Darjeeling General information about Darjeeling

The remark ‘Darjeeling’ is believed to be derived from 'Darjeeling' which means the settlement of the Dorjee, the magnificent thunderbolt from Tibetan Buddhism or Lamaism. Darjeeling was an imperative shield between Nepal and Bhutan. The Nepalese had marched till the east of Sikkim in 1780 to the extent of Tista River. Due to a discrepancy with Nepal, the British declared war against Nepal at the end of 1813. In 1816 by a treaty signed at Sugauli, Nepal surrendered 4000 sq. miles of land and by the treaty of Titalya in 1817 the Rajah (king) of Sikkim restored the country between Mechi and the Tista rivers.

In 1828 two British officers, Captain Lloyd and Mr. Grant, after resolving the inner conflict between Nepal and Sikkim, set up their way to a place called Chungtong to the west of Darjeeling and were very awed with what they saw and thought of making this place a sanitarium. Other British officers also reported positively on the situation of the hill of Darjeeling.

The East India Company then directed its officers to start a negotiation with the king of Sikkim for the cessation of the hill either for an equivalent in money or land. In 1841, the government decided the Raja an allowance of Rs. 3,000 per annum as compensation, and raised the grant to Rs. 6,000 in1846. Later this allowance was raised to Rs. 6000/- per annum. In 1849, the relation of the British and Sikkim deteriorated with the captivity of two British officers by Sikkim authorities. Ultimately, they were released but as a penalty the British stopped the annual allowance and took over this territory.
In 1841, Dr. Campbell brought China tea seeds from the Kumaon region and started growing tea on a trial basis near his residence at Beechwood, Darjeeling. This experiment was followed by similar efforts by several other British. The experiments were successful and soon several tea estates started operating commercially. During this time immigrants, mainly from Nepal, were drafted to work in production sites, tea gardens, and on other agriculture-related projects.
Darjeeling persistently grew as a tourist destination, becoming known as the "Queen of the Hills." The town did not see any significant political activity during the struggle of India for independence owing to its remote location and small population. During those days, the only lasting industry was Tea industry that sustained to play a major role in the economy of the area as well as the country.

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