HOTEL SHANGRI-LA REGENCY DARJEELING
HISTORY & CULTURE
The name Darjeeling is a composition of 'dorje' meaning 'thunderbolt' and 'ling' meaning 'place' ... 'the Land of Thunderbolt'
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 sanatorium. Other British officers also reported favourably 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.
Tea Plantations started developing all around Darjeeling. During this time immigrants from Nepal flooded in to work in construction sites, the Tea Gardens and other agricultural works. The population of Darjeeling was barely 100 in 1835.
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 a 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 wonderfully cool climate, clear brisk air and the breath-taking views of the Himalayas drew the British here to escape the stifling heat of Kolkota. Darjeeling then developed into one of the most popular tourist destinations, a popular place for honeymooners, trekkers and others seeking to escape from the oppressive build-up of heat on the plains before and after the monsoon season: the climate is temperate with temperatures ranging only between 12 and 25 in the summer and between 1.5 and 10 degrees during the winter.