Asia Journey travel blog

The view from the Planter's Club...

Looking the other way from the Planter's Club

Shopping stalls...

 

At one time Darjeeling was "The Queen of the Hills" - but...

 

 

Gorkhaland politicians at a rally...

The Gorkhaland Marching Band at practice....

 

This is the "Ropeway" - supposedly a great ride over the hills...

 

 


I loved staying at the Planter's Club, and visiting the Himalayan Mountaineering Institute in Darjeeling. But Darjeeling itself has been destroyed - see the attached photos. It was once known as the Queen of the Hills - the place to which the British escaped from the heat of Calcutta. Now it is a mecca for Indian tourists who seem to come for tacky shopping and cheap guest houses.

Politics has also wrecked the place. There is a movement to rename the state Gorkhaland - most of the inhabitants here are Nepalese. The Gorkhaland movement is in conflict with the Indian Government, who are playing hard ball. The Government has cancelled all liquor licenses so there is no alcohol for sale and all bars have been closed. So after 7:30 p.m. Darjeeling is a ghost town. The Government is also playing games with the electricity supply - although this is an issue throughout India. Internet service is also being disrupted.

All in all a pretty sad place to visit, made worse by the fact that I had such high expectations before I arrived. So after two days I got out of Darjeeling and headed for Delhi......



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