Sunday, July 24, 2011

Pakistan's Sweetest Fruit - Mango

As the summer season is at full bloom these days in Pakistan, Mangoes are automatically at full swing. Belonging to the Anacardiaceae family and is known as Mangifera Indica, mangoes hold a prominent place in the commercial fruits of Pakistan. Mango fruit is enriched with 10-20% sugar, vitamins A, B and C, some proteins, calcium, phosphorus and iron.
Primarily loved for their taste, different varieties are also famous for their color, smell and nutritious value.

Ripe fruit is better than anything when chilled at the best temperature and is eaten fresh, while unripe fruit is also utilized in making pickles.

As per the FAO production 2001 year book, Pakistan stands FIFTH among mango growing countries of the World. A limited supply of mangoes is produced every year and even if all of this production reaches to the consumers, per head per day availability of fruit is meager 114 grams. I believe that is the reason that mango prices are so high that its availability is limited to a couple of days in a month instead of everyone eating it daily ;)

Different varieties of Pakistani mango is exported around the globe fetching valuable foreign exchange. Some of the most-loved mango varieties include Langra, Dusehri, Samar Behisht, Chaunsa, Anwar Ratol, Sindhri, Bagan Pali, Suwarneka, Neelum and Gulab Khas.

The 4 varieties shown on the stamps include Anwar Ratol, Dusehri, Chaunsa and Sindhri. You can see the differences in their size, color and shape but unfortunately you can not experience their taste online. You will have to come to Pakistan to do that or ask a Pakistani friend to help you get them where you are.

The set of stamps and First Day Cover (FDC) were issued on 18 June 2002.
Have you ever eaten a mango? Which variety is your favorite? Feel free to share in comments below.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Pakistan Lawrence College Coin celebrating 150 Years


To mark the 150 years of Lawrence College, State Bank of Pakistan has issued another commemorative coin on 28 May 2011
(image from eBay seller fdc4-all)
History of Lawrence College, Ghora Gali, Murree
L.C.G.G. Murree is one of the elite institutions of Pakistan. Its pupils are popularly known as ‘Gallians’
Established in 1860 after Sir Henery Lawrence, the oldest residential institution of its type in Pakistan, Lawrence College started as an asylum with the object to provide practical education to the orphans and the children of the British soldiers in India. It had 82 children in its care initially. The number rose to 204 boys and 101 girls in 1914 when it was taken over by the Government of the Punjab as the Lawrence Memorial School, and 356 boys and 124 girls, when it became the Lawrence College in 1927, with the construction of the Lower Estate. The Girls Section was transferred to Saint Denny's School Murree in 1949. The college was handed over to the Board of Governors in 1962 (Grant of Autonomy by the Punjab Government) effective todate. Today there are about 706 boys on the roll of the three schools. The number is expected to rise further, as the time passes. Started in 1860 as an unpretentious barracks, housing about 80 students, it developed into its present state over the period.
The Motto of the college is "Never Give In".

A commemorative Postage Stamp was also issued on the 125 Years Celebrations of Lawrence College by Pakistan Post in 1985. You can see the image of the stamp below:-


Front Side of Coin
The front of the coin shows the waxing crescent and a five pointed star facing north-west in rising position. On the top are the word "Islami Jamhoria Pakistan" in Urdu script which means "Islamic Republic of Pakistan". Under the crescent, in the center and at the top of two springs of wheat with arms curved upward, the issuance year is mentioned as 2011.

The coin denomination is written as Rupees 20 in bold letters in Urdu writing. A circle of sixty small beads is all along the edge of the coin.
Reverse Side of Coin
On the reverse side, monogram of Lawrence College is shown in the center.

The inscription 150 Years Celebrations, Lawrence College Ghora gali Murree  in English is written on the top of coin. 


Lawrence College Murree Poem

To set the cause above renown.
To love the game beyond the prize.

To honour, while you strike him down;
The foe that comes with fearless eyes.

To count the life of battle good.
And dear the land that gave you Birth.

And dearer yet the brother-hood;
That binds the brave of all the earth.

To-day and here the fight's begun.
Of the great fellowship you're free.

Hence forth the school and you are one.
And what you are, the race shall be.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

60 Years of Pakistan China Friendship Coin 2011

To mark the 60 years of warm and strong friendship between Pakistan and China, State Bank of Pakistan issued a commemorative coin on 21 May 2011. More specifically, the coin was issued to mark the Establishment of Diplomatic Relations between Pakistan and China.
(image from eBay seller fdc4-all)
Pakistan Government also announced that the year 2011 will be celebrated as Pakistan-China Friendship Year.


The front of the coin shows the waxing crescent and a five pointed star facing north-west in rising position. On the top are the word "Islami Jamhoria Pakistan" in Urdu script which means "Islamic Republic of Pakistan". Under the crescent, in the center and at the top of two springs of wheat with arms curved upward, the issuance year is mentioned as 2011.

The coin denomination is written as Rupees 20 in bold letters in Urdu writing. A circle of sixty small beads is all along the edge of the coin.

On the reverse side, 60th (depicting the number of years of friendship) is inscribed in numeral wording in bold letters.

The wording 2011 YEAR OF PAK-CHINA FRIENDSHIP in English is written on the top of coin. Wording in numeral 1951-2011 at the bottom of the coin and above it, a handshake is depicted with the flags of Pakistan and China.

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Stamps Issued to Celebrate Royal Wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton

Being a lover and collector of Philatelic Material from World Wide, I wondered which countries have issued the postal stamps on the eve of the Royal Wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton.
Here are some of the stamps and miniature sheets from around the globe, which have been issued to celebrate the event.
Royal Wedding Stamps from Australia

Royal Wedding Stamps from Canada

Royal Wedding Stamps from Falkland Islands
 
Royal Wedding Stamps from Guine Bissau

Royal Wedding Stamps from Niue - A Pacific Nation

Royal Wedding Stamps from England/ UK

Royal Wedding Stamps

Royal Wedding Stamps from Niue - Most talked about stamps on the event as the two stamps split the Royal couple if they are to be used alone.
 And here are some stamps issued on the event of the Royal Engagement of the William and Kate:-.
Royal Engagement Stamps from St. Kitts 

Royal Engagement Stamps from Cook Islands

Royal Engagement Stamps from Gibraltar
Which one did you like the best? 
Here you can also see some other collectibles to mark the event:-

Coins Issued to Celebrate Royal Wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton

While the World celebrates the Royal Wedding, it is repeatedly being compared with the Royal Wedding of Prince Charles and Lady Diana. I Googled to find some coins issued on the event by different countries and found quite a number of them. I do not know whether they are real coins or fake ones but still I found them interesting to share with my readers. Here are Royal Wedding Coins from England, USA, Canada, Australia and some other countries.
You can also see some other collectible/ memorabilia here which include:-



So here you can see a variety of royal wedding coins from different countries and states:-












Which one did you like the most? And do you have any idea whether they are real or fake coins?

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Scouting 2007 Centenary Stamps and FDC from Luxembourg

A magnificent First Day Cover from Luxembourg is here to recharge your collecting and scouting senses.
This FDC from Luxembourg was issued to mark the Centenary of Scouting in 2007. The Scouting 2007 Centenary included celebrations around the globe and festivities took place in a scouting way.
You can read more details from here: Scouting 2007 Centenary

The FDC was issued with two stamps, The first stamp on the right-hand side depicts a world globe and children of different races holding hands. The stamp also depicts a reef-knot which is the symbol of scouting around the planet. It is an EUROPA Stamp and is of 0.70 denomination.
The second stamp on the left-hand side is of 0.50 face value and depicts a scouting camp and a camp fire. It seems to be a painting made by a kid. It is also an EUROPA Stamp from Luxembourg.
I love this FDC. Can anyone tell me why this hat is on the cover? Is it a scouting symbol in Luxembourg or there is some other story behind it???

Friday, April 8, 2011

Cultural Heritage of Spain - Al-Hamra on Pakistan's FDC

A nice philatelic cover to share with all of you. 

It is a magnificent stamp and First Day Cover issued by Pakistan Post to commemorate "Islamic Cultural Heritage". The stamp and FDC were issued on 14 December 1992.

 Interestingly, the spellings of Al-Hamra are different on the stamp and the envelope. On the envelope it is spelled as "Al-Hamra" whereas on the stamp it says "Alhambra". Which ones are correct? Only a Spanish friend can help, I believe!
 The picture on the cover also shows a mosque with the following words written inside (It is probably the monogram for World Muslim Congress as written below too):-
"VERILY ALL BELIEVERS ARE BRETHERN"
 The stamp is postmarked from Philatelic Bureau Peshawar, which is the closest philatelic bureau to Pak-Afghan Border in North, where all the fighting is underway on one pretext or the other.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Bird Stamps and FDC from Pakistan - 2001

I absolutely love this set of 4 x stamps. This is a set of stamps issued by the name of "Wild Life Series depicting BIRDS" in 2001 as an effort to promote the protection of wildlife in Pakistan.
The stamps and the First Day Cover (FDC) were issued on 26 November 2001.
Following 4 birds are featured on these magnificent stamps from Pakistan:-
  • LARGE PIN-TAILED SANDGROUSE (Pterocies alchata)'An over all sandy coloured terrestrial Pigeon like bird with a long pointed tail', is the only Sandgrouse in the region. The breast and belly of the bird is pure white with a broad pinkish chestnut breast band narrowly bordered by black in both sexes. The wing coverts are chocolate chestnut on the shoulder, each rounded feather margined with white the mantle and wing coverts are greenish yellow with Grey tips. The rump and tail are sandy yellow cross-barred black and the pintails are tipped. 
    • This is a rather locally restricted Sandrgrouse, which is the winter visitor and passage migrant in autumn and spring to the small areas of N.W. Baluchistan, Northern Sindh and N.E. NWFP with a small number probably remaining to breed in the extreme S.W. corner of Baluchistan and on the Afghan Border around Chaman.
    • It feeds on green leaves, small seeds, pulse and grains. Breeds from May to July, lays normally 2-3 eggs on dry open flat ground without any sort of nest. This Sandgrouse is scarce in Pakistan.
  • BLUE THROAT (Luscima svecica)In general it looks like a typical chat with a long-legged and slender body. The head, neck and back are greyish brown with a prominent creamy white supercilium. Its most conspicuous feature is the tail, which when fanned is russet chestnut with the central pair and a terminal band dark brown. Males have a striking pattern on the breast and throat and an iridescent blue patch on upper breast which is generally framed in a circlet at the mid-breast region. Females lack the blue throat patch but this area instead is noticeably white. The upper tail coverts are chestnut in both sexes.
    • A wide spread winter visitor throughout the Indus Plains from Punjab to Sindh. It also occurs in Baluchistan and NWFP during passage migration in spring and autumn. 
    • They obtain food by picking it off the ground and from low vegetation. Their diet comprises of mostly insects, small coleoptera, ants, and worms. 
    • They breed in alpine meadows in the north. The nest is a cup shaped structure concealed in a clump of grass or hollow in the ground, lay 4-6 eggs pale sage green to olive green colour mottled with reddish brown. Egg laying start in May with an incubation period varies from 13-14 days. Status Frequent in Winter.
  • HOOPOE (Upupaepops).  A medium sized bird but more slender in build with down curved black bill adapted for probing in the ground.
    • Its most conspicuous feature is the erectile crest of long narrow feathers down the Centre of the crown. Its head and body are orange-brown with black wings and tail prominently barred with a white on the wing coverts and the base of the black tipped flight feathers. The whole of the upper surface of the wings bears transverse black and white bars. The tail has a one broad white band in an inverted "V" pattern surrounded by black. The Iris is brown and feet are slaty brown, sexes are alike. The lower belly is whitish and the nape mantle is often ashy fawn colour.
    • Hoopoe breeds in Europe, Africa, Middle East, Indian Sub-Continent, China, lndo-Chinese Region, Malaysia and Indonesia. It inhabits areas which are lightly wooded and preferably where is some grass covering the ground. In Pakistan they are locally migrant but largely resident population, some which winters but not breed in Sindh and also a population which migrate to Himalaya and extralimitally in Central Asia for breed. Hoopoe is a pair bond and monogamous bird. During nesting they make cracks and holes in old trees comprises of a pad of straw, animal hair and feathers, lay 4-7 eggs of skim milk blue rapidly becoming stained brown. Only female incubates from 15-17 days and males bring food for her and nestling.
  • INDIAN MAGPIE ROBIN "DHYAL" (Copsychus Sanlaris).  It is a very large chat with relatively stout bill and long tail. The male is metallic blue black all over the head, neck, back and wings, with outer tail feathers and belly pure white. The female is of similar pattern but blue black is replaced by dark iron Grey or unglossy. In both sexes legs and feet are black. 
    • It is found throughout the year with sedentary habit and well known bird, wide spread in India and South East Asia. In Pakistan it is uncommon but resident in the outer foot hills of the Murree hills extending down to lslamabad. 
    • These large chat forage solitarily expect for during the nesting season and run forward in hopping spurts like typical chats raising their tail over the back as they pause, often fanning open the tail and drooping the wings. Their food includes a wide variety of soil born crustacean, mollusca, spiders, millipedes and insects. They make nests in tree holes and use drain pipes and eaves of buildings as nest boxes. 
    • The bird from April to July lay 3 to 5 eggs pale green in colour densely spotted and splotched with reddish brown. Incubation take 12-13 days, males help in bringing food to the nestling, in close attendance or escorting the female during incubating and rearing the chicks. Males sing throughout the nesting season and often in post monsoon and autumn season. Status very local and scarce.



I hope that I have done some justice to this beautiful cover. Did you like it?

Friday, February 25, 2011

200 Years of Salzburg Theatre in Austria

A beautiful vintage First Day Cover from Austria featuring the 200 years of "Salzburg Theatre". The stamp and FDC were issued on 14 November 1975 and is magnificently preserved.

The FDC was sent to me by Mr Chris Overstreet from Wild Postcards.
This Austrian stamp features a beautiful Chinese fan with a theatre scene on it.
I really loved the stamp and the postmarks on the cover.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Pakistan ICC World Cup 1992 Winner - Stamps and FDC

Now that the ICC Cricket World Cup fever is touching its zenith with just 15 days left (as on 4 Feb 2011) in the start of 2011 ICC Cricket World Cup, I bring this very special cover for you. The Pakistani FDC and stamps were issued to commemorate the historic triumph of Pakistan Cricket Team in 1992 Cricket World Cup. Under the captaincy of legendary Imran Khan, Pakistan achieved the laurels which were considered IMPOSSIBLE at one stage.


Some Interesting Facts of 1992 World Cup
  • Pakistan returned home as WORLD CHAMPIONS despite of the fact that Pakistan was the last team to qualify for the Semi Finals with only 9 points out of 8 matches against South Africa (10 Points), England (11 Points) and New Zealand (14 Points). The victory in 1992 Cricket World Cup was nothing less than a miracle. Pakistan team's 9 points also included 1 point which was earned after the match between Pakistan and England ended in a DRAW because of rain interruption after Pakistan was bowled out for just 74 runs on the board and England were 24/1.
  • Pakistan had to win last 3 matches against Australia, Sri Lanka and New Zealand which they did successfully, but tis was not all. They still needed Australia to beat West Indies which they did too. So Pakistan qualified for Semis. In semi final they again beat New Zealand which had won 7 out of their 8 pool matches and after beaten by Pakistan in Pool match on 18 March 1992 and in semi final on 21 March 1992; the Kiwis were out of the tournament. 
  • In the final, Pakistan beat England in a thrilling match by 22 runs and Imran Khan captured the final wicket in his final One Day International match to win the World Cup for Pakistan. Those who watched the final still remember that after 25th over of Pakistan's innings, the score was only 70 on board. Afterwards Imran, Javed Miandad, Inzamam-ul-Haq and Wasim Akram played magnificently to raise their score to 249.
  • For the first time in World Cup matches, colored player clothing, white balls and black sight-screens were used and a number of "Day-Night" matches were also played under flood lights.
Three stamps were issued on the occasion for the denomination of Rs 2, Rs 5 and Rs 7.
The Rs 2 stamp (At extreme right) features a photo of Skipper Imran Khan along with the trophy. The Rs 5 stamp (On extreme left) shows the flags of all nine participating nations and Pakistan flag is flying above the rest. The Rs 7 stamp (in middle) features the celebrations, fire works in back ground while Pakistan flag, Crystal trophy and a white cricket ball showing the map of hosts, Australia and New Zealand, printed on one half of the ball.
The World Cup 1992 stamps and the FDC were issued on 27-4-1992 after the final match being played on 25-4-1992.
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