Monday, August 21, 2017

Postal system of Sher Shah Sur

The institution of Dak-Chowki of Alauddin Khilji was only of a military character and was for quick communication between his field armies and his capital. Sikandar Lodi later revived this system in improved form , developing it into a permanent institution for use in military as well as civil affairs. But Sher Shah Sur's mail system was a further advance on these earlier experiments. By integrating it with widespread roadside serai system, he enlarged its scope. There were separate quarters for mail horses and men in the serais. Every serai had two swift horses to carry news, official correspondence, parcels etc.. Additionally, there were two “Tariqh nawis” or post houses clerks, who  recorded the arrival and departure of mail carriers.The system functioned so well that Sher Shah Sur got the news of the disaffection of his umara , soldiers and zamindars of the distant provinces before they spread in the areas concerned. For the first time in history of India, postal system was made available for public use by Sher Shah. The "darogha-i-Dak-Chauki" was the head of the Dak chauki and the espionage system under Sher Shah. This was the origin of the News Department under the Darogha-i-dak-chauki appointed by the Mughals.

A Postal station (Dak Chowki) of Sher Shah Sur,  located on GT road in Wazirabad (Punjab). 

 Photo courtesy : Dr.Imran Sohail