Sep 28, 2010

Construction of Darjeeling Hill Road - 1865 Part - 1

Photograph from the album of views showing the Construction of the Darjeeling Hill Road taken by an unknown photographer in 1865. The road connecting Darjeeling with Siliguri on the plains was initiated in 1861 largely as a result of the sudden expansion of tea plantations in the mountains. Constructed and maintained by the Public Works Department, it was 48 miles long, 25 feet wide and cost around £6,000 per mile to build. This road was very difficult to build: the thickly forested hills were hard to clear, the ground was rocky and precipitous, the blasting was greater than originally expected (at times the gun powder ran out) and cuttings had to be made into large solid rocks. By 1865 the upper section of the road from Darjeeling to Kurseong was completed and the lower section from Kurseong to the plains was completed in 1869. This was a popular tourist route owing to the spectacular scenery it passed through, but was later superseded by the railway.

  Jora, at the 5th mile above Kurseong

Road at 8th mile above Kursiong

  Two miles above Gyabarry, looking North East

View in Pearson's Cutting No. 2

Half mile below Kursiong

 Damage of June 13th, 1865, at 3 mile above Kurseong

 Kurseong Dawk Bungalow

 Repairs at 3 mile above Kurseong

 Road at 9th mile above Kursiong

 Darjeeling Hill Road. Three-quarter mile below Kurseong

Source: British Library Website