The term “post-office” has been in use since the 1650s, shortly after the legalisation of private mail services in England in 1635. In early modernEngland, post riders—mounted couriers—were placed, or “posted”,every few hours along post roads at posting houses (also known as post houses) between major cities, or “post towns“. These stables or inns permitted important correspondence to travel without delay. In early America, post offices were also known as stations. This term, as well as the term “post house”, fell from use as horse and coach services were replaced by railways, aircraft, and automobiles.
Today, the term “post office” usually refers to government postal facilities providing customer service. “General Post Office” is sometimes used for the national headquarters of a postal service, even if the building does not provide customer service. A postal facility that is used exclusively for processing mail is instead known as a sorting office or delivery office, which may have a large central area known as a sorting or postal hall. Integrated facilities combining mail processing with railway stations or airports are known as mail exchanges.
In India, post offices are found in almost every village having panchayat (a “village council”), towns, cities, and throughout the geographical area of India. India’s postal system changed its name to India Post after the advent of private courier companies in the 1990s. It is run by the Indian government’s Department of Posts.  India Post accepts and delivers inland letters, postcards, parcels, postal stamps, and money orders (money transfers).
Few post offices in India offer speed post (fast delivery) and payments or bank savings services. It is also uncommon for Indian post offices to sell insurance policies or accept payment for electricity, landline telephone, or gas bills. Until the 1990s, post offices would collect fees for radio licenses, recruitment for government jobs, and the operation of public call telephone (PCO) booths. Postmen would deliver letters, money orders, and parcels to places that are within the assigned area of a particular post office but there are no post offices in the location. Each Indian post office is assigned a unique six-digit code called the Postal Index Number, or PIN. Each post office is identified by its PIN.
Private courier and delivery services often have offices as well, although these are usually not called “post offices,” except in the case of Germany, which has fully privatised its national postal system.