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We are still here! Let us send you tips for travelling through Myanmar and stories from the road …
Darjeeling: swindled from Sikkim and used to seed the stolen leaf of China. Here came Englishmen who had failed to make it as sailors or soldiers. Scoundrels and scallywags enlisted to become lord and master of a little fiefdom called a tea garden in the hills.
A reflection of Empire remains. At Glenburn Tea Estate guests are presented with a picnic hamper of chicken-and-mint sandwiches, apple cake and a teacup to unwrap at scenic viewpoints. Keventer’s still sells cheese-toast sandwiches, and throughout the town boys from St Paul’s saunter in V-neck sweater-vests and crested blazers.
But Darjeeling is more than the nostalgia of snuggeries, wisteria and steam-train memorabilia. Not British, and not quite Indian.
Travellers will be reminded of Darjeeling’s independent streak by the beat of the drum from a Free Gorkaland demonstration; by the socks of Tenzing Norgay, spread-eagled with pride at the Darjeeling Museum; by the view in the distance, beyond the violet orchids and pale ginger lilies, of the mighty Kanchenjunga, on the doorstep to the Himalayas …
A lovingly restored planter’s bungalow overlooking the hills of Tukdah near to Darjeeling.
Rob Lyman explores the events and ramifications of WW2 in Kolkata, Kohima and Shillong.