Darjeeling is a town and a municipality in the Indian state of West Bengal. It is located in the Lesser Himalayas at an elevation of 6,700 ft (2,042.2 m). It is noted for its tea industry, its views of Kangchenjunga, the world's third-highest mountain, and the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Darjeeling is the headquarters of the Darjeeling District which has a partially autonomous status within the state of West Bengal. It is also a popular tourist destination in India.

The recorded history of the town starts from the early 19th century when the colonial administration under the British Raj set up a sanatorium and a military depot in the region. Subsequently, extensive tea plantations were established in the region and tea growers developed hybrids of black tea and created new fermentation techniques. The resultant distinctive Darjeeling tea is internationally recognised and ranks among the most popular black teas in the world.[4] The Darjeeling Himalayan Railway connects the town with the plains and has some of the few steam locomotives still in service in India.

Darjeeling has several British-style public schools, which attract pupils from all over India and a few neighbouring countries. The varied culture of the town reflects its diverse demographic milieu comprising Lepcha, Khampa, Gorkha, Newar, Sherpa, Bhutia, Bengali[5] and other mainland Indian ethno-linguistic groups. Darjeeling, alongside its neighbouring town of Kalimpong, was the centre of the Gorkhaland movement in the 1980s and the summer of 2017.

A view of Darjeeling from the Happy Valley Tea Estate.
A view of Darjeeling from the Happy Valley Tea Estate.
The Queen of Hills
Darjeeling is located in West Bengal
Location of Darjeeling in West Bengal
Darjeeling is located in India
Darjeeling (India)
Coordinates: 27°3′N 88°16′E / 27.050°N 88.267°ECoordinates: 27°3′N 88°16′E / 27.050°N 88.267°E
Country India
StateWest Bengal
Settled1815, Treaty of Sugauli
Founded byEast India Company
 • TypeChairman-in-Council
 • BodyDarjeeling Municipality
 • ChairmanPratibha Rai[1]
 • Vice-ChairmanSagar Tamang
 • Total10.57 km2 (4.08 sq mi)
Elevation2,042.16 m (6,700.00 ft)
 • Total132,016
 • Density12,000/km2 (32,000/sq mi)
 • OfficialBengali and Nepali[3]
Time zoneUTC+5:30 (IST)
Telephone code0354
Vehicle registrationWB-76 WB-77
Lok Sabha constituencyDarjeeling
Vidhan Sabha constituencyDarjeeling


The name Darjeeling comes from the Tibetan words Dorje, which is the thunderbolt sceptre of the Hindu deity Indra, and ling, which means "a place" or "land".[6]


Bringing in the tea leaf, Darjeeling, 1890
Bringing in the Darjeeling tea harvest, circa 1890.
King of Sikkim with a group of Lama, Darjeeling, India, c. 1900
the King of Sikkim in Darjeeling about 1900

The history of Darjeeling is intertwined with that of Nepal, Sikkim, British India, and Bhutan. Until the early 19th century, the hilly area around Darjeeling was controlled by the Kingdom of Sikkim[7] with the settlement consisting of a few villages of the Lepcha and Kirati people.[8] The Chogyal of Sikkim had been engaged in unsuccessful warfare against the Gorkhas of Nepal.

From 1780, the Gorkhas made several attempts to capture the entire region of Darjeeling. By the beginning of the 19th century, they had overrun Sikkim as far eastward as the Teesta River and had conquered and annexed the Terai and the entire area now belonged to Nepal.[9] In the meantime, the British were engaged in preventing the Gorkhas from over-running the whole of the northern frontier. The Anglo-Gorkha war broke out in 1814, which resulted in the defeat of the Gorkhas and subsequently led to the signing of the Sugauli Treaty in 1816. According to the treaty, Nepal had to cede all those territories which the Gorkhas had annexed from the Chogyal of Sikkim to the British East India Company (i.e. the area between Mechi River and Teesta River). Later in 1817, through the Treaty of Titalia, the British East India Company reinstated the Chogyal of Sikkim, restored all the tracts of land between the River Mechi and the River Teesta to the Chogyal of Sikkim and guaranteed his sovereignty.[10]

In 1828, a delegation of the British East India Company (BEIC) officials on its way to the Nepal-Sikkim border stayed in Darjeeling and decided that the region was a suitable site for a sanatorium for British soldiers.[11][12] The company negotiated a lease of the area west of the Mahananda River from the Chogyal of Sikkim in 1835.[13] In 1849, the BEIC Superintendent Archibald Campbell and the explorer and botanist Joseph Dalton Hooker were imprisoned in the region by the Sikkim Chogyal. The BEIC sent a force to free them. Continued friction between the BEIC and the Sikkim authorities resulted in the annexation of 640 square miles (1,700 km2) of territory by the British in 1850. In 1864, the Bhutanese rulers and the British signed the Treaty of Sinchula that ceded the passes leading through the hills and Kalimpong to the British.[10] Further discord between Sikkim and the British resulted in a war, culminating in the signing of a treaty and the annexation by the British of the area east of the Teesta River in 1865.[14] By 1866, Darjeeling district had assumed its current shape and size, covering an area of 1,234 square miles (3,200 km2).[10]

Darjeeling War Memorial, at Batasia Loop, Darjeeling,
A view of the Darjeeling War Memorial, located at the Batasia Loop of the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway. Kangchenjunga is visible in the background.

During the British Raj, Darjeeling's temperate climate led to its development as a hill station for British residents seeking to escape the summer heat of the plains. The development of Darjeeling as a sanatorium and health resort proceeded briskly.[8] Arthur Campbell, a surgeon with the Company, and Lieutenant Robert Napier were responsible for establishing a hill station there. Campbell's efforts to develop the station, attract immigrants to cultivate the slopes and stimulate trade resulted in a hundredfold increase in the population of Darjeeling between 1835 and 1849.[10][15] The first road connecting the town with the plains was constructed between 1839 and 1842.[8][15] In 1848, a military depot was set up for British soldiers, and the town became a municipality in 1850.[15] Commercial cultivation of tea in the district began in 1856, and induced a number of British planters to settle there.[11] Darjeeling became the formal summer capital of the Bengal Presidency after 1864.[16] Scottish missionaries undertook the construction of schools and welfare centres for the British residents, laying the foundation for Darjeeling's notability as a centre of education. The opening of the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway in 1881 further hastened the development of the region.[17] In 1899, Darjeeling was rocked by major landslides that caused severe damage to the town and the native population.[18]

Darjeeling (Baedeker, 1914)
Map of the station and its environs, ca 1914

Under the British Raj, the Darjeeling area was initially a "Non-Regulation District", a scheme of administration applicable to economically less advanced districts in the British India; acts and regulations of the British Raj did not automatically apply to the district in line with rest of the country. In 1919, the area was declared a "backward tract".[19] During the Indian independence movement, the Non-cooperation movement spread through the tea estates of Darjeeling.[20] There was also a failed assassination attempt by revolutionaries on Sir John Anderson, the Governor of Bengal in 1934.[21] Subsequently, during the 1940s, Communist activists continued the nationalist movement against the British by mobilising the plantation workers and the peasants of the district.[22]

A Darjeeling street scene, 1880
Darjeeling view, 1880

Socio-economic problems of the region that had not been addressed during British Raj continued to linger and were reflected in a representation made to the Constituent Assembly of India in 1947, which highlighted the issues of regional autonomy and Nepali nationality in Darjeeling and adjacent areas.[22] After the independence of India in 1947, Darjeeling was merged with the state of West Bengal. A separate district of Darjeeling was established consisting of the hill towns of Darjeeling, Kurseong, Kalimpong and some parts of the Terai region. While the hill population comprised mainly ethnic Nepalis, the plains harboured a large ethnic Bengali population who were refugees from the Partition of India.[23] A cautious and non-receptive response by the West Bengal government to most demands of the ethnic Nepali population led to increased calls, in the 1950s and 1960s, for Darjeeling's autonomy and for the recognition of the Nepali language; the state government acceded to the latter demand in 1961.[24]

The creation of a new state of Sikkim in 1975, along with the reluctance of the Government of India to recognise Nepali as an official language under the Constitution of India, brought the issue of a separate state of Gorkhaland to the forefront.[25] Agitation for a separate state continued through the 1980s,[26] included violent protests during the 1986–88 period. The agitation ceased only after an agreement between the government and the Gorkha National Liberation Front (GNLF), resulting in the establishment of an elected body in 1988 called the Darjeeling Gorkha Hill Council (DGHC), which received autonomy to govern the district. Though Darjeeling became peaceful, the issue of a separate state lingered, fuelled in part by the lack of comprehensive economic development in the region even after the formation of the DGHC.[27] New protests erupted in 2008–09, but both the Union and State governments rejected Gorkha Janmukti Morcha's (GJM) demand for a separate state.[28] In July 2011, a pact was signed between GJM, the Government of West Bengal and the Government of India which includes the formation of a new autonomous, elected Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA), a hill council endowed with more powers than its predecessor Darjeeling Gorkha Hill Council.[29]


Mt. Kanchenjunga
View of Kanchengjunga as seen from Darjeeling

Darjeeling is the main town of the Sadar subdivision and also the headquarters of the district. It is located at an elevation of 6,700 ft (2,000 m)[2] in the Darjeeling Himalayan hill region on the Darjeeling-Jalapahar range that originates in the south from Ghum. The range is Y-shaped with the base resting at Katapahar and Jalapahar and two arms diverging north of the Observatory Hill. The north-eastern arm dips suddenly and ends in the Lebong spur, while the north-western arm passes through North Point and ends in the valley near Tukver Tea Estate.[30] The hills are nestled within higher peaks and the snow-clad Himalayan ranges tower over the town in the distance. Kanchenjunga, the world's third-highest peak, 8,598 m (28,209 ft) high, is the most prominent mountain visible. On clear days Nepal's Mount Everest, 29,035 ft (8,850 m) high, can be seen.[31]

The hills of Darjeeling are part of the Lesser Himalaya. The soil is chiefly composed of sandstone and conglomerate formations, which are the solidified and upheaved detritus of the great range of Himalaya. However, the soil is often poorly consolidated (the permeable sediments of the region do not retain water between rains) and is not considered suitable for agriculture. The area has steep slopes and loose topsoil, leading to frequent landslides during the monsoons. According to the Bureau of Indian Standards, the town falls under seismic zone-IV, (on a scale of I to V, in order of increasing proneness to earthquakes) near the convergent boundary of the Indian and the Eurasian tectonic plates and is subject to frequent earthquakes.[31]


Climate data for Darjeeling (1901–2000)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 9.4
Daily mean °C (°F) 6.6
Average low °C (°F) 1.8
Average precipitation mm (inches) 19.7
Source #1: Indian Meteorological Department.[32]
Source #2: Climate-Data.org (mean temperatures)[33]

Darjeeling has a temperate climate (Köppen: Cwb,[33] subtropical highland climate) with wet summers caused by monsoon rains.[34] The annual mean maximum temperature is 14.9 °C (58.8 °F) while the mean minimum temperature is 8.9 °C (48.0 °F),[2] with monthly mean temperatures ranging from 6 to 18 °C (43 to 64 °F).[33] The lowest temperature recorded was −5 °C (23 °F) on 11 February 1905.[2] The average annual precipitation is 309.2 cm (121.7 in), with an average of 126 days of rain in a year.[2] The highest rainfall occurs in July.[32][33] The heavy and concentrated rainfall that is experienced in the region, aggravated by deforestation and haphazard planning, often causes devastating landslides, leading to loss of life and property.[35][36] Though not very common, but the town receives snow at least once during two winter months of December and January.[37]

Flora and fauna

Tea plantations in Darjeeling

Darjeeling is a part of the Eastern Himalayan zoo-geographic zone.[38] Flora around Darjeeling comprises sal, oak, semi-evergreen, temperate and alpine forests.[39] Dense evergreen forests of sal and oak lie around the town, where a wide variety of rare orchids are found. The Lloyd's Botanical Garden preserves common and rare species of plants, while the Padmaja Naidu Himalayan Zoological Park specialises in conserving and breeding endangered Himalayan species.[40] The town of Darjeeling and surrounding region face deforestation due to increasing demand for wood fuel and timber, as well as air pollution from increasing vehicular traffic.[41]

Forests and wildlife in the district are managed and protected by the Divisional Forest Officer of the Territorial and Wildlife wing of the West Bengal Forest Department.[38] The fauna found in Darjeeling includes several species of ducks, teals, plovers and gulls that pass Darjeeling while migrating to and from Tibet.[42] Small mammals found in the region include small Indian civets, mongooses and badgers.[43] TA conservation centre for red pandas opened at Darjeeling Zoo in 2014, building on a prior captive breeding program.[44]

Civic administration

Darjeeling Municipality
Darjeeling Municipality Building

The Darjeeling urban agglomeration consists of Darjeeling Municipality and the Tukvar Tea Garden (Tukvar valley).[45] Established in 1850, the Darjeeling municipality maintains the civic administration of the town, covering an area of 10.57 km2 (4.08 sq mi).[45] The municipality consists of a board of councillors elected from each of the 32 wards of Darjeeling town as well as a few members nominated by the state government. The board of councillors elects a chairman from among its elected members;[30] the chairman is the executive head of the municipality. The Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJMM) holds power in the municipality As of 2011.

From 1988 to 2012, the Gorkha-dominated hill areas of Darjeeling district were under the jurisdiction of the Darjeeling Gorkha Hill Council (DGHC). In 2012, the DGHC was replaced by the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA). The elected members of this body are authorised to manage certain affairs of the hills, including education, health and tourism. Law and order in Darjeeling town comes under the jurisdiction of the district police force, which is a part of the West Bengal Police; a Deputy Superintendent of Police oversees the town's security and law affairs. Darjeeling municipality area has two police stations at Darjeeling and Jorebungalow.[46]

Civil utilities

Mall Road, Darjeeling
Mall Road

Natural springs in the Senchal Range provide most of Darjeeling's water supply. Water collected is routed through stone conduits to two lakes that were constructed in 1910 and 1932, from where it is piped to the town after purification at the Jorebungalow filtration plant.[47] During the dry season, when water supplied by springs is insufficient, water is pumped from Khong Khola, a nearby small perennial stream. Increasing demand has led to a worsening shortfall in water supply; just over 50% of the town's households are connected to the municipal water supply system.[30] Various efforts made to augment the water supply, including the construction of a third storage reservoir in 1984, have failed to yield desired results.[47]

The town has an underground sewage system, covering about 40% of the town area, that collects domestic waste and conveys it to septic tanks for disposal.[48] Solid waste is disposed of in a nearby dumping ground, which also houses the town's crematorium.[48] Doorstep collection of garbage and segregation of biodegradable and non-biodegradable waste have been implemented since 2003.[49] Vermicomposting of vegetable waste is carried out with the help of non-governmental organisations.[50] In June 2009, in order to reduce waste, the municipality proposed a ban on plastic carrier bags and sachets in the town.[51]

Darjeeling got from 1897 up to the early 1990s hydroelectricity from the nearby Sidrapong Hydel Power Station, such being the first town in India supplied with hydropower. Today, electricity is supplied by the West Bengal State Electricity Board from other places. The town often suffers from power outages and the electrical supply voltage is unstable, making voltage stabilisers popular with many households. Almost all of the primary schools are now maintained by Darjeeling Gorkha Autonomous Hill Council. The total length of all types of roads within the municipal area is around 134 km (83 mi).[52] The West Bengal Fire Service provides emergency services for the town.


Plucking the tea leaves in the traditional fashion

The two most significant contributors to Darjeeling's economy are tourism and the tea industry. Darjeeling tea, due to the unique agro-climatic conditions of Darjeeling, has a distinctive natural flavour, is internationally reputed and recognised as a geographical indicator. The office of the Darjeeling Indian Tea Association (DITA) is located at Darjeeling.[4] Darjeeling produces 7% of India's tea output, approximately 9,000,000 kilograms (20,000,000 lb) every year.[28] The tea industry has faced competition in recent years from tea produced in other parts of India as well as other countries like Nepal.[53] Widespread concerns about labour disputes, worker layoffs and closing of estates have affected investment and production.[54] Several tea estates are being run on a workers' cooperative model, while others are being planned for conversion into tourist resorts.[54] More than 60% of workers in the tea gardens are women.[45] Besides tea, the most widely cultivated crops include maize, millets, paddy, cardamom, potato and ginger.[55]

Darjeeling had become an important tourist destination as early as 1860.[15] It is reported to be the only location in eastern India that witnesses large numbers of foreign tourists.[28] It is also a popular filming destination for Bollywood and Bengali cinema. Satyajit Ray shot his film Kanchenjungha (1962) here, and his Feluda series story, Darjeeling Jomjomaat, was also set in the town. Bollywood movies such as Aradhana (1969), Main Hoon Na (2004), Parineeta (2005) and more recently Barfi! (2012) have been filmed here.[56][57]


Tourist inflow into Darjeeling had been affected by the political instability in the region, and agitations in the 1980s and 2000s hit the tourism industry hard.[28][58] However, since 2012, Darjeeling has once again witnessed a steady inflow of both domestic and international tourists. Presently, around 50,000 foreign and 500,000 domestic tourists visit Darjeeling each year,[59] and its repute as the "Queen of the Hills" remains unaltered. According to an India Today survey published on 23 December 2015, Darjeeling is the third most Googled travel destination among all the tourist destinations in India. Even though there are political instabilities in Darjeeling, its tourism rate is increasing year by year. Many visit this place for food specialities like momos, steamed stick rice, and mostly steamed foods are famous in this region. Many tourist visit this place for seeing the natural beauty of nature .[60]


Darjeeling Himalayan Railway
The narrow gauge train often crisscrosses the street
Toy train of darjeeling
Darjeeling "Toy Train"

Darjeeling can be reached by the 88 km (55 mi) long Darjeeling Himalayan Railway from New Jalpaiguri, or by National Highway 55, from Siliguri, 77 km (48 mi) away.[61][62] The Darjeeling Himalayan Railway is a 600 mm (2 ft) narrow-gauge railway that was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1999 for being "an outstanding example of the influence of an innovative transportation system on the social and economic development of a multi-cultural region, which was to serve as a model for similar developments in many parts of the world",[63] becoming only the second railway in the world to have this honour.[17][56] Bus services and hired vehicles connect Darjeeling with Siliguri and Darjeeling has road connections with Bagdogra, Gangtok and Kathmandu and the neighbouring towns of Kurseong and Kalimpong.[61] However, road and railway communications often get disrupted in the monsoons because of landslides. The nearest airport is Bagdogra Airport, located 90 km (56 mi) from Darjeeling.[61] Within the town, people usually traverse by walking. Residents also use two-wheelers and hired taxis for travelling short distances. The Darjeeling Ropeway, functional since 1968, was closed in 2003 after an accident killed four tourists.[64] It reopened in February 2012.[65]


Colourful Buddhist prayer flags around Mahakal Temple at Observatory Hill, Darjeeling.
Darjeeling St. Andrew's Church
St. Andrew's Church, Darjeeling. Built- 1843, Rebuilt- 1873

According to provisional results of 2011 census of India, Darjeeling urban agglomeration has a population of 132,016, out of which 65,839 were males and 66,177 were females. The sex ratio is 1,005 females per 1,000 males. The 0–6 years population is 7,382. Effective literacy rate for the population older than 6 years is 93.17 per cent.[66]

According to the 2001 census, the Darjeeling urban agglomeration, with an area of 12.77 km2 (4.93 sq mi), had a population of 109,163, while the municipal area had a population of 107,530.[45] The population density of the municipal area was 10,173 per km2. The sex ratio was 1,017 females per 1,000 males,[45] which was higher than the national average of 933 females per 1000 males.[67] Gorkhas, speaking Nepali as native language, form the majority which includes indigenous ethnic groups such as the Bhutia, Chhetri, Gurung, Lepcha, Limbu, Magar, Newars, Rajbanshi, Rai, Sherpa, Tamang, Yolmo, along with several other denominations under the Indo-Aryan Khas and the Mongoloid Kirats. Other communities that inhabit Darjeeling include the Anglo-Indians, Bengalis, Biharis, Chinese, Marwaris and Tibetans. The prevailing languages are Nepali, Hindi, Bengali and English. Bengali is prevalent in the plains while Tibetan is used by the refugees and some tribal people.[5] Dzongkha is spoken by the Bhutias and the Tibetans.

Darjeeling has seen a significant growth in its population, its decadal growth rate being 47% between 1991 and 2001.[45] The colonial town was designed for a population of only 10,000, and subsequent growth has created extensive infrastructural and environmental problems. The district's forests and other natural wealth have been adversely affected by an ever-growing population. The official languages of Darjeeling are Bengali and Nepali.[3]


Буддийский храм в Дарджилинге. Сикким
Buddhist Temple in Darjiling. Sikkim, by Vasily Vereshchagin (1874)

The predominant religions of Darjeeling are Shaivite Hinduism and Vajrayana Buddhism, followed by Christianity[68]. Indigenous communities such as the Lepchas, the Limbus, and many others, also practice Animism and Shamanism which is very often, but not always, intermixed with the more mainstream Hinduism and Buddhism.[69]

DashainTihar, LosarBuddha JayantiChristmas are the main festivals. Besides, the diverse ethnic populace of the town also celebrates several local festivals. Buddhist ethnic groups which include the Tibetans, Lepchas, Bhutias, Sherpas, Yolmos, Gurungs, and Tamangs celebrate their new year, called Losar, in January/February, Maghe Sankranti, Chotrul Duchen and Tendong Lho Rumfaat. The Kiranti Rai people (Khambus) celebrate their annual Sakela festivals of Ubhauli and Udhauli. Deusi and Bhaileni are songs performed by men and women respectively, during the festival of Tihar. All these provide a regional distinctness to Darjeeling's local culture from the rest of India. Darjeeling Carnival, initiated by a civil society movement known as The Darjeeling Initiative, is a ten-day carnival held yearly during the winter with portrayal of the Darjeeling Hill's musical and cultural heritage as its central theme.[70]


Buddhist Temple Peace Pagoda Darjeeling West Bengal India (7)
Peace Pagoda

The culture of Darjeeling is diverse and includes a variety of indigenous practices and festivals as mentioned above. Many of the Nepali Hindus, as well as the various Buddhist and other ethnic groups such as the Lepchas, Bhutias, Kiranti Limbus, Tibetans, Yolmos, Gurungs and Tamangs, have their own distinct languages and cultures and yet share a largely harmonious co-existence.

Colonial architecture characterizes many buildings in Darjeeling, exemplified by several mock Tudor residences, Gothic churches, the Raj Bhawan, Planters' Club and various educational institutions. Buddhist monasteries showcase the pagoda style architecture. Darjeeling is regarded as a centre of music and a niche for musicians and music admirers. Singing and playing musical instruments are common pastimes among the resident population, who take pride in the traditions and role of music in cultural life.[71] Darjeeling also has a Peace Pagoda built in 1992 by the Japanese Buddhist organisation Nipponzan Myohoji.


Due to the varied mix of cultures in Darjeeling, the local and ethnic food of Darjeeling is also quite varied. Rice, noodles and potatoes seem to make up the dominant part of the cuisine partly due to the cold climate. The most popular local snack food are Momos, which are steamed flour dumplings with meat or vegetables fillings served piping hot with a side of clear soup and hot homemade tomato sauce. Locals love Alu Dom (Spicy steamed potato curry) and various versions of it are served. For example, they add Wai Wai Mimi instant noodles over a bowl of Alu Dom and call it Alu Mimi.[72]

Another popular food is Thukpa which is of Tibetan origins. Thukpa is homemade noodle soup with meat, eggs and/or vegetables. Kinema, Chhurpi, Shaphalay, (Tibetan bread stuffed with meat).[73] Fermented foods and beverages are consumed by a large percentage of the population.[74] Fermented foods include preparations of soybean, bamboo shoots, milk and Sel roti, which is made from rice.[75] Tea (esp. the butter tea) is the most popular delicacy,[73] Alcoholic beverages include Tongba, Jnaard and Chhaang, variations of a local beer made from fermenting finger millet.[73][76][77]

Alu Mimi Darjeeling

A bowl of Alu Mimi


There are 52 primary schools, 67 high schools and 5 colleges in the town.[48] Darjeeling's schools are run either by the state government or by private or religious organisations. Schools mainly use English and Nepali as their media of instruction, although there is the option to learn the official language Hindi and the official state language Bengali. The schools are either affiliated with the ICSE, the CBSE, or the West Bengal Board of Secondary Education.

Having been a summer retreat for the British in India, Darjeeling became the place of choice for the establishment of public schools on the model of Eton, Harrow and Rugby, allowing the children of British officials to obtain an exclusive education.[78] Institutions such as Mount Hermon School, St. Robert's H.S. School, St. Paul's School, St. Joseph's School - North Point, Loreto Convent are renowned as centres of educational excellence.[79] Darjeeling has five colleges—St. Joseph's College, Southfield College (earlier known as Loreto College), Darjeeling Government College, Ghoom-Jorebunglow Degree College and Sri Ramakrishna B.T. College—all affiliated to the University of North Bengal in Siliguri.

Political unrest

See article Gorkhaland

See also


Mahakal Temple


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Further reading

  • Bradnock, R; Bradnock, R (2004). Footprint India Handbook (13th ed.). Footprint Handbooks. ISBN 978-1-904777-00-7.
  • Brown, Percy (1917). Tours in Sikhim and the Darjeeling District (3rd (1934) ed.). Calcutta: W. Newman & Co. p. 223. ASIN B0008B2MIY.
  • Forbes, Andrew ; Henley, David (2011). China's Ancient Tea Horse Road. Chiang Mai: Cognoscenti Books. ASIN: B005DQV7Q2
  • Kennedy, Dane (1996). Magic Mountains: Hill Stations and the British Raj. University of California Press. p. 265. ISBN 978-0-520-20188-0.
  • Lee, Ada (1971). The Darjeeling disaster: Triumph through sorrow: the triumph of the six Lee children. Lee Memorial Mission. ASIN B0007AUX00.
  • "Newman's Guide to Darjeeling and Its Surroundings, Historical & Descriptive, with Some Account of the Manners and Customs of the Neighbouring Hill Tribes, and a Chapter on Thibet and the Thibetans". W. Newman and Co. 1900.
  • Ronaldshay, The Earl of (1923). Lands of the Thunderbolt. Sikhim, Chumbi & Bhutan. London: Constable & Co. ISBN 81-206-1504-2.
  • Roy, Barun (2003). Fallen Cicada - Unwritten History of Darjeeling Hills (2003 ed.). Beacon Publication. p. 223. ISBN 978-81-223-0684-2.
  • Saraswati, Baidyanath (ed.) (1998). Cultural Dimension of Ecology. DK Print World Pvt. Ltd, India. ISBN 978-81-246-0102-0.CS1 maint: Extra text: authors list (link)
  • Singh, S. (2006). Lonely Planet India (11th ed.). Lonely Planet Publications. ISBN 978-1-74059-694-7.
  • Waddell, L.A. (2004). Among the Himalayas. Kessinger Publishing. ISBN 978-0-7661-8918-8.

External links

Bagdogra Airport

Bagdogra Airport, (IATA: IXB, ICAO: VEBD) is an international airport located about 16 km (9.9 mi) west of the city of Siliguri, 45 km (28 mi) away from Jalpaiguri and 65 km (40 mi) away from Darjeeling, the cities which the airport mainly serves, at Bagdogra in Darjeeling district in northern West Bengal, India.

It is operated as a civil enclave at AFS Bagdogra of the Indian Air Force. It is also the gateway airport to the hill stations of Kurseong and Kalimpong and other parts of the North Bengal region and sees thousands of tourists annually. The airport is a major transport hub in the region with flights connecting Kolkata, New Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Bangalore,Hyderabad, Ahmedabad and Guwahati and has international connectivity with Kathmandu, Paro, and Bangkok. The airport also has regular helicopter flights to Gangtok, the capital of Sikkim. The central government of India conferred customs airport status to the airport in 2002 with limited international operations. Air traffic at Bagdogra crossed 1 million for the first time growing at 43.6% percent in 2014-15. This is one of the few airports in India with zero sales tax on aviation turbine fuel.

Darjeeling (Vidhan Sabha constituency)

Darjeeling (Vidhan Sabha constituency) is an assembly constituency in Darjeeling district in the Indian state of West Bengal.

Darjeeling Himalayan Railway

The Darjeeling Himalayan Railway, also known as the DHR or the Toy Train, is a 2 ft (610 mm) gauge railway that runs between New Jalpaiguri and Darjeeling in the Indian state of West Bengal. Built between 1879 and 1881, it is about 88 km (55 mi) long. It climbs from about 100 m (328 ft) above sea level at New Jalpaiguri to about 2,200 m (7,218 ft) at Darjeeling, using six zig zags and five loops to gain altitude. Four diesel locomotives handle most of the scheduled service, with daily tourist trains from Darjeeling to Ghum — India's highest railway station — and the Red Panda service from Darjeeling to Kurseong. Steam-enthusiast specials are hauled by vintage British-built B-Class steam locomotives. The railway's headquarters are at Kurseong.

On 2 December 1999, UNESCO declared the DHR a World Heritage Site. Two more railway lines were later added, and the site became known as the mountain railways of India.

Darjeeling Pulbazar (community development block)

Darjeeling Pulbazar (community development block) is an administrative division in Darjeeling Sadar subdivision of Darjeeling district in the Indian state of West Bengal. Lodhma, Darjeeling and Pulbazar police stations serve this block. Headquarters of this block is at Bijanbari. Pattabong Tea Garden is a census town in this block.

Darjeeling district

Darjeeling District (pronounced [dɑ:rʤi:lɪŋ]) is the northernmost district of the state of West Bengal in eastern India in the foothills of the Himalayas. The district is famous for its hill stations (often referred to as the Queen of the Hills) and Darjeeling tea. Darjeeling is the district headquarters.

Kurseong, Siliguri and Mirik, three other major towns in the district, are the subdivisional headquarters of the district. Kalimpong was one of the subdivisions but on 14 February 2017, it officially became a separate Kalimpong district.Geographically, the district can be divided into two broad divisions: the hills and the plains. The entire hilly region of the district comes under the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration, a semi-autonomous administrative body under the state government of West Bengal. This body covers the three hill subdivisions of Darjeeling, Kurseong and Mirik and the district of Kalimpong. The foothills of Darjeeling Himalayas, which comes under the Siliguri subdivision, is known as the Terai. The district is bounded on the north by Sikkim, on the south by Kishanganj district of Bihar state, on the east by Kalimpong district and on the west by Nepal. Darjeeling district has a length from north to south of 18 miles (29 km) and a breadth from east to west of 16 miles (26 km). As of 2011, it was the second least populous district of West Bengal (out of 19), after Dakshin Dinajpur.

Darjeeling tea

Darjeeling tea is a tea grown in the Darjeeling district in West Bengal, India, and widely exported and known. It is processed as black, green, white and oolong tea. When properly brewed, it yields a thin-bodied, light-coloured infusion with a floral aroma. The flavour can include a tinge of astringent tannic characteristics and a musky spiciness sometimes described as "muscatel".Unlike most Indian teas, Darjeeling tea is normally made from the small-leaved Chinese variety of Camellia sinensis var. sinensis, rather than the large-leaved Assam plant (C. sinensis var. assamica). Traditionally, Darjeeling tea is made as black tea; however, Darjeeling oolong and green teas are becoming more commonly produced and easier to find, and a growing number of estates are also producing white teas. After the enactment of Geographical Indications of Goods (Registration & Protection Act, 1999) in 2003, Darjeeling tea became the first Indian product to receive a GI tag, in 2004–05 through the Indian Patent Office.Production has long been affected by disagreements between management and labour.

Ghum, West Bengal

Ghum (also spelt Ghoom) is a small hilly locality in the Darjeeling Himalayan hill region of West Bengal, India. It comes under ward number one of the Darjeeling Municipality. Ghum railway station of the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway is the highest railway station in India. It is situated at an altitude of 2,258 metres (7,407 ft). The place is the home of the Ghum Monastery and the Batasia Loop, a bend of the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway.

India's highest railway station, and world's 14th highest, Ghum is a rather small railway station. Close to Darjeeling, it lies on one of the most beautiful railway tracks in the world.

Gorkha Janmukti Morcha

Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) is a registered unrecognized political party which campaigns for the creation of a separate state Gorkhaland within India, out of districts in the north of West Bengal. The party was launched on 7 October 2007.


Gorkhaland is proposed statehood demand by the people of the hill regions of District Darjeeling Kalimpong and Duars area demanding a separate state from the Indian state of West Bengal within India. The demand for a separate administrative unit in Darjeeling has existed since 1909, when the Hillmen's Association of Darjeeling submitted a memorandum to Minto-Morley Reforms demanding a separate administrative setup.

Jorebunglow Sukhiapokhri (community development block)

Jorebunglow Sukhiapokhri (community development block) is an administrative division in Darjeeling Sadar subdivision of Darjeeling district in the Indian state of West Bengal. Jorebunglow and Sukhiapokhri police stations serve this block. Headquarters of this block is at Sukhiapokhri.

Kharibari (community development block)

Khoribari (community development block) is an administrative division in Siliguri subdivision of Darjeeling district in the Indian state of West Bengal. Khoribari police station serves this block. Headquarters of this block is at Khoribari.


Kurseong is a hill station and sub-divisional town in the Darjeeling district of the Indian state of West Bengal.

Located at an altitude of 1,458 metres (4,783 ft), Kurseong is 32 kilometres (20 mi) from Darjeeling and has a pleasant climate throughout the year.

Kurseong is 47 kilometres (29 mi) from Siliguri and is connected to the city by road and the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway. The nearest airport is at Bagdogra and the nearest major railway station is New Jalpaiguri [NJP], which is about 53 kilometres (33 mi) from the town. The economy is based primarily on education and tourism.

List of districts of West Bengal

The Himalayas lies in the north of the state and the Bay of Bengal is at the south. In between them, the river Ganga flows eastwards and its main distributary, the Hooghly River, flows south to reach the Bay of Bengal. The Siliguri Corridor, which connects North-East India with rest of the India, lies in the North Bengal region of the state. Geographically, West Bengal is divided into a variety of regions—Darjeeling Himalayan hill region, Terai and Dooars region, North Bengal plains, Rarh region, Western plateau and high lands, coastal plains, Sunderbans and the Ganga Delta.In 1947, when India gained independence, the state of West Bengal was formed with 14 districts, as per partition plan of the then Bengal province of British India. The former princely state Koch Bihar joined as a district in 1950, and the former French enclave Chandannagore joined as part of the Hooghly district in 1954. The States Reorganisation Act of 1956 led to addition of Purulia district to the state and to enlargement of West Dinajpur district. Later, larger districts such as West Dinajpur, 24 Parganas and Midnapore were bifurcated. Till 24 June 2014 West Bengal was divided into 19 districts.

West Bengal is now divided into 23 districts which includes the newly formed Alipurduar district (formed on 25 June 2014), Kalimpong district (formed on 14 February 2017), Jhargram district (formed on 4 April 2017), and the splitting of the former Bardhaman district into Purba Bardhaman district and Paschim Bardhaman district (formed on 7 April 2017). The districts are grouped into five divisions.Divisions are administered by Divisional Commissioners. Kolkata, the capital of the state, constitutes the Kolkata district. Other districts are further divided into administrative units such as subdivisions and blocks, administered by SDO and BDO, respectively. The Panchayati Raj has a three-tier structure in the state. The atomic unit is called a Gram Panchayat, which is the Panchayat organisation for a collection of villages. The block-level organisations are called Panchayat Samiti, and the district-level organisations are named Zilla Parishad.

Matigara (community development block)

Matigara (community development block) is an administrative division in Siliguri subdivision of Darjeeling district in the Indian state of West Bengal. Matigara Investigation Centre and Siliguri police stations serve this block. Headquarters of this block is at Kadamtala. There is one census town in this block:Bairatisal,

Mirik (community development block)

Mirik (community development block) is an administrative division in Mirik subdivision of Darjeeling district in the Indian state of West Bengal. Mirik and Naxalbari police stations serve this block. Headquarters of this block is at Mirik.

Rangli Rangliot (community development block)

Rangli Rangliot (community development block) is an administrative division in Darjeeling Sadar subdivision of Darjeeling district in the Indian state of West Bengal. Rangli Rangliot police station serves this block. The headquarters of this block is at Takdah.


Siliguri (pronunciation ) is a city which spans areas of the Darjeeling and Jalpaiguri districts in the Indian state of West Bengal. The city is located on the banks of the Mahananda River at the foothills of the Himalayas.

St. Paul's School, Darjeeling

St. Paul's School is an independent boarding school for boys in the town of Darjeeling, West Bengal, India. Entrance tests for admission are held every September. The school follows the ICSE curriculum till the class 10 and the ISC for higher secondary (classes 11 and 12).

The Darjeeling Limited

The Darjeeling Limited is a 2007 American comedy-drama film directed by Wes Anderson which he co-produced with Scott Rudin, Roman Coppola and Lydia Dean Pilcher and co-wrote with Coppola and Jason Schwartzman. The film stars Owen Wilson, Adrien Brody and Schwartzman and also features Waris Ahluwalia, Amara Karan, Barbet Schroeder and Anjelica Huston with Natalie Portman, Camilla Rutherford, Irrfan Khan and Bill Murray in cameo roles.

The film was released on October 26, 2007 by Fox Searchlight Pictures. The film received generally favorable reviews from critics and earned $35 million on a $17.5 million budget. The film won the Best Comedy at the Movies for Grownups Awards in 2008 and the Top Films of the Year at the NYFCO Awards in 2007 and also received nominations for the Grand Prix Asturias for Best Feature and the Bodil for Best American Film (Bedste amerikanske film).

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