Anchal Pillars @ Nagarkovil HPO, Tanilnadu
The Kingdom of Travancore was an Indian kingdom from 1729 until 1949. It was ruled by the Travancore Royal Family from Padmanabhapuram, and later Thiruvananthapuram. At its zenith, the kingdom covered most of modern-day central and southern Kerala with the Thachudaya Kaimal's enclave of Irinjalakuda Koodalmanikkam temple in the neighbouring Kingdom of Cochin, as well as the district of Kanyakumari, now in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu
Though Kerala post was formed in the year of 1961; there was a separate postal system in the former state of Travancore, known as “Anchal Post”.
British India had hundreds of Princely States but very few among them issued postage stamps. Anchal post was the early postal service started in the kingdom of Travancore and Cochin before Independence of India by Mahendravarma – the King of Travancore in early 1700’s.
The name Anchal derives from the Greek word Angelos meaning a messenger who runs on foot. The post men used to run wearing a khaki uniforms with the postal bag carrying on his head and carrying staff with bells in his hand.
The Anchal Post also had unique post boxes known as “Anchal Pillars”. These boxes were were about 3 ft. tall and were hexagonal in shape resembling pillars of temple. They depicted symbol of Anchal Post i.e. “Shankha” or a conch on sides of the box. These small pillars had the capacity to take about 3000 letters.
The Anchal Post was later merged in India Post after the Independence of India. Traces of them are, however, found on the streets of Kerala which are now one of the distinguished heritages of the State.