A Postal Index Number (PIN; sometimes redundantly a PIN code)[note 1] refers to a six-digit code in the Indian postal code system used by India Post. On 15 August 2022, the PIN system celebrated its 50th anniversary.


The PIN system was introduced on 15 August 1972 by Shriram Bhikaji Velankar, an additional secretary in the Government of India's Ministry of Communications.[1][2][3] The system was introduced to simplify the manual sorting and delivery of mail by eliminating confusion over incorrect addresses, similar place names, and different languages used by the public.[4]

PIN structure

An example of a Postal Index Number from Ujjain in Madhya Pradesh. 4 indicates the West postal zone, 5 indicates a postal sub-zone in Madhya Pradesh, 6 indicates the Ujjain sorting district, 0 indicates the Ujjain core area service route, 01 indicates the Ujjain Head Office as the delivery office.

The first digit of a PIN indicates the zone, the second indicates the sub-zone, and the third, combined with the first two, indicates the sorting district within that zone. The final three digits are assigned to individual post offices within the sorting district.

Postal zones

There are nine postal zones in India, including eight regional zones and one functional zone (for the Indian Army). The first digit of a PIN indicates the zone and is allocated over the 9 zones as follows:

1st digit of PIN Zone States or Union Territories
1 North
3 West
5 South
7 East

Sorting district

2-digit postcode areas in India (defined through the first two PIN digits)

The third digit of a PIN, combined with the first two digits, represents a specific geographical region (except in the case of the functional zone for the Army) called a sorting district that is headquartered at the main post office of the largest city in the region and is known as the sorting office. A state may have one or more sorting districts depending on the volume of mail handled.

PIN prefix Postal abbreviation Region
11 DL Delhi
12–13 HR Haryana
14–15 PB Punjab
16 CH Chandigarh
17 HP Himachal Pradesh
18–19 JK, LA Jammu and Kashmir, Ladakh
20–28 UP, UT Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand
30–34 RJ Rajasthan
36–39 (except 396) GJ Gujarat
396 DH Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu
40–44 (except 403) MH Maharashtra
403 GA Goa
45–48 MP Madhya Pradesh
49 CT Chhattisgarh
50 TG Telangana
51–53 AP Andhra Pradesh
56–59 KA Karnataka
60–66 TN Tamil Nadu
605 PY Puducherry
67–69 (except 682) KL Kerala
682 LD Lakshadweep
70–74 (except 737 & 744) WB West Bengal
737 SK Sikkim
744 AN Andaman and Nicobar Islands
75–77 OR Odisha
78 AS Assam
790–792 AR Arunachal Pradesh
793–794 ML Meghalaya
795 MN Manipur
796 MZ Mizoram
797–798 NL Nagaland
799 TR Tripura
80–85 BR, JH Bihar, Jharkhand
90–99 APS Army Postal Service

Service route

The fourth digit represents the route on which a delivery office is located in the sorting district.[4] This is "0" for offices in the core area of the sorting district.

Delivery office

A post box with its PIN marked on it

The last two digits represent the delivery office within the sorting district starting from "01" which would be the General Post Office (GPO) or head office (HO). The numbering of the delivery office is done chronologically with higher numbers assigned to newer delivery offices. If the volume of mail handled at a delivery office is too large, a new delivery office is created and the next available PIN is assigned.[5] Thus, two delivery offices situated next to each other will only have the first four digits in common.

Dakshin Gangotri

The pin code of Dakshin Gangotri in Antarctica is 403001, which is of the pin code of Vasco da Gama Post Office in Panaji, Goa.[6]

Delivery system

Each PIN is mapped to exactly one delivery post office which receives all the mail to be delivered to one or lower offices within its jurisdiction, all of which share the same code. The delivery office can either be a General Post Office (GPO), a head office (HO), or a sub-office (SO) which are usually located in urban areas. The post from the delivery office is sorted and routed to other delivery offices for a different PIN or to one of the relevant sub-offices or branch offices for the same PIN. Branch offices (BOs) are located in rural areas and have limited postal services.[7]


  1. ^ Sometimes incorrectly written as "Pin code", "Pincode", "PINcode", or "pincode".


  1. ^ India. Publications Division, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Government of India. 1974. p. 305. Retrieved 17 May 2013.
  2. ^ "Mails section". Indian government postal department. Archived from the original on 23 July 2019. Retrieved 17 May 2013.
  3. ^ "Using pincode, maps to trace address". timesofindia.com. Archived from the original on 5 October 2016.
  4. ^ a b "Tamilnadu Postal Circle – Pincode". tamilnadupost.nic.in. Archived from the original on 20 July 2014.
  5. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on 14 August 2014. Retrieved 14 August 2014.((cite web)): CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  6. ^ "Pin code of Dakshin Gangotri in Antarctica". Times of India.
  7. ^ "Post Office Guide Part I" (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on 30 May 2014. Retrieved 14 August 2014.