Oct 10, 2010

Construction of Darjeeling Hill Road - 1865 Part - 2

Photograph from the album of views depicting the Construction of the Darjeeling Hill Road taken by an unknown photographer in 1865. Darjeeling was part of the territory of the Rajas of Sikkim till the 18th century and was given to the British in 1835. The British built a sanatorium here and it soon became the summer headquarters of the Bengal government. 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. It was a popular tourist route owing to the spectacular scenery it passed through, but was later superseded by the railway.

This view 2 miles above Kurseong with the temporary bridge shows the damage on June 13th 1869 as part of the road was washed away by flooding.

 Entrance to Pearson's Cutting, 3 miles below Kurseong

Gyabarry Bungalow and Cutting

 This view 2 1/4 miles above Kursiong shows the effects of the landslide probably due to flooding in June 1865.

One mile above Gyabarry

Road 3 & ½ miles from Darjeeling

Section of Gyabarry Cutting

The Staff of the Road, Nov. 1865

 Two miles above Gyabarry, looking South

View in Pearson's Cutting No. 3