During the partition of India in 1947, Punjab was broken up in two parts, West Punjab went to Pakistan and East Punjab joined the Union of India. Sialkot, in West Punjab had become part of Pakistan.
From 1st November 1947, Offices of Exchange for Surface Mail, for Accountable Articles came to Delhi for Lahore. Ordinary Mail including Registered & Unregistered Articles were exchanged directly by Offices and Sections in India, in closed bags, via DGPO Circular No.38 dated 31st October 1947. Dead Letter P. O. of India directly dealt with D. L. O., of Pakistan via DGPO Circular No.47 dated 1st December 1947.
This specific letter was mailed using Gandhi 1½ Anna from Malabar bearing cancel of 17 Nov 48, sent via Surface Mail to Sialkot, Punjab, Pakistan. This letter made a very interesting journey and ended up in D.L.O. after travelling from Malabar to Madras to Delhi to Lahor to Sialkot and back to Lahore to Madras via Delhi and back to Malabar. Never to be delivered or returned, the contents of this cover are still intact. Dead Letters are common, however one bearing a Gandhi stamp with clear cancels is rare and difficult to obtain if not impossible.
The image of the back cover show the following DLO Dates.
1. Lahore 22/11/48
2. Lahore 24/11/48
3. Madras 4/12/48
4. Madras 8/12/48