the sinners were facing tortures and emitting blood-curdling screams.

Meanwhile, the Gods were getting impatient to meet Nemi. Finally, the chariot rose and reached the heavenly mansions of great beauty, the fragrant gardens, crystal palaces, beautiful nymphs etc. He was told by Matali that the souls living here had built hermitages and fed holy men throughout their lives and done similar good deeds by building public parks, wells educational institutions etc. and never harmed anyone while living on Earth.

 The delay in Matali taking the honoured guest to Heavens annoyed the Gods who sent another messenger to see what the reason for the delay was. Nemi finally reached Heaven & discussed the merits and moral precepts of heaven and hell for seven days, politely declining Sakka’s invitation to stay on permanently in Heaven.

He returned to his kingdom and told his subjects of the punishments of Hell and the fruits of Heaven exhorting everyone to do good so as to avoid the tortures of hell. Then on the first sign of his gray hair, he abdicated the throne for his son and lived as an ascetic in a mango grove at Mithila and upon his death the Bodhisattva entered Heaven.

Further, upon the death of his son, the cycle of his family’s birth & rebirth on Earth ended in the eighty-fourth thousand generation.

(These stamps are from the collection of Jayant Biswas. Stamps scanned and article researched & written by Rajeev Prasad)

 Links to other Postage stamps posts from Thailand:

1) Thailand postage stamps commemorating Buddhist Jataka Tales & celebrating Magha Puja Day (Part I)

2) Thailand Post stamps commemorating Buddhist Jataka Tales & celebrating Asalha Puja Day (Part II)  

3) Thailand Post stamps commemorating Buddhist Jataka Tales & celebrating Visakha Puja Day (Part III)

4) Postage stamps from Thailand commemorating Buddhist Jataka Tales (Part IV)
 Links to other Posts on Buddhism and DR. B.R. Ambedkar on this Blog:


Links to posts on Indian Post-Cards:

1) Historical First Day Covers on Post Cards compiled by Karnataka Postal Circle on Post Independence India

2) For Part I of the DYKS (32) "Birds of the Himalayas", please click on the following link: ("Birds of the Himalayas" (Part I) - Description of 16 birds with picture postcards)

3) For Part II of DYKS (32): "Birds of the Himalayas", please click on the following link: ("Birds of the Himalayas" Description of 16 Birds with picture postcards)

4) For Part III of DYKS (32): "Birds of the Himalayas" please click on the following link: ("Birds of the Himalayas" Description of 16 Birds with picture postcards)

5) Two Series of Postage Stamps issued during the reign of George V: Inauguration of New Delhi in 1931 and Silver Jubilee of the reign of George V in 1935 compiled by Karnataka Postal Circle   

6) Aero India 2015: Asia's Premier Air Show: A set of 10 Post cards issued by Karnataka Postal Circle, India Post in 2015. 

Links to other Commemorative Stamps posts on Indian Stamps issued during 2016:

1)  Special India Post Cover  carried in a dedicated Hot Air Balloon flown during the II International Hot Air Balloon Festival held in Pollachi, Tamilnadu, released by Tamilnadu Circle of India Post in January 2016

2) "Vibrant India": Postage Stamps issued by India Post on this theme

3) MAHAPEX - 2016 held at Nasik from 16-18.01.16: (Part 1) Spl. Covers on Pandu Leni Caves and Smt. Kusum Dhirubhai Mehta released by Maharashtra Postal Circle on 16.01.2016 

4) MAHAPEX - 2016 held at Nashik from 16-18.01.2016: (Part 2) Spl.Covers on Kalaram temple and Nashik "Grape City & Wine Capital of India" released by Maharashtra Postal Circle on 17.01.2016 

5) MAHAPEX - 2016 held at Nashik from 16-18.01.16: (Part 3) Spl. Covers on "Nashik Dhol" and "Dr. Anand Gopalrao Joshi" released by Maharashtra postal Circle on 18.01.2016 

6) International Fleet Review - 2016 (IFR - 16) held at Vishakhapatnam from 04.02.16 to 08.02.16: Commemorative Postage stamps issued by India Post 

7) Celebrating 75 Years of setting up of the Income Tax Appellate Tribunal : Commemorative Postage Stamps brought out by India Post. 

8) PUNPEX - 16 held at Chandigarh from 06 - 09.02.2016: (Part 1): Spl. Covers on "Indian Dak Runner" & "The PUNPEX-16 logo" released by Punjab Postal Circle on 06.02.2016 

9) PUNPEX - 16 held at Chandigarh from 06-09.02.2016: (Part 2): Spl. Cover on "Butterflies of Chandigarh" released by Punjab Postal Circle on 07.02.2016 

10) PUNPEX - 16  held at Chandigarh from 06-09.02.2016: (Part 3): Spl. Cover on "Sukhna Wildlife Sanctuary, Chandigarh" released by Punjab Postal Circle on 07.02.2016 

11) PUNPEX - 16 held at Chandigarh from 06-09.02.2016: (Part 4): Spl. Cover on "Migratory Birds of Sukhna Lake, Chandigarh" released on 07.02.2016 

12) "Gurudwara Shri Paonta Sahib": Spl. Cover released by HP Postal Circle, of India Post 

13) India's First International Fleet review held on 18.02.2001 at Mumbai 

14) "Jal Mahotsav" on the River Narmada from 12-21.02.2016: Spl Cover issued by the Department of Posts, India 

15) "Simhasth Kumbh Mahaparv", Ujjain 22.04.2016-21.05.2016: MAPPEX-2016 Spl Cover released by Postmaster General, Indore Region, India Post on 07.02.2016 

16) Unique Handicrafts of Madhya Pradesh: MAPPEX 2016: A Special Cover issued by the Postmaster General , Indore Region, Indore, on 05.02.2016 

17) Golden Jubilee of The Statesman Vintage & Classic car Rally": Special Cover issued by the Delhi Postal Circle, New Delhi on 28.02.2016 

18) Mahamaham Kumbha Mela Festival, Kumbhakonam, Tamil Nadu: February 13-22, 2016. Special Cover issued by the Postmaster General Tamilnadu Circle, Chennai, India Post. 

19) "Maharaja Agrasen ki Baoli " in New Delhi: "UTSAV 2016"- A Special cover issued by the Delhi Postal Circle on 17.02.2016 

Links to other Commemorative Stamps posts on Indian Stamps issued during 2014 and 2015:

1) 2014 FIFA World Cup held in Brazil - A set of four stamps issued by India Post.

2) Commemorative Stamps on "Swachh Bharat" Mission

3) Commemorative Stamps on "Project Rukmini"

4) Commemorative Stamps on "Indian Ocean & Rajenda Chola I"

5) International Day of Yoga - "Commemorative Stamps & Coins" 

6) India-France - 50 Years of Space Co-operation - Commemorative Stamps

7) Commemorative Stamps on 50 years (Golden Jubilee) of "Engineers India Limited"

8Bicentenary of the "Old Theological Seminary" (OTS) Kottayam, Kerala

9Commemorative stamps issued on Nabakalabera (Jagannath Temple, Puri)

10) Commemorative stamps issued on an Indian Game called "Sagol Kangjei" originated in Manipur, from which Polo was adapted all over the World  

11) Samrat Ashok - Commemorative Stamps issued on the legendary Emperor of Ancient India 

12) Women Empowerment - Commemorative Stamps

13) Baba Amte - Commemorative Stamps 

14) Did You Know Series (4): A sample of the beautiful stamps brought out by Department of Posts, India 

15) 10th World Hindi Conference held at Bhopal - Commemorative Stamps issued by Department of Posts India

16) 50th Anniversary of the 1965 Indo-Pak War: Commemorative stamps issued by Department of Posts, India. 

17) Commemorating the 125th Anniversary of the Birth of Dr. B.R. Ambedker by Department of Posts, India with a stamp titled "Dr B.R. Ambedkar and the Indian Constitution" 

18) The "Charkha" or the Spinning Wheel: Commemorative stamps issued by the Department of Posts, India 

19) Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam - Commemorative Stamp issued by the Department of Posts, India 

20) 50th Anniversary of the Border Security Force (BSF): Commemorative Stamp issued by the Department of Posts, India 

21) 3rd India- Africa Forum Summit at New Delhi - Commemorative Stamps issued by Department of Posts, India 

22) Commemorating the Golden Jubilee of Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL): Commemorative Stamps issued by India Post.

23) Commemorating the Bicentenary of the Raising Day of the First and Third Gorkha Rifles: Commemorative stamps issued by India Post.  

24) India-Singapore Joint issue: 50 Years of Bilateral Relationship: Two Commemorative Stamps issued by India-Post. 

25) Celebrating 60 years (Golden Jubilee) of EEPC India: Commemorative stamps issued by India Post. 

26) Centenary of the setting up of the Zoological Survey of India: Commemorative stamps issued by India Post 

27) Celebrating Children's Day on November 14th - Commemorative Stamps issued by India Post. 

28) Musicians of India - Commemorating Classical Musicians of India by issue of Stamps by India Post. 

29) Sumitranandan Pant (poet and writer) : Commemorative postage stamps issued on him by India Post 

30) Golden Jubilee of the Establishment of the IDSA, New Delhi: Commemorative stamps issued by India Post 

31) 100 Years of Return of Mahatma Gandhi to India in 1915: Commemorative postage stamps issued by India Post 

32) Commemorating Alugumuthu Kone, one of the first Freedom Fighters against the British: Commemorative Stamps issued by India Post

33) Centennial of the Patna High Court of Judicature: Commoemrative Stamps issued by India Post 

List of Commemorative Stamps Posts on stamps issued in 2013: 

1) Commemorative Postage stamps on the "Wild Flowers of India" issued by India Post.

2) 100 Years of Indian Cinema: 50 commemorative stamps issued by India Post. 

List of Commemorative Stamps Posts  on Stamps issued in 2011:

1) Commemorative Postage Stamp of Rs.100/- issued on Mahatma Gandhi on Khadi Cloth for the first time ever by India Post.

List of Commemorative Stamps Posts  on Stamps issued in 2010:

1) Princely States of Indore, Sirmoor, Bamra and Cochin : Commemorative Stamps issued by India Post

List of Commemorative Stamps issued in 2007:

1) 2550 years of Mahaparinirvana of the Buddha: Commemorative stamps issued by India Post 

 Postage Stamps from Thailand depicting Buddhist Jataka Tales:

1) Thailand postage stamps commemorating Buddhist Jataka Tales & celebrating Magha Puja Day (Part I)

2) Thailand Post stamps commemorating Buddhist Jataka Tales & celebrating Asalha Puja Day (Part II)  

3) Thailand Post stamps commemorating Buddhist Jataka Tales & celebrating Visakha Puja Day (Part III)

4) Postage stamps from Thailand commemorating Buddhist Jataka Tales

Forever Stamps from United States Postal Service (USPS):

1) Forever Stamps: A Series of Stamps commemorating the "US Civil War 1861-1865"

Postage Stamps from the Bailiwick of Jersey

1) "Man of Steel": A Superman movie. Jersey post stamps commemorating a local lad Henry William Dalgliesh who played Superman in the Movie 

Postage Stamps from Gibraltar:

1) 800th Anniversary of the Magna Carta - the Universal guidepost/landmark in Liberty and Freedom: A miniature stamp sheet issued by the Gibraltar Philatelic Bureau

Postage Stamps issued by New Zealand Post

1) ICC Cricket World Cup - 2015 14 Commemorative Stamps issued with the theme "Have A Ball"


  1. Seher Agarwala has commented:

  2. Ramchandra Lalingkar has commented:
    "Very interesting information".