The Tribes and Castes of Darjeeling District

Ganguli, Asok Kumar and Bhattacharjee, Anamika ORCID: (2022) The Tribes and Castes of Darjeeling District. UNSPECIFIED. ISBN 979-8729582778

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The district of Darjeeling lies between 26*31’ and 27*13’ North latitude and between 87*50’ and 88*53’ East longitude. It contains the total area of 1,164 square miles. The principal town, which is also the administrative headquarters of the district, is Darjeeling, situated in the lower Himalayas in 27*3’ North latitude and 88*16’ East longitude. It is a frontier district, running up between Nepal and Bhutan and stretching from the plains of Bengal on the south to the state of Sikkim on the north. Botanically, it was defined as the region of forest trees, among which this ‘SAL’ (Shorea robusta) was conspicuous, but for various reasons most of the forest have disappeared now from the Darjeeling hills. Darjeeling falls naturally into two distinct tracts, the Terai immediately beneath the hills and the ridges and deep valleys of the lower Himalayas. The Terai portion of the district is a low-lying belt of country, traversed by numerous rivers and streams rushing down from the hills. It is a marshy tract formerly covered by dense malarious jungles. The highest peaks of Darjeeling hills are ‘Sandakpur’ (11,929). It is a district, under the state of West Bengal, in India. There are four subdivisions vis-a-vis Darjeeling, Kurseong, Kalimpong and Siliguri. The population of Darjeeling district is 13,35,618 (1991 census). The average altitude of the hill-subdivisions of the district varies from 200 to 3600 mts from sea level. The average annual rainfall there in the Darjeeling district, in the first decade of the 20th century, was 3422 mm, but now it has come down to 2000 mm, with little variation. The principal cash crops of the hills are Tea, Timber Orange, cardamom, cinnamon, ginger and several medicinal plants. Darjeeling is the creation of the British and before 1835, it was under Sikkim. It is believed that when tea industry was established in 1856 commercially , large number of Nepali people migrated to Darjeeling, but original inhabitants of Darjeeling is Lepcha. Brahmin, Chhetri, Gurung, Newar, Rai, Limbu, Magar, Tamang, Sherpa, Bhutia, all these people and Damai, Sarki, Kami, Thami, Kagate, Sarki all migrated from Nepal. However, Bhutias came from Bhutan and there are also Tibetans who migrated to Darjeeling from Tibet. In Darjeeling Terai, there are Rajbanshis, Meches, Dhimals and Tharus. Tharus also migrated from Nepal. When tea gardens were opened in Terai, large number of Oraons, Mundas, Santhals migrated to this region from Chotanagpur and Santhal Parganas. The dominant race in Darjeeling is the Nepalese. It is needless to say, that the religion, culture, politics, anthropology, language and socio-economic condition of the various castes and tribes of the above district has been analysed and described in this book.

Item Type: Book
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Faculty \ School: Faculty of Arts and Humanities > School of History
Depositing User: LivePure Connector
Date Deposited: 29 May 2024 13:30
Last Modified: 29 May 2024 13:30

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