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Darjeeling Town

Darjeeling is a busy town spread out over the ridges of a hill and down the slopes, so walking about the town involved a lot of steep slopes and stairs.  It is at an altitude of about 2100m.  Though there have been settlements, including an ancient monastery, in the area for centuries, the town was built by the British.  Originally an army camp it was the development of the tea plantations in the 19th Century that saw the town prosper and grow.  As such the town still has many building with a colonial feel.  It was also used as a summer capital of the Bengal region to escape the summer heat in the plains.  In clear skies the Himalayan mountains can be seen, most notably the third highest peak in the world, Mount Kangchendzonga at 8598m.

The population is a mix of Tibetan, Nepalese, Bengalis and Rajputs from North West India.  This diversity is noticeable from the facial features and build of the people.  Today there is a population of about 110,000.


Darjeeling at dawn from our hotel.














Mount Kangchendzonga and neighbouring peaks appearing through the clouds.













St Columba's Kirk built 1873, looked rather odd in an Indian hill town.



















A view across the town from the station.














The view in the other direction, notice how the houses go up the hill giving an indication of the slope.

Oh yes and the blue building is the engine shed.












Andy by a town map, like many maps here it was not exactly clear.











A well packed jeep was very common here.













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