History of Darjeeling
The origin of the place comes from Dar-jyu-lyang, meaning ‘abode of the Gods’. Formerly it was the worship place of the ‘Rongs’or ‘Lepchas’ where 3 stones remain erected (Lung-Chok) until this date. Unfortunately, the invasion of Gurkha army in 1815 destroyed the monastery. Originally, Darjeeling was under the dominion of Sikkimese kingdom inhabited by the Lepchas- a native tribe to the area since the inception of time until the Gurkhas defeated the indigenous armies of Sikkim in the 1780s and annexed Rabdentse, the Sikkimese capital.
In, 1829, when the dispute arose between Nepal and Sikkim concerning their borders, Lord William Bentinck, the then Governor General of India sent two officers to resolve the issue. On their Journey, the two officers Captain George Alymer Lloyd and J. W. Grant halted at Darjeeling for 6 days. During their stay, they observed the population of about 100 Lepchas and were immensely impressed with the climate and saw the possibility of building a sanatorium for the British soldiers. Roads was constructed in 1839 to connect Darjeeling with plains.
In 1835, the task of laying the foundation of Darjeeling and improving the area began. The plantation of the internationally famous Darjeeling tea began in 1841 when Dr. Campbell the superintendent of the sanatorium brought Chinese tea seeds from Kumaon region and began experimenting with the plantation near his residence. This was done by other British which turned out to be successful. Soon the commercial tea estates began operating in Darjeeling.
Further Development under British
|St. Paul’s School||1864|
|Llyod’s Botanical Garden||1878|
|St. Josheph’s School||1888|
|Darjeeling Himalayan Railway opening||1881|
The then British ruling class, the elite residents of Darjeeling began visiting Darjeeling in summer. The rich Indian residents of Kolkata also began visiting Darjeeling and the town began to gain prominence as a famous tourist destination and gained popularity as "the Queen of Hills".
After the independence of India in 1947, Darjeeling was integrated with the state of West Bengal. A separate district of Darjeeling was formed comprising the Hilly regions of Darjeeling, Kalimpong, Kurseong, and the some of the Terai regions of Siliguri.