The highly anticipated AMRITPEX took place from February 11th to 15th, 2023, at the prestigious Pragati Maidan in New Delhi, India. This grand event was spearheaded by the Department of Posts, Government of India, in collaboration with the Philatelic Congress of India. It marked a significant occasion as it had been 15 years since the last national philatelic exhibition organized by the Department in 2008.
The AMRITPEX 2023 had a primary objective of acquainting a new generation with the captivating world of philately. The event featured an impressive display of over 1400 frames and digital exhibits that showcased India’s rich history, diverse culture, exceptional art, and enduring heritage through stamps and pictorial collections. In addition, the exhibition offered a wide range of interactive activities for children and young people to make the event even more engaging and accessible.
To cater to participants and sellers from afar, the exhibition enabled remote registration, and an interactive website was available for individuals with digital devices. Moreover, the event included a competitive section where participants could showcase their collections, with the winners announced on the last day of the exhibition during an award ceremony.
I was thrilled to have been given the opportunity to attend the AMRITPEX 2023 as an exhibitor, showcasing my blog in the literature section. It was an honour to be among such an esteemed group of collectors and enthusiasts who had gathered from all over the country to celebrate the world of philately.
Over the course of three days from 13th to 15th February, I had the chance to explore the expansive exhibition hall at Pragati Maidan and experience the fascinating world of stamps and philately. The exhibition was truly a sight to behold, with over 1400 frames on display, showcasing the rich history, culture, art, and heritage of India through stamps and pictorial collections.
During the course of the five-day exhibition, there were several releases of philatelic and souvenir items that would make for excellent additions to any collection. I have compiled all the relevant information about these releases in my blog post, which I hope will serve as a helpful reference for collectors and enthusiasts in the future.
The inaugural day of an exhibition marked the release of two commemorative postage stamps. Shri Ashwini Vaishnaw, the Minister of Railways, Communications, Electronics & IT, GoI, graced the occasion as the Chief Guest, while Shri Devusinh Jesingbhai Chauhan, the Minister of State for Communications, GoI, was the Guest of Honour.
Several years later, the Department of Posts (DoP) issued a stunning setenant stamp of denomination Rs. 5.00 each. The stamp on the right side was a modified version of one of the entries submitted for a stamp design competition that had witnessed participation from students across the country.
The second day of the exhibition was dedicated to Women empowerment. On this theme, special covers and stamps were released, consisting of a set of 2 miniature sheets, with 4 stamps of Rs. 25.00 each.
Additionally, a set of 4 special covers were also released to commemorate the theme.
The four special covers and their respective cancellations showcased the crucial role of women in the development and growth of our nation. Each cover highlighted the contribution of women in different fields, such as defence, conservation of national heritage, sports, and space technology. It was impressive to see how the exhibition celebrated the remarkable achievements of women and their valuable contributions to our society.
On the third day of the exhibition a miniature sheet was released on GI tag agricultural products. The sheet contains 12 stamps of denomination Rs. 5.00 each.
A special cover released on this day to commemorate achievements of people with special ability.
The cover illustration showcases the remarkable achievements of individuals with disabilities, also known as Divyang, across different domains such as para gliding, tennis, badminton, dance, marathon, mountain climbing, and sports. Meanwhile, the postmark features a Divyang mountaineer scaling heights and conquering mountains.
On the fourth day of the exhibition, i.e. on 14th February, a set of 5 covers were released.
To commemorate the International Year of Millets 2023, a special philatelic cover was released, emphasizing the importance of millets in sustainable farming, and promoting their farming and use on a global scale.
The cover design features a selection of millets that are commonly found throughout the country, showcasing their diversity and nutritional benefits. Additionally, the postmark on the cover prominently displays the logo of IYM 2023, which has been endorsed by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations.
The second special cover was devoted to “Our Freedom Struggle”, commemorating India’s struggle for independence.
The cover design features the first postage stamps issued after India gained independence in 1947, alongside a stamp with the first stanza of ‘Vande Mataram’, the national song written by Bankimchandra Chattopadhyay. The stunning cover background depicts the first war of independence fought in 1857, which was a significant event in India’s journey towards independence. The postmark features ‘Vande Mataram’ in Devnagari script.
The third special philatelic cover celebrated the rich cultural tradition of puppetry in India, highlighting its diverse forms and techniques.
The cover design showcased two of the most popular types of puppets used in India – ‘PavaKoothu’, a glove puppet found in the state of Kerala, and ‘Kathputli’, a string puppet found in the state of Rajasthan. The cover artwork beautifully captured the intricacy and vibrancy of these traditional puppets. The postmark on the cover featured a line drawing of a string puppet show, adding to the overall charm of the design.
The final two special covers released on Day 4 of the exhibition paid tribute to two notable tribal heroes of India.
The fourth cover and postmark featured Govind Guru, a social and religious reformer from Rajasthan who played a key role in popularizing the Bhagat movement in the 18th century. His efforts to bring social and religious reforms to his community have earned him a revered place in Indian history.
The last cover on Day 4 was dedicated to Birsa Munda, a prominent tribal leader who led the resistance against British colonialism in India during the late 19th century. He is remembered for his efforts to unite various tribes against the British and for his significant contribution to the tribal resistance movement.
On the final day of the exhibition, four beautiful special covers and a set of picture postcards were released to mark the grand celebration.
The first special cover of the day was dedicated to celebrating India’s achievements in the 75 years since its independence.
The cover showcased various fields such as energy, railway, defence, space, and research and innovation, among others. The postmark on the cover featured a satellite, a circuit, and a train, representing India’s technological advancements in different areas.
The second cover was dedicated to India Post, highlighting the various services provided by the department, from Aadhaar to insurance. The postmark on this cover depicted a postman delivering mail, symbolizing the important role played by India Post in connecting people across the country.
The third cover was dedicated to the natural heritage of India, featuring the cheetahs brought from Namibia as part of a project to revive their population in India. The postmark also featured the cheetahs, highlighting the importance of conservation efforts for India’s unique wildlife.
The last special cover of the five-day event was dedicated to UTI Mutual Fund, one of the largest mutual fund companies in India. The cover and postmark showcased the company’s logo, recognizing its important role in the Indian financial sector.
Souvenirs of AMRITPEX
During the exhibition, a diverse range of philatelic items were released, each offering a unique glimpse into the world of stamp collecting. In addition to these coveted pieces, a plethora of delightful souvenirs were generously distributed to all attendees, from enthusiastic students to seasoned philatelists, every day at the venue.
Fortunately, I was able to acquire some of these charming keepsakes.
Postcrossing meet during AMRITPEX
During the second day of the exhibition, a postcrossing meet was held at the venue, which was marked by the unveiling of a specially designed picture postcard by Sindhuri Aparna, a passionate postcrosser from Delhi. The stunning postcard showcased Patralekha, a stone sculpture located in Khajuraho, Madhya Pradesh. Postcrossers from all over the country who attended the exhibition on that day participated in the meet and exchanged postcards, making it a memorable experience for everyone involved.
I had the opportunity to attend a meet-up organized by the members of the Cover Collectors’ Circuit Club (CCCC) on the final day of the exhibition. It was a great experience to be a part of the gathering and interact with other collectors who share a similar passion for collecting covers.
Department has created this unique initiative to commemorate India’s 100 years of independence in 2047. By allowing individuals to send postcards or letters in a specified postbox during the 5-day exhibition, they are providing people with the opportunity to time travel in a way. The idea is that these postcards and letters will be delivered to their destination in 2047, allowing people to send a message to the future and be a part of the celebrations. It’s certainly an interesting concept that combines elements of history, technology, and creativity.
Book Release by EIPA
The second edition of “A Journey To Odisha Special Covers” was released by Eastern India Philatelist’s Association. The office bearers and members of the associations were present during the book release.
Awards and Recognitions
At AMRITPEX, over 250 participants were recognized and awarded in various categories. Notably, Mr. Piyush Khaitan was honored with the prestigious Champions Trophy. The gold medal was awarded to six outstanding individuals, including Ms. Damyanti Pittie, Mr. Santhosh M S, Mr. Rajesh Jhunjhunwala, Mr. Narendra Saboo, Ms. Ananya Kasaravalli, and Mr. K S Mohan. Additionally, Mr. E.P. James was presented with the Secretary’s trophy, and Ms. Poorva Bansal was granted the DG’s trophy for their exceptional contributions.
Complete results of competitive class exhibits
The AMRITPEX 2023 was a resounding success, drawing stamp enthusiasts of all ages from across the country. My personal experience at the exhibition was truly unforgettable. The five-day event featured a diverse array of philatelic exhibits, which showcased the rich history and culture of India. The stamps, covers, and other philatelic items on display were truly fascinating, offering a unique window into India’s past and present. The stamps and special covers unveiled during the exhibition were both beautiful and informative, celebrating a range of different facets of India’s heritage. Overall, this was a remarkable event that underscored the beauty and importance of philately and stamp collecting.
Share with us the most fascinating and impressive aspect of AMRITPEX that left you amazed! We would love to hear your thoughts, so feel free to comment below and share your experience!