The success of
the hill stations of Western India had induced the Government
to do something for the citizens of Calcutta and the Bengal
Presidency. An experimental station for ailing troops was opened
at Cherrapunji in Assam, but it proved to be a wash-out-literally-
as it turned out to be one of the wettest places in the world.
But the government continued to look for an alternative place,
and asked G.W.A.Lloyd to follow up the recommendation of J.W.Grant,
the Commercial Resident at Malda, an enthusiastic explorer of
the Himalayan foothills. The place Llyod and Grant inspected
in 1829 was an old and deserted Gurkha military station
'Dorjeeling' or 'Darjeeling'.
name Darjeeling is thought to be a derivation of 'Dorjeeling'
meaning the place of the Dorjee, the majestic thunderbolt of the
Lamaist religion. In fact, the famous Buddhist Monastery standing
at the top of the Observatory hill was known by this name. The
district was the part of the dominions of the Raja of Sikkim upto
the beginning of the 18th century.
Corner - 1900
Bazar - 1890
1817, the East India Company struggled with Himalayan States on
behalf of Raja of Sikkim, The Raja of Sikkim restored the country
between Mechi and the Tista rivers.This was the result of the
Treaty of Titaliya of 1817.Ten years after the treaty,disputes
on the Sikkim-Nepal frontiers arose and the then Governor General
sent two Officers viz. Captain Lloyd and Mr. Grant.They recommended
the present place of Darjeeling as a site for a sanatorium.The
Governor General then deputed Captain Herbert, the Deputy Surveyor
General to examine the country. The court of Directors approved
the project. General Lloyd was directed to start negotiations
with Raja of Sikkim and he succeeded in obtaining the execution
of a deed grant by the Raja of Sikkim on 1st February, 1835.
deed of grant, which is commendably short, runs as follows:-
The Governor-General having expressed his desire for the possession
of the hills of Darjeeling on account of its cool climate, for
the purpose of enabling the servants of his Government, suffering
from sickness, to avail themselves of its advantages, I the Sikkimputtee
Rajah out of friendship for the said Governor-General, hereby
present Darjeeling to the East India, that is, all the land south
of the Great Runjeet river, east of the Balasur, Kahail and Little
Runjeet rivers, and west of the Rungpo and Mahanadi rivers."
This was an unconditional cession of what was then a worthless
uninhabited mountain; but in 1841 the government granted the Raja
an allowance of Rs. 3,000 as compensation, and raised the grant
to Rs. 6,000 in1846.
(Ref. Bengal District Gazetteers Darjeeling by L S S O'Malley)"
Train at Jorebungalow- 1900s
at Chowk Bazar -
was the most important year in the history of Darjeeling, the
year the road which connected the hill station with the plains
'its life line' was built. Right from the start it had been pointed
out by the planners. No road-No Darjeeling, and 1839 was the critical
year when the decision was finally taken to go ahead with the
District was in the Rajshahi sub-division till October, 1905 and
as a sequence of Bengal partition in 1905, the district was transferred
to the Rajshahi division in March, 1912.The district was formerly
a Non-Regulation district, that is, Acts and Regulations did not
come into force in the district in line with rest of the country
unless they were extended to it. Darjeeling had no representation
in the Legislative Council. It was excluded and declared a backward
tract. In 1935, the district was made partially excluded area
freedom movement in the district was much tempered by its moderate
political ideology.One outstanding incident connected with the
"terrorist movement" was the attempt on the life of
Sir John Anderson, the Governor of Bengal, on May 8, 1934 by Bengali
terrorists. The district with the rest of India attained independence
as part of India in August 1947. According to the Constitution
of India, the district no longer enjoys special privileges and
all statutes, except the Bengal Tenancy act in certain of its
particulars, apply to it.
the movement in the late 80's and early 90's has led to the formation
of Darjeeling Gorkha Hill Council.This has resulted in more autonomy
at the regional level with the participation of local people through
their elected representatives by forming local council for management
and development of the area.
The one land that all men desire to see, and having seen once-
by even a glimpse- would not give that glimpse for the shows of
the rest of the world combined."