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

Darjeeling Municipality 1850
Loreto Convent 1847
St. Paul’s School1864
Planters’ Club 1868
Llyod’s Botanical Garden 1878
St. Josheph’s School 1888
Darjeeling Himalayan Railway opening 1881
Railway Station 1891

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.

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Darjeeling experiences subtropical highland climate or temperate climate with wet summers due to monsoon rains. The region experiences the highest rainfall in July. Though very rare, Darjeeling experiences snowfall at least once during December and January. The lowest temperature recorded was −5 °C on 11 February 1905.

The yearly mean maximum temperature is 14.9 °C while the mean minimum temperature is 8.9 °C with monthly mean temperatures dwindling from 6 to 18 °C.

Tourism of Darjeeling

Tourism in Darjeeling has flourished since 1860. Darjeeling is reported to be the only location in Eastern India to witness a large number of foreign tourists. Darjeeling is also a popular filming destination for Bengali Cinemas like Satyajit Ray's Kanchenjungha (1962), Feluda series story, and Darjeeling Jomjomaat, and the super hit Bollywood movies like Aradhana (1969), Main Hoon Na (2004), Parineeta (2005), and Barfi! (2012).


The two major contributors to the economy of Darjeeling are Tea and Tourism Industry. Darjeeling yields 7% of India’s Tea output, i.e., 9, 000,000 kg every year.


Darjeeling is well connected to its neighboring regions like Sikkim, Kalimpong, Kurseong, Bagdogra, Siliguri, NJP, and Nepal. Darjeeling can be explored by the regular and hired vehicles plying from Siliguri and any other Hilly regions. Darjeeling can also be accessed by the long train journey of 88 km with Darjeeling Himalayan Railway from New Jalpaiguri Station.

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