Peek at the rising sun through the mountains

Darjeeling's Top Destinations

Places you must explore in and around Darjeeling




The name 'Darjeeling' came from the Tibetan words, 'dorje' meaning thunderbolt (originally the scepter of Indra) and 'ling' a place or land, hence 'the land of the thunderbolt'. A land-mark year in the History of Darjeeling was 1835, but it would be appropriate to trace its History before that. Prior to its acquisition by the East India Co. in 1835, Darjeeling formed a part of Sikkim and for a brief period of Nepal. However neither the history of Sikkim, nor the history of Nepal furnish any account of its early history.


Previously Darjeeling formed a part of dominions of the Raja of Sikkim, who had been engaged in an unsuccessful warfare against theGorkhas. From 1780 the Gorkhas constantly made inroads into Sikkim and by the beginning of 19th Century, they had overrun Sikkim as far eastward as the Teesta and had conquered and annexed the Terai. E.C.Dozey in his 'Darjeeling Past and Present' writes, 'Prior to the year 1816, the whole of the territory known as British Sikkim belonged to Nepal, which won it by conquest'.


In the meantime, the British were engaged in preventing the Gorkhas from overrunning the whole of the northern frontier. The Anglo-Nepal war broke out in 1814. Defeat of the Gorkhalis led to the Treaty of Sugauli,1815 in which, 'Nepal had to cede all those' territories the Gorkhas had annexed from the Raja of Sikkim to the East India Company.


'In 1817, in the Treaty of Titalia' , the East India Co. reinstated the Raja of Sikkim (who was driven out), restored all the tracts of land between the Mechi and the Teesta to the Raja and guaranteed his sovereignty.


With the intervention of the British, the Gorkhas were prevented from turning the whole of Sikkim into a province of Nepal and Sikkim (including the present District of Darjeeling) was retained as a buffer state between Nepal, Bhutan and Tibet.


Ten years later dispute once again arose between Sikkim and Nepal, which according to the Treaty of Titalia, were referred to the Governor General. Accordingly in 1828 Captain Lloyd was deputed to settle the dispute. Along with Mr. J.W.Grant, the Commercial Resident at Malda,he came to the Hills and was attracted by the position of Darjeeling.


From a Report dated 18th June 1829, in which he claims to have been the only European, who visited the place. We learn that Lloyd visited 'the old Gorkha Station called Darjeeling', for six days in Feb. 1829 and 'was immediately struck with it being well adapted for the purpose of a sanatorium' (he was apprehensive of the winters suggested Ging).

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