Mirdha Dak ( मिर्धा डाक ) - In the history of postal Services in India, the role played by former princely state of Marwar in Rajasthan catches great attention. Before the unification of the postal services through the Imperial (British) Postal system, a number of postal services had been in vogue, in the country, like the Anche Dak in the south,Nizamat Dak, the Nawab’s Salt Dak or Police Dak and the Behangy Dak in the East. The most important of these - the Mirdha Dak, was prevalent in Rajasthan and Northern India. The historic association of the family of Mirdhas of Rajasthan with development and maintenance of Postal services in different parts of Mughal Empire.
The Mirdha family of Jodhpur managed the postal system in Marwar, known as Mirdha Dak. The administrative reports of Maharaja Jaswant Singh written by Munshi Hardayal Singh, compiled in 1883-84 captioned as ‘Mazmoo-e-halat Raj Marwar’ relate to postal arrangements along with other administrative matters. Dafa 321 and 232 in the 17th Chapter refer to the Department of Posts. Reference is made to incidents around 1584 A.D. One such event relates to the victory of Raja Uday Singh over Gujarat by defeating Sultan Muzzafar. This news was conveyed to the Emperor Akbar at Delhi by one of the Mirdhas. The Mughal was so pleased that he presented a Tughlaki - golden earring - to the bearer of the good news.
Though the Mirdhas belonged to the Jat community, their traditional role as conveyers of mails, gave them a distinct identity. They usually accompanied the king during the pilgrimage and other travels. Mails were delivered even when the king was in the battlefield. The Mirdhas were responsible for delivering all messages and mails from the royal headquarters at Jodhpur to other officials and the systems operated by them. In recognition of this position as the chief of the Postal system it was called Mirdha Dak. The Mirdhas were presented with a silver rod, to which were attached small bells, symbolic of the mail carrying work. This rod was also an expression of the authority conferred on the Mirdhas.
The Quaysides (couriers) working under the Mirdhas covered normally 15-20 miles a day but when there was urgency they could 50 to 70 miles a day. Impressed by this feat, Maharaja Bakht Singh gave the Mirdhas the privilege of riding horses (the title of Godha-Quasid), something that was exclusive to the higher classes in those days. On conquering Ahmedabad Maharaja Abhey Singh awarded a village known as Kuchera to the Mirdha family. When Maharaja Bhakt Singh, 1751 A.D., came to power he gave Mangal Ram Mirdha, the then Chief Postal Administrator, the village Silas. An additional gift was made to the Mirdhas by giving them power to collect land revenue up to Rs.500 annually. Raja Man Singh also awarded the grandfather of Shivji Mirdha the right to collect revenue in the village of Bhakrod, Dhudia at Nagaur.
Even now in the town of Jodhpur there is a place called Mirdhon ke Dera, which would have been awarded to the Mirdhas by the Maharajas. Over the centuries Mirdhas attained the status of nobles. The remnants of the mansions occupied by these Mirdhas at a place called Jatadas bears testimony to the social status enjoyed by the family.