Maharajas, Sacred Cows, Swords & Daggers, Gods & Goddesses, even a watermark depicting an umbrella! Certainly one of my favourite philatelic areas!
In most cases stamps issued by India’s Feudatory states were only valid within their respective states, although postal exchange arrangements such as that between Cochin & Travancore were occasionally agreed.
Depending on your method of counting, there were around 33 different states which issued stamps including the United State of Travancore – Cochin, and those of Faridkot and Jind which spent periods as both Feudatory and Convention States.
Collectors of these stamps often enjoy the extremes in style from the incredibly ‘primitive’ stamps of Jammu and Kashmir (who for a period issued their stamps separately before combining) to the polished sophistication of the Hyderabad stamps – and all types in between!
Colourful & intriguing, the excellent Stanley Gibbons catalogue is the best overall guide to these wonderful issues, reminiscent of an age which finally drew to an end shortly after India gained her independence.