First day cover with the stamp of the building and the horse carriages.
The Kandy Post Office building is set out in a 15-rupee postal stamp issued to mark World Postal Day. The building which was built by the British in the Kandyan architecture of ‘Gadaladeniya Vihara’ tradition in 1897 was used as a hotel as the Station Grand Hotel.
The purpose was that from the railway station visitors, mostly planters who came by train could seek shelter at this hotel. Some planters who used the railway to go down to Colombo stayed overnight in this hotel according to an 102-year-old foreman plate layer who was serving in the Railway Department.
The interior of the building where the mail room is situated was used as a ballroom, with the residents of the day watching the dancing from above.
Moves were made to secure this building for a private enterprise, but postal workers were against such a move as it is a UNESCO-declared heritage building. Thanks to the goodwill of the postal ministry today it stands as a unique building.
Governor, Sir Robert Horton proclaimed for a mail service in 1831 from Kandy to Colombo and back from Colombo to Kandy.
The old original building stands as an edifice that Kandy should be proud of and stands unaltered over the years
The mail service was not operated from the post office in the early stages, but was a private affair operated from Mulgampola. The carriage horses were parked at this spot and the horses were well fed and the transport of the post service began.
With the coming of the railway service, the horse carriage transport came to an end and today we see a well maintained mail system by the postal service.
The old original building stands as an edifice that Kandy should be proud of and stands unaltered over the years.