Belarus: Water Skiing Souvenir Sheet FDC

Here's a lovely Belarus First Day Cover (FDC) from my collection. This beautiful Belarussian FDC was issued on 25 October 2001 and features a lovely blue-coloured souvenir sheet showing water skiing. The sheet shows 3 different poses of a woman water skier.
The Souvenir sheet also reads,
"National Waterski Team Belarus
2 times World Champions and 
10 times Europe Champions"
The souvenir sheet is of 1000 Rubles denomination.
As a sports fanatic, I really love this FDC from Belarus.
What do you think about this cover?

4th Independence Anniversary August 14, 1951

Although issued on Independence Day this set of stamps was declared as 'definitive. Country's renowned artist A. R. Chughtai designed the stamps in 2 1/2a, 3a, 3 1/2a, 4a, 6a, 8a, l0a and 12a values. The 2 1/2a (crimson) and 3 1/2a (blue) are in same design showing Vase and Plate surrounded by decorated frame. Value is printed in square tablets on sides of the base, where 'Pakistan Postage' is also printed linking the tablets. "Pakistan" and "Postage" in Urdu are printed at upper sides, diagonally. Saracenic leaf pattern is selected for 4a and 6a stamps in green and orange. "Pakistan/ Postage" is printed in between value tablets, and 'Pakistan' in Urdu at the centre of a crescent placed at the middle of the leaf pattern.
Two values intended for 'airmail' are 3a red and 12a slate in vertical shape, showing Hour Glass and symbolic aeroplane, crescent & star is also seen behind the plane. Elements are placed differently in these two values; country name in English is at the top panel and in Urdu, at bottom left, in decorated triangle. Face value is engraved at upper corners, in Urdu and English.
Arch and Lamp is the subject of next two denominations; 8a sepia and l0a purple. Horizontal stamps are decorated with floral design all around and two columns on either side, carrying tall trees. Value tablets are engraved at sides.

Pakistan Painting Postcard - Girls Sitting Together

Hi Pals!
Here's just another painting postcard from Pakistan to share with you.
I really like the smile on the face of the girl in pink dress. With the backdrop of Malala Yousafzai fame, this postcard becomes a real special one.
Just in case you do not know Malala Yousafzai's story, here's a re-cap.
Malala Yousafzai was a small girl living in Swat Valley which was under occupation of Taliban terrorists some years ago. WhileTalibans opposed girls' education, Malala raised her voice as a 9-year old and started writing her online diary at BBC Urdu Website, by the nick name of Gul Makai.
Malala Yousafzai
After a long and strenuous fight, Pakistan Army cleared Swat Valleyfrom terrorist elements and life came back to normal. Malala Yousafzai became a national symbol of girl education and Pakistan'sthen Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gillani re-named Pakistan Peace Award as Malala Peace Award.
In Oct 2012, some Taliban miscreants stopped Malala's school van and fired at them from point blank ranges. Malala suffered a head injury along with some of her friends too. She remained under-treatment in Pakistan and then in England.
Lately Malala Yousafzai was invited by United Nations to address the Youth General Assembly on the eve of her 16th birthday.United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan and the Ex-British PM Gordon Brown were also there to wish her a happy birthday.
Malala Yousafzai has definitely become a symbol of struggle against the oppressors and a source of inspiration for everyone around the globe.
Although the above postcard does not have any direct link withMalala's story but still these cute girls and their smiles make me think of them as small Malalas.
May God bless them with endless smiles and very happy lives. Amen!

Pakistan Postcard Altit Fort, Hunza, Gilgit Baltistan

Pakistan Postcard Badshahi Mosque, Lahore, Punjab

Pakistan Earth Day Stamp From The Pages Of History

To match the theme of Sunday Stamps # 119 on Viridian's blog, I decided to find something on the same topic.
I wondered if Pakistan ever issued a stamp on Earth Day, so I thought to run a search in the pages of history and found this beautiful stamp issued by Pakistan Post on Earth Day in 1995.
 The stamp shows snowy mountains, vast deserts, trees and sea, which can all be seen in the beautiful Pakistan. I sometimes say that Pakistan is the ONLY country in the World whose surface varies from 0 feet above sea level to 28029 feet above sea level (K-2: 2nd Highest Peak in the World).
What a diverse environment along the length of Pakistan!!!
 I hope that you all will like it and share with friends too! Do feel free to share with friends on Facebook or Google+ or anywhere else to spread the word :)
Keep Smiling and Keep Shining!

A Piece Of Pakistan's Philately For Viridian's Sunday Stamps # 117

While thinking about something to match the today's theme for Sunday Stamps at Viridian's Postcard Blog, which is "minerals, rocks, geology, environment" I immediately thought of a couple of recent postage stamps issued by Pakistan Post regarding these themes.
The first issue is related to "minerals, rocks, geology" and features a set of 4 stamps showing the precious stones found in Pakistan. These 4 stamps include the following rocks:-
  • Emerald
  • Ruby
  • Sapphire 
  • Peridot
 The second set of stamps issued by Pakistan Post shows 4 postage stamps commemorating "40th Anniversary of United Nations Environment Programme". The 4 stamps show the following:-
  • Lake Saif-ul-Muluk in Kaghan Valley which is so beautiful that Fairies visit there on Full-Moon Nights to take a bath - According to a local folk tale. You can read see some more photos/ read more details at A Lake which Fascinates Fairies (Top Left)
  • Polo Match on the World's highest polo ground - Shandur, Gilgit Baltistan  - More photos can be seen @ Shandur Polo Festival at World's Highest Polo Ground (Top Right)
  • Khyber Gate - the gateway to the mountainous Khyber Pass connecting Pakistan and Afghanistan (Bottom Right)
 Hope to see your comments regarding this post and these amazing stamps too!
Feel free to speak your heart out!!! ;-)

Slovenia - An Amazing Cover From The Beautiful European Country

After a long time, when I decided to share a new cover from my collection, I decided to share a real-posted cover from a new country, therefore I selected this cute cover from Slovenia or Slovenija, as they spell it on the stamps.
The envelope is a made up of beautiful dull blue-coloured paper and the stamps really emboss on dull blue background.
 The cover was sent to me by Karmen from Slovenia alongwith a couple of postcards and coins too.
 The cover is posted with 3 stamps on the face.

  • The left-most Slovenian souvenir sheet featuring a flower was issued in 2009 and shows a Ranunculus Arvensis.
  • The stamp on the right side was also issued in 2009 at the moment of "World Cup Athletes, Berlin". The stamp shows various athletes in action in different coloured silhouettes. It is really a very beautiful and coloured stamp and I absolutely love it.
You can leave your comments below!

A Box Full Of On-Paper Stamps - A Dream-Come-True For A Philatelist

Today was a dream-come-true day for me as I received a huge box of stamps that I bought about 15 months ago. For the first time I laid my hands on these stamps and they are amazing.
I am sure that it is strange to hear about this story of receiving stamps 15 months after buying them but I assure you that the seller did a magnificent job of sending the stamps on the same day that I sent the money and the stamps were delivered to the address that I mentioned.
 The box is almost 20" x 20" x 8" and its all full of on-paper stamps from Australia. The box contains almost 9 kgs of on-paper stamps.
 The first look inside the box of stamps was simply amazing. I bought these stamps in kiloware from Glen Stephens Web Store and am highly thankful to Glen for sending me such a nice bunch of Australian stamps. These include commemoratives as well as definitives.
Below are some of the photos of the stamps that I could find at the very top:-
  The box of stamps is full of stamps featuring dogs, birds, fishes, cats, cars and above all Nicole Kidman ;)
  All sorts of varieties of lovely stamps and I am very happy to receive them,
 I am sure that these will be enough to keep me busy for a life time.
I am still wondering how to sort them out and what to do with them?
If you have any suggestions, please share in Comments Section below the post.

China: Laoshan Velodrome, Beijing Olympics 2008

This Olympics Stadium Postcard shows Laoshan Velodrome, which is one of the venues for Beijing Olympics 2008. It is one of the 10 official postcards issued on the occasion by State Postal Bureau in 2007.
The Laoshan Velodrome hosted track cycling events during the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics. It has a capacity of 6,000 spectators. A 250-meter oval shaped track is prepared for cycling events. The total area covered by the Velodrome is 33,320 square metres.
The Laoshan Velodrome is being used for international and national cycling competitions and training after the Olympic Games. The velodrome was designed by Schuermann Architects, designers of the ADT Event Center in Carson, CA and the UCI Cycling Center in Aigle, Switzerland.
The following prepaid stamp was printed on the postcard.
Any thoughts on the Postcard or the Laoshan Velodrome design are welcome!

Historic Center Of Yaroslavl, Russia - A Fairy Tale Land

At first sight, I thought that this fairy tale castle is depicted from Narnia or bears a close resemblance with Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry - as mentioned in Harry Potter Books by JK Rowling, but the actual story is slightly different.
 The postcard is from the beautiful city of Yaroslavl in Russia, which is a major commercial center in the area since 11th century. The castle shown on the card is absolutely awesome. The clouds and the yellowish trees make the scenery even more charismatic. It is infact a painting, but I believe that the actual scenery would be as beautiful as it is shown here.
You can read more about the Historic Areas of Yaroslavl in Russia on my UNESCO Sites Blog, as it is also a famous UNESCO World Heritage Site in Russia.

Kids Of Hunza - A Postcard From North Of Pakistan

Sharing a postcard after such a long time made me think that which postcard should I choose to share with my followers and friends. Finally I picked up this beautiful postcard as it is one of the most-favorite postcard on my Postcrossing profile by friends.
This cute postcard comes from the Northern part of Pakistan, Gilgit Baltistan which is a beautiful place covered with mountains and valleys.
 Hunza (Burushaski: ہنزہ, Urdu: ہنزہ‎) is a mountainous valley in the Gilgit–Baltistan region of Pakistan. The Hunza is situated north/west of the Hunza River, at an elevation of around 2,500 metres (8,200 ft). The territory of Hunza is about 7,900 square kilometres (3,100 sq mi). Aliabad is the main town, while Karimabad is a popular tourist destination because of the spectacular scenery of the surrounding mountains like Ultar Sar, Rakaposhi, Bojahagur Duanasir II, Ghenta Peak, Hunza Peak, Passu Peak, Diran Peak and Bublimotin (Ladyfinger Peak), all 6,000 metres (19,685 ft) or higher.

A Cover From U.S.A

Hollywood Actress Bette Davis

Ayub Arch And Lansdowne Bridge In Sukkur Rohri, Sindh, Pakistan Amazing Architecture And Rich History

This beautiful sight is offered in the Southern province of Pakistan -SINDH. The two bridges are named as Ayub Arch (in front) andLansdowne Bridge (at the rear).
History behind the Name : Ayub Arch is named after Pakistan's Military President Field Marshall Ayub Khan who ruled Pakistan from 1958-1970. Lansdowne Bridge was named after (at the rear).

SIZE of  Ayub Arch and Lansdowne Bridge  : It is hardly 4 kms in length with a maximum width of 1 km.
HISTORY of  Ayub Arch and Lansdowne Bridge  : The design ofLansdowne Bridge has always been a headline in the Architectural world. At one time it was believed that this design will not hold itself and will fall to rubble, however it has survived more than a century. You can a lot of details from another blog post about the same bridges at : Ayub Arch and Lansdowne Bridge at Sukkur.
LOCATION of Ayub Arch and Lansdowne Bridge : Bridges connecting the twin cities of Sukkur and Rohri in Sindh, Pakistan.
How to Reach  Ayub Arch and Lansdowne Bridge  : You can reach Sukkur via Aeroplane, Train and by road too. The train takes around 6 hours from Karachi while you can travel by road for approx ___ hours to reach this site.
Hotels/Lodging Facilities on  Ayub Arch and LansdowneBridge Being the 3rd largest city of Sindh province, you can get all sorts of hotels and lodging facilities at Sukkur. Some of the best hotels in the town include InterPak Inn Hotel, Hotel Al-Habib and Mehran Hotel Sukkur.
Specialities of  Ayub Arch and Lansdowne Bridge :

  • Lansdowne Bridge was the longest rigid girder bridge in the World, when its construction began in 1887.
  • Lansdowne Bridge is a Railway bridge.
  • Lansdowne Bridge was inaugurated on March 25, 1889.
  • The bridge provided the Railway link between Lahore and Karachi. Before the construction of bridge the train boggies were required to be transported across the river on ferries.
  • The great steel Ayub Arch was constructed in 1962 and railway traffic was shifted there. 
  • About a hundred feet apart, the two bridges seem like one from a distance. 
  • The Ayub Arch became the world's third longest railway arch span and the first bridge in the world to have "the Railway desk slung on coiled wire rope suspenders." 
  • Dr. D.D. Steinman of New York, proponent of 'vocational aesthetics' designed this graceful bridge which cost about two crore rupees. 
  • The foundation stone of Ayub Arch was laid on December 9, 1960. 
  • Ayub Arch was opened by President Muhammad Ayub Khan on May 6, 1962.

Astola Island, Pasni, Balochistan - Green Water, Coral Reef & Endangered Turtles

Although Astola Island is a small, uninhabited island in Pakistan'sterritorial waters in Arabian Sea, yet it is Pakistan's largest off-shore island. It is the only significant island in Pakistan's territorialwaters.
History behind the Name : Astola Island is known as JazeeraHaft Talar in the local language, meaning "Island of the Seven Hills"
SIZE of Astola Island : It is hardly 4 kms in length with a maximum width of 1 km.
HISTORY of Astola Island : The first known mention of AstolaIsland in the history is dated back to Arrian's Account of Alexander's Admiral Nearchos in 325 BCE. Nearchos was tasked to explore the coast of Arabian Sea, Gulf of Azadi and Persian Gulf. According to Dr. A. V. Williams Jackson, "The seamen on board the ships of Nearchos, being superstitious, like the sailors of all ages and countries, were much frightened at the weird tales told about an uninhabited island, which Arrian calls Nosala, and is now known as Astola or Astalu. It lies nearly midway between Urmera and Pasni headlands, and is to this day as much an object of dread to the Med fisherman as it was long ago to the Greek sailors."
LOCATION of Astola Island : Lying in the Northern Tip of Arabian SeaAstola Island is about 25 kms off the shore of Makran coastline and approx 39 kms SE of Pasni - Pakistan's Fishing PortAstola Island is the northern most island in Arabian Sea.
How to Reach Astola Island : You can access Astola Island by hiring/ renting boats from Pasni. In order to reach Pasni, you will have to travel by road from Karachi or Gawadar on Makran Coastal Highway. It takes about 5 hours to reach Astola Islandfrom Pasni via motor boats.
Hotels/Lodging Facilities on Astola Island In one word I can say NONE. The island is totally uninhabited and has no hotels at all. Despite being a popular yet "Hard" destination for eco-tourism, tents are the only source of spending a night, and that too you will have to carry with you.
Specialities of Astola Island :

  • Astola Island is popular for its limited marine life and wildlife. 
  • The endangered species of Green Turtle and Hawksbill Turtle nest on the beach of the island at the foothills of the cliffs. 
  • Astola Viper is an important endemic reptile found on the island.
  • A large number of breeding water birds including coursers, curlews, godwits, gulls, plovers and sanderlings also live on the island.
  • The island is also the home of Coral Reef.
  • Ruins of an ancient Hindu Temple of Hindu Goddess - Kali can be seen on Astola Island.
  • A small Mosque dedicated to Muslim Saint - Khawaja Khizar.
  • Camping, Fishing and Scuba Diving can be planned, but provisions will have to be carried by you.
  • Spending a moonlit night at Astola Island, having camp fire and fish would surely be a lovely experience.
    Would you like to spend a night at Astola Island?

Benazir Bhutto's Coin

So finally I have the first picture of the coin featuring Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto
Although the portrait on the coin seems less like her, still it's a nice one. 


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???

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. Arslan Ali Overstreet from Wild Postcards.
I really loved the stamp and the postmarks on the cover.

Golden Jubilee Celebrations Of Founding Of China - Pak-China Friendship

The year 1999 is the 50th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China (1 949-1999). This event is all the more important for the Chinese nation as the whole mankind is on the verge of entering the 21st century.
People’s Republic of China appeared on the map of the world on October 1, 1949, which was the culmination of the glorious struggle of the Chinese people started from the democratic Revolution of 1911 led by Dr. Sun Yat Sen who inspired the resurgence of China.
The Chinese people suffered greatly for more than a century but they never compromised with the status quo and relentlessly struggled against the forces of exploitation. Eventually, they came out victorious under the dynamic leadership of Mao Zedong.
On October 1, 1949, some 300,000 people gathered at theTian’anmen square in Beijing and Mao Zedong, Chairman of the Central People’s Government proclaimed the founding of the People’s Republic of China.
The national flag of China is red in colour which symbolizes Revolution, the five stars on the flag symbolize the unity of the Chinese people under the leadership of the communist party of china (CPC).
The national emblem of China is ‘Tian’ an men in the center illuminated by five stars and encircled by ears of grain and a cogwheel. Tian’anmen symbolizes the Chinese nation and the ears of grain and the cogwheel represent the working class and peasantry.
After the establishment of the People’s Republic of China, Mao Zedong and Chou En Lai played a vital role not only to strengthen the roots of the Communist Party of China but also to improve the economic lot of the Chinese people.
Chou En Lai was the chief architect of New China’s foreign policy and led the country with remarkable dexterity and talent, Henry Kissinger described Chou En Lai as “the greatest statesman of our era”.
He was a man of remarkable vision. After gaining for China its rightful place in the UN Security Council in 1971, Chou En Lai recorded yet an other major diplomatic success when in early 1972, he received US President Richard Nixon in Beijing.
The visit led to normalization of relations between China and the United States of America. In this historic reconciliation, Pakistan served as a bridge between the two great nations of the world.
After the death of Mao Zedong in 1976, Deng Xiao Ping guided the country and embarked upon a programme of modernization, with economic reconstruction as its priority task.
Deng Xiao Ping was the chief architect of China’s Reform and the opening up drive (1978) to the outside world. Today, the People’s Republic of China is an emerging economic giant in Asia.
Since 1980, China has established special economic zones in Guandong, Fujian and the province of Hainan. In 1984, China opened 14 coastal cities to overseas investment. In 1990, the Chinese government decided to open the Pudong New Zone in Shanghai to overseas investment, which has now become an international economic center.
On July 1,1997, People’s Republic of China resumed its sovereignty over Hong Kong and proclaimed it a Special Administrative Region under the principle of “ONE COUNTRY, TWO SYSTEMS”. People’s Republic of China will resume her sovereignty over Macao on 20th December 1999.
Pak-China friendship is unique in the history of the world. Pakistan was one of the first countries, which accorded recognition to People’s Republic of China. The government of Liaquat Au khan vigorously supported the cause of China in the United Nations.
Formal diplomatic relations between Pakistan and China were established on May21, 1951.
Pakistan and China have maintained extremely cordial relations during the last five decades.
China has always extended full co-operation to Pakistan in its developmental projects in agriculture, energy, industry, defence and tele-communications. This is considered a model relationship among two neighboring countries of the Third World.
With the rapidly growing closer relations between the two countries, the exchange of cultural and trade delegations has become more frequent. China fully supports Pakistan’s stand on Kashmir. Likewise, Pakistan has always subscribed to the idea of “One China” policy.
People’s Republic of China is destined to become more vigorous and achieve even greater successes in the next century. It is hoped that bilateral relations between Pakistan and China will further strengthen in the next millennium.
To commemorate the Golden Jubilee celebrations Pakistan Post Office is issuing a set of 2 commemorative postage stamps of denomination of Rs 2 and Rs 15 on September 21, 1999.