06 September 2014



Book Review



Dr Bibhudatta Mishra & Shanti Swarup Rath


"PHILATELIST KALEIDOSCOPE" by Dr Bibhudatta Mishra & Shanti Swarup Rath : Pages 160 :  Price - Rs 400.00 (hardbound ) and 350 (softbound) Published by Swarna Associates, Bhubaneswar : Book available with the Publisher Contact email : philakale14@gmail.com or swarna.associates@gmail.com 

Philatelist Kaleidoscopes is an excellent book on postage stamps which reveals every aspect of philately in a very  interesting  and easy way . After going through this wonderful book  the reader falls in love with the world of stamps and understands the real meaning of tiny pieces of paper which are the treasure of knowledge. The authors have presented the book with some very  interesting chapters that attract a philatelist as well as  a general reader. The best part of the book is its style of narration of various  associated branches of philately and philatelic terminology with the help of images  in such a simple way that a reader can well understand the hobby and how to start it in a systematic way.

The book not only provides complete information  about the hobby of stamp collecting but it is a big source of knowledge as different themes have been explained through postage stamps. The book with beautiful layout and high quality printing depicts color pictures of stamps with description about them.

As its name suggests it is an actual ‘Philatelist Kaleidoscope’. As the kaleidoscope made up of small pieces of mirror and colored glass provides viewer a colorful pattern of several images on moving it, the same is the book as we go through its  chapters we find different colorful aspects of philately. The authors have included latest information on philately from its traditional to digital form.

The book has 10 chapters touching thematic areas meant for youth collectors who are in collection of postage stamps but ignorant about the hobby.

The first chapter Stamps collection-Rainbow of diversity focuses Introduction with short description about philately, First stamps of the world, UPU etc.

The second chapter’s Cheapest mode of Communication-Popular postal stationery & services speaks notes on various postal heritage buildings with stamp images, Indian Postal services such as Money order, National savings scheme, Postal Life Insurance, India Post Freighter, Postal Index Number, Speed Post, Modern Postal System etc. Further, Postman and Types of Letter boxes, Types of postage stamps, Postal Stationery used in India have been given with factual information.

The Third Chapter’s Amateur Collectors-Beginner’s Tip paid attentions on what to study in stamps, what to collects, cancellation & types of cancellation etc with example of postage stamp or symbols.

The Fourth Chapter begins with India Pride such as National symbol, National song, National Flag, National Bird, National Flower, National Fruit, National tree, National Sports, National Land animals and many more. An interesting depiction in this chapter is all the Bharat Ratna Awardees in two pages with postage stamps, Noble laureate, Param Vir Chakra, Magsaysay awardees, oldest newspaper, oldest observatory etc. All the unit and subunit of the chapter has list of stamps released by India Post on the same content. This chapter is a big source of information about India for one and all.

The Fifth Chapter has the description of Mahatma Gandhi-Father of the Nation. The chapter also presented with list of Miniature Sheet, Cancellation & se-tenant published by India Post on Gandhi.

The Sixth chapter focuses on Rastrapati Bhawan, Loksabha & Rajya Sabha, President & Prime ministers (Name sequentially with period in the position. The chapter decorated with all the stamps, se-tenant & miniature sheet.

The seventh chapter titled “Cruising the Magnificent jungle Safari-Wild, domestic and Aquatic Animals” presented with briefing about all the wild animals with postage stamps & stationery, Domestic animals & fish, sea shell, amphibians etc. The chapters end with brief about 10 National Parks on which postage stamp released.

The Eighth chapter comprised of “Wonders of Indian Birds-Sweeping the sky with tiny wings”describing all types of bird stamps such as definitive bird stamps, conservation in bird, raptors, Antarctica birds, Migratory birds and butterflies.

The ninth Chapter has the heading “ Valley of Calm Trees & Plants-Faded Petals from a beautiful Bouquet” presented beautifully all types of tree i.e large tree, flowering plants, Perfumed flower, medicinal flowering plant, medicinal plant, orchids, mangrove plants, Himalayan Flower etc. with scientific and local names of the plants.

The Final chapter endorsed “Voyage to enlightment-Spiritual, religious and Holy routes for Salvation” all the religions Hinduism, Islam, Christianity, Jainism, Buddhism & Sikhism, pilgrimage places, festivals in stamps and their importance for human mankind.

Each chapter consists of Phila Quotes by famous personality with stamp images, Phila Facts, List of Miniature Sheet, Pictorial Cancellation, se-tenants, Sheet lets, Maxim card etc.

The book is recommended for the libraries of all schools, colleges and professional institutes. As it is for leisure, pleasure and knowledge. The general Readers would find the book very interesting and they will come to know about the hobby of stamp Collecting and also gain lot of general knowledge from the chapters related with varied topics about India discussed above. This book is not only a book of hobby but a very good source of information on a variety of subjects . So I would also recommend this book to those appearing for competitive exams.This book will be an asset for one and all. It is the best gift to students, academicians, professionals, nature lovers, historians and a stamp lover ! The book is complete in itself and proves that a small piece of paper issued by Postal Department has a potential to enhance one’s knowledge and preserve the history of a particular place !!

About the Authors

  image Dr Bibhudatta Mishra is a researcher by profession at Central Institute of Freshwater Aquaculture, Bhubaneshwar  and has taken philately as a passion, collecting stamps since his childhood. He has prepared a specialized philatelic collection on  fish and water animals. He was felicitated as the favourite writer award by “Kunikatha” for the Year 2013. Dr Bibhudatta Mishra may be contacted at   email : bhanubibhu68@gmail.com  Blog : http://fishstamplover.blogspot.in/


image Shanti Swarup Rath is an active philatelist from Bhubaneshwar. He has a good collection of postal stationery, Indian FDC and Miniature sheets.In Thematics he loves to collect on Tiger theme. His Blog ‘ A journey of stamps through First Day Covers” features his big collection of real posted FDCs. He may be contacted at email : ssrath@hotmail.com  Blog : http://fdc4all.blogspot.in/ 

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