Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Dow Hill, Kurseong, West Bengal

Kurseong, an exotic, clean and well-maintained town is a hill station situated in the district of Darjeeling in West Bengal, India. It is located at an altitude of 1,458 metres and is blessed with a pleasant climate throughout the year. The winters are mild as compared to Darjeeling as it is located 32 kms away from Darjeeling.

Early Morning at Kurseong

Sunset at Kurseong

DHR Locomotive 780, with an excursion train, passing through Kurseong Bazar

Kurseong, which is 47 kms aways from Siliguri, is connected to the city by road and Darjeeling Himalayan Railway. Bagdogra is the nearest airport, while the nearest major railway station is New Jalpaiguri. The economy of Kurseong is primarily based on education (also nick named as “the school town”) and tourism.

Darjeeling Tea Research Centre - Kurseong

Kurseong Cemetry

Kurseong was a part of the Kingdom of Sikkim, even before the arrival of the British in India. The original inhabitants of Kurseong were the Lepchas. The Nepalese conquered Kurseong and its surrounding areas around 1780. However, the Nepalese lost against the Britishers in the Gurkha war. Kurseong was restored to Sikkim in 1817, with the Treaty of Titalia.

Kurseong Town

The British liked Kurseong for its pleasant atmosphere. However, travelling from the plains of Bengal to the mountains was quite difficult even on warm and sunny days. A Military Road from Titalia to Darjeeling which passed through Kurseong was built in 1770’s and 1780’s but it soon became useless due to irregular maintenance. The Hill Cart Road (now named as Tenzing Norgay Road), which was opened in 1861 was far better.

Dow Hill

Kurseong Town covered in clouds

The Chogyal of Sikkim, Tshudpud Namgyal, gave the British a strip of hill territory (village) in Kurseong for an annual fee in 1835. The British wanted a health sanatorium and summer residence for their civil and military officers and their families. As Kurseong was one of the hill stations on the way to Darjeeling, so it began to develop rapidly.

Kurseong Loco Shed

Kurseong Railway Station

Himalayan Railway - Kurseong Railway Station

Exotic Himalyan Railway

Kurseong was established as an independent municipality in 1879. It became a Sub-Divisional town after 1890, when the District of Darjeeling was formed. The British Raj added Kurseong and Darjeeling to the Rajshahi Division (now in West Central Bangladesh) for the Bengal Presidency, which were later transferred to the Bhagalpur Division in the same presidency in 1908.

Himalayan Railway

Darjeeling Himalayan Railway - Batasia Loop

Himalayan Railway - Toy Train

The Himalayan Railway was extended to Kurseong on August, 23, 1880 and was even made headquarters of the Sub-Division, after which it gained prominence.

Toy Train of Himalayan Railway

A Documentary on Kurseong

The Dow Hill in Kurseong, West Bengal is considered haunted and is placed at 4th position in the list of ten most haunted places in India.

No comments:

Post a Comment