Darjeeling District Administration :-The role of district administration has changed from being a manager to a key player, after the formation of The Darjeeling Gorkha Hill Council Act. Apart from managing the various key departments, it plays a pivotal role and acts as an intermediate between the council and the Government. Critical issues viz. elections, panchayat, law and order, revenue, etc. are still handled by the district administration.
Formation of Council - DGHC :-The period 1982 to 1988 witnessed the people of Darjeeling in agitation for the formation of a separate state. However after an agreement between the Government and the chief of The Gorkha National Liberation Front, Mr. Subsash Ghisingh, the agitation was suspended and paved the way for the formation of an autonomous council for the social, economic, educational and cultural advancement of the hill people.
The Darjeeling Gorkha Hill Council Act was passed by the West Bengal Legislative Assembly as the West Bengal Act 13 of 1988 to provide for the establishment of an Autonomous Council for the social, economic, educational and cultural advancement of the Gorkhas and other people residing in the hill areas of the district of Darjeeling.
Area: 3,149 Square Km. Altitude(Darjeeling Town) 6710 Feet.
Summer Holiday in Darjeeeling Lava Loleygaon & Rishap
Holiday packages to Darjeeling , Toy train ride in Darjelling
Darjeeling: It’s 90 km and 3 hrs drive from Siliguri the gate way of Eastern Himalayas.
Darjeeling Tour package 3 nights/ 4days
D1: On arrival Check-in at hotel, rest of the day free to relax.
D2: Visit Tiger Hill, visit 7 points, evening free to relax or visit on the Mall.
D3: Free to enjoy the Toy train ride at Darjeeling on your own, o/n stay.
D4: Transfer to Mirik, enjoy the boat ride at Lake, evening transfer to Siliguri.
Kalimpong- Lava, Pedong, Rishap & Lolyegaon– 5 Nights/6 Days
It’s a 2 hrs drive from Siliguri only 75 Kms to reach Kalimpong,
D1: Transfer from NJP/ IXB Airport to Kalimpong , On arrival check in at Hotel , lateron take a leisure walk through a Hilly-town. Overnight stay.
D2: Sightseeing of Dello hills, Dr. Graham’s Home, Flower Nurseries, Jang-Dong-Palriffo Brang, Nature Interpretation Center and Durbin Dara Hills. Afternoon transfer to Pedong, 21 kms from Kalimpong.o/n stay at Pedong
D3: Visit Sangchen Dorjee Gumpa, Ramitey view point, Tinchuley, Damsang Fort, Rikkisum, Pedong Historical Museum, afternoon transfer to Lava o/n stay.
D4: Transfer to Rishap spend the day, afternoon transfer to Loleygaon, o/n stay.
D5: Early morning Local sight seen, rest of the day free.
D6: Transfer to Siliguri for your onward connection.
The Lost Paradise Treaking package
D1: Arrival at NJP Rly.station/Ixb Apt transfer to Darjeeling, o/n stay at hotel.
D2: Darjeeling- Manebhanjan Please report at Sukhia Pokhari 1st & then at Manebhanjan Check post for permit. Trek to Tonglu – 11 km, and night halt
D3: Tonglu to Kalapokhri via Garibas - 13 Kms & night halt
D4: Kalpokhri - Sandakphu, - 8 Km halt at night
D5: Sandakphu to Kalpokhri - 8 kms night halt
D7: Kalpokhri to Tumling, o/n at hotel
D8: Tuling to Manebhanjan 12 Kms down trek and then transfer to Darjeeling by car.
D9: Darjeeling local tour
D10: Early morning visit Tiger Hill for Sunrise, afternoon transfer to Njp Rly Stn. or Bagdogra Airport for your next destination.
We also organise Tailor made package to Darjeeling - Kalimpong - Lava - Loleygaon - Rishap - Charkol & dooars as per clients choiceable date.
The name Darjeeling is a composition of 'Dorje' meaning 'Thunderbolt' and 'Ling' meaning 'Place' 'the Land of Thunderbolt'. The Nepalese had marched till the east of Sikkim in 1780 as far as Tista river. Due to a disagreement with Nepal, the British declared war against Nepal at the end of 1813. In 1816 by a treaty signed at Seagoulie, Nepal ceded 4000 sq. miles of territory and by the treaty of Titalya in 1817 the Rajah (king) of Sikkim was reinstated.
In 1828 two British officers, Capt. C. A. Lloyd and Mr. J. W. Grant, after settling the internal factions between Nepal and Sikkim, found their way to a place called Chungtong to the west of Darjeeling and were very impressed with what they saw and thought of making this place a sanitarium. Other British officers also reported favorably on the situation of the hill of Darjeeling.
The East India Company then directed its officers to start a negotiation with the Rajah of Sikkim for the cessation of the hill either for an equivalent in money or land. This transfer was successfully done in 1835 for an allowance of Rs. 3,000/- per annum. The Rajah of Sikkim's revenue from this tract of land had never exceeded Rs. 20/- per annum. Later this allowance was raised to Rs. 6000/- per annum. In 1849 the relation of the British and Sikkim worsened with the imprisonment of two British officers by Sikkim authorities. Eventually they were released but as a punishment the British stopped the annual allowance and annexed this territory.
By 1860's peace was restored in the borders and the march of progress began. Roads and important construction were done, Loreto Convent in 1847, St. Paul's School in 1864, Planters' Club in 1868, Lloyd's Botanical Garden in 1878, St. Joseph's School in 1888, Railway Station in 1891, Town Hall (present Municipality Building) in 1921.
Tea Plantations started developing all around Darjeeling. During this time immigrants flooded in to work in construction sites, the Tea Gardens and other agricultural works. The population of Darjeeling was barely 100 in 1835 and was about 94,712 in 1871-72, 155,179 in 1881 and 249,117 in 1901.
With India attaining independence on 15th August 1947, the district of Darjeeling remained in the partitioned section of Bengal (West Bengal) and therefore in the Indian union. With the district's sub-Himalayan and geographical condition, it occupied an unique status in the state. The only remaining industry, that is the Tea industry, continued to play a major role in the economy of the area and the country as well. The other natural wealth forests have been adversely affected by the ever growing population, now estimated to be around 1,200,000. In the years since independence, much has been done for the area's education, communication, attention to cash crops like orange, potato, cardamom, ginger, etc.
On 29th May 1953 two men set foot on Mount Everest for the first time in history and one of them was Tenzing Norgay, from Darjeeling. Subsequently, this historical event led to the formation of the Himalayan Mountaineering Institute in Darjeeling. Of the old heritage the Toy Train (Darjeeling Himalayan Railway) is now listed under UNESCO's world heritage.
Since the formation of the Darjeeling Gorkha Hill Council in 1988 the hill areas fall under its jurisdiction. It has elected Councilors and they have the authority in managing certain affairs of the hill like education, tourism, health etc.
Kalimpong has come a long way since 1865 when it was just a small hamlet of 3 to 4 families having few cows. At present it has a population of about 70,000. Prior to 1864 the information cannot be authenticated as accounts are contradictory and vary from source to source. Due to this reason even the entomology of its very name Kalimpong is not clear and has various theories.
From the Lepcha sources, “Kalenpung” means Ridges Where We Play. In Tibetan translation it means The Stockade of Kings Ministers, and the hill people also call “Kalimpong” as “Kalibong” meaning “Black Spurs”. However the Lepcha translation has found acceptance as the tribesman organized field sports and not engage in agricultural pursuits.
In spite of the unrecorded history and different theories, some things certain about the history of Kalimpong is that; it was previously a part of the Sikkim Kingdom which was inhabited by Lepchas(who called themselves the “Rong” or Ravine folk), the Bhutias and the Limbus.
Then in the early 1700s it came under the Bhutanese and became the headquarters of the Bhutanese govt for some time and so glimpses of Bhutanese influences can still be seen in the Gumbas and the Bhutan house where the royalty resided. The entire area of Kalimpong and its surroundings was earlier known as “Dalimkote” of which Kalimpong was the headquarter.
The Anglo Bhutanese war of 1864 decided the fate of this entire region and brought it under the East India Company. The Treaty of Sinchula which was signed in the following year ceded the whole area east of Teesta River as well as the Duars to the East India Co. One of the first mention of Kalimpong in western recorded history or literature is in the book "Bhutan and the story of Doar War" by David Field Rennie.
It was then merged with Darjeeling and became a sub-division of Darjeeling and the British developed it as an alternative hill station to Darjeeling.
The British saw huge potential in Kalimpong and the town was originally designed as a model town, the reputation of which went as far as to Europe.
Kalimpong offered easy access to the Chumbi Valley of Tibet via the Jelepla Pass, which is about 120kms from Kalimpong. Hence trade with Tibet was almost fully channelised through Kalimpong which was a major reason for its development. The Scottish Missionaries too played a big part in the development of Kalimpong by starting various primary schools and welfare centre. The two oldest schools of Kalimpong, the “Girls High School” and SUMI(Scottish University Mission Institution) were both established by them. Some famous westerners responsible for its development in early days are William MacFarlane , W.S.Sutherland and Dr.J.A.Graham.
All these attracted people in large numbers and by 1907 it was no longer the old Kalimpong. The economic development of Kalimpong took a back seat following the Chinese aggression in 1962 after which trade through Jelepla was closed. Today Kalimpong continues to be part of Darjeeling District, and is now an attractive tourist and educational centre.