A walk ..through the Heritage Era of Darjeeling
Darjeeling, popularly known as “The Queen of the Hills” is known for its scenic beauty and tea, but there are many undiscovered heritage sites, monuments and buildings worth visiting during your stay in this beautiful hill station. However, if you want to experience the colonial structures under the British Raj; you need to be prepared to travel through rugged & steep roads of Darjeeling.
We are sharing some of the landmarks and heritage points that you can explore during your stay in Darjeeling.
Famous clock tower
We all know about The Big Ben in London, but Darjeeling has its own as well. This structure is one of the oldest structures of Darjeeling . It was constructed in 1850 by the late Raj Sahib Kharga Bahadur Chettri, who also constructed most of the iconic structures in town. It was a municipality building at first but later turned into the capital hall due to a shortage of facilities to conduct meetings, banquets and other events. In the year 1921 , Two Lakh Fifty Thousand of Rupees was donated by the Maharaja of Coach Behar (Cooch Bihar) for the complete construction of this Hall.
Picture: Clock Tower, Chauk Bazar , Darjeeling | Photo Credits : Unknown
St. Andrews Church
This heritage site of Darjeeling is named after the patron saint of Scotland, situated near the mall road. Inlaid marble inscriptions bear some famous names of Darjeeling’s earliest residents, including Lt. General A. Lloyd, discoverer of the town and Countess Canning, the wife of India’s last governor-general and first viceroy Charles Canning.
Picture: St. Andrews Church, Chauk Bazar | Photo Credits : Subhajit_Mitra
If you go down to Nehru Road; you will discover a few restaurants and stores that were built during the British Colonial Period and Keveneters is one of them, providing delectable cuisine.
Picture : Keventers, Nehru Road, Darjeeling | Photo Credits : instagram.com/devashis_kuthari
The famous white building of Glenary’s is located on Nehru Road, a minute walk away from Mall Road and famous for its flavorsome international delicacies. There are only a few individuals who have visited Darjeeling but haven’t been to Glenary’s. Currently, it’s privately owned by the Edward Family although around 100 years ago it was built by an Italian gentleman named Mr. Vado & an Austrian Lady, named Pliva.
Picture: Glenary’s , Chauk Bazaar, Darjeeling | Photo Credits : facebook.com/glenarysdarjeeling
Das studio and Habeeb Mallick & Sons
Das studio, which was founded in 1927, is the oldest photography studio in this region. The business showcases some one-of-a-kind, rare and captivating Darjeeling photographs. If you’re looking for something uncommon, you can check Habib Mallick and Sons , a curio shop in Darjeeling. Tibetan masks, hats, unique jewellery, copper- brass objects, carpets and others items made by local artisans are showcased here . Note that photography inside the shop is fully prohibited.
Picture : Das Studio, Nehru Road, Darjeeling | Photo Credits : unknown
Bishops HouseBuilt by Dr. Carew, Archbishop Goethals in 1981 it is one of the beautiful heritage architectural structures you can go visit.
Picture : Bishop House, Chauk Bazaar, Darjeeling | Photo Credits : instagram.com/gorkhasailor
Government House / Raj BhawanThis administrative building was designed in 1840 and functioned as the Summer House of Governor General of India. The Maharaja of Cooch Behar acquired this magnificent structure in 1877 and it was eventually taken over by the government.
Picture : Governor House, Chauk Bazaar, Darjeeling | Photo Credits : rajbhavankolkata.gov.in
Roy Villa aka Sister Nivedita’s house
Located on Lebong cart road, this mansion was the home of Sister Nivedita AKA Margaret Elizabeth Noble (Swami Vivekananda’s disciple) until 1905. It was the same structure where the Himalayan Mountaineering Institute began its operations in 1954.
Picture : Nivedita Educational And Cultural Centre (Roy Villa), Lebong Cart Road, Darjeeling | Photo Credits : darjeeling.gov.in
This place was the home of famous physicist Jagadish Chandra Bose also known as The Father of Radio Science. He first discovered every plant has life like other living beings. He lived in this residence for 10 long years, from 1922 to 1933. The mansion was known as Abbey House and Sanctum back then and now it is transformed into a science museum to display his philosophy and notable works.
Picture : Bose Institute, Lal Kothi Road, Darjeeling | Photo Credits : facebook.com/provatc
We have just shared some of the heritage points of Darjeeling. When walking around Darjeeling’s mountainous roads, you will come across several sites that will catch your attention. Instead of killing your curiosity, go and visit such sights. You’ll bring back some unique stories to tell your friends and family.