Patiala State was a self-governing princely state of the British Empire in India, and one of the Phulkian States, that acceded to the Union of India upon Indian independence and partition. The state’s name came from the name of its principal city and capital, Patiala, which itself comes from the roots pati and ala. The former is Urdu for a “strip of land” and ‘ala’ comes from the name of the founder of the city and Patiala state, Ala Singh, thus meaning ‘the land of Ala Singh’
The native states which issued postage stamps have been categorised as either convention states or feudatory states. The words ‘convention’ and ‘feudatory’ in this sense referred solely to postal arrangements with or in relation to British India.
In all, there were some 675 feudatory states at various times, but not all issued postal stamps and/or stationery. Many of the first issues were printed locally, using primitive methods such as typography and so they can be very rare. There was low quality of printing and design in many cases and collectors sometimes informally refer to them as “Uglies”. All remaining feudatory issues were replaced by stamps of the Republic of India on 1 April 1950 and most were declared obsolete from 1 May 1950 – there was one exception in the Anchal stamps of Travancore-Cochin which remained current until 1 July 1951.
There were six convention states: Chamba, Faridkot, Gwalior, Jind, Nabha and Patiala. They all used stamps of British India which were overprinted with the name of the state in Latin or Hindi/Urdu letters, or both. The Gibbons catalogue omits minor varieties of these stamps which had printing errors such as smaller letters, broken letters, unequal inking and unequal spacing. The convention issues were replaced by those of the Republic of India on 1 April 1950 but remained current until 31 December of that year, becoming obsolete from 1 January 1951.
* Text from Wikipedia