India and States

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India is a country in South Asia and the most populous democracy in the world.

The postal systems in India existed in various forms from before the Christian era. As the Portuguese, Dutch, French, Danish and British displaced the Mughals, their postal systems existed alongside those of independent states. The British East India Company gradually displaced other powers and brought into existence a British administrative system all over India.

Though the Indian Post Office was established in 1837, Asia's first stamp, the Scinde Dawk, was introduced by the local administration of the province of Sind in 1852. The Indian postal system developed into an extensive, dependable and robust network providing connectivity to almost all parts of India, Burma, the Straits Settlements and other areas controlled by the British East India Company.

Based on the model postal system introduced in England by the reformer, Rowland Hill, postal services were provided at a low cost and enabled the smooth functioning of the administrative machinery of the British Raj. The Imperial Posts co-existed with the several postal systems maintained by various Indian states, some of which produced stamps for use within their respective dominions, while British Indian postage stamps were required for sending mail beyond the boundaries of these states