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represented by a quarter hdl., or a plough and pair of oxen for four acres.
These local measurements are now being superseded by the English
standard acre, by which the recent land settlement with the native
cultivators was made, and according to which, no doubt, the hill-
man will be able in the course of time to calculate the area of his
holding. The average yield of Indian corn on the best lands in the
hills is 7 J cwts. or 10 maunds per acre, and on inferior lands about 3J
cwts. In the tardi.^ the yield of rice per acre varies from 8| cwts. or 12
7>ia7mds to 3 J cwts. per acre. A revised land settlement was concluded
in 1880 with ihejotddrs for a period often years, at rates varying from
3s. to 4s. per acre. In the Kalimpong Sub-division in the hills east of
the Tistd, most of the land under native cultivation has been surveyed
and settled on ten years' leases with the occupiers, dating from 1882,
the assessment being at the rate of is. per acre for the best and 6d.
per acre for inferior lands, liable to enhancement at the expiry of five
years to is. 6d. per acre for the best and gd. per acre for inferior land.
This money assessment is in substitution for the poll-tax formerly paid
by the cultivators. About thirty thousand acres have already been



DARJILING, 135

settled in this mdnner; but in the more sparsely-cultivated portions
of the Sub- division, the poll-tax is still levied at the rate of 5s.
for each adult male, and 4s. for each adult female. In the Govern-
ment estates {Khds mahdls) west of the Tista, a house-tax of 6s. per
house is levied ; but these estates will shortly be assessed with the
cultivators on joint rdyattudri leases, at money rates approved by the
Government, viz. is. 6d., is. ijd., and gd. per acre, according to the
quality of the soil. The cultivated area of these mahdls is between
20,000 and 30,000 acres. The other tenures in the District, which
include the tea leases, are (i) freehold and (2) leasehold grants. The
former consist of commuted leases ; the latter are for terms varying
from ten to thirty years. All tea leases now falling in will, under recent
orders of Government, be renewed for a term of twenty years at an all-
round rate of one rupee or 2s, an acre. Besides the foregoing there
are building leases for lands in Dirjiling station and Karsiang. The
Darjiling municipality receives the ground rents of sites within municipal
limits.

The average price of rice in the tardi during the five years ending
1881-82 was 8s. a cwt., the current rate in the last year being 6s. 8d.
in the tardi and 8s. per cwt. in the hills. The average price of Indian
corn in the hills for the five years was 6s. i id. per cwt., the current rate
in 1881-82 being 5s. iid. per cwt. These are the two main food-crops
of the District. The fall in prices, while due to some extent to good
harvests, is in a great measure attributable to the improved means of
communication afforded by the Darjiling and Himalayan Railway, and
the Tista bridge. On the other hand, wages have risen. This is mainly
due to the large demand for skilled labour for the great public works in
progress — the railway, Tista bridge, hospital, etc. The following rates
prevail : — Goldsmiths, ;£"3 per month ; Chinese carpenters, ^6 per
month; native carpenters, from is. 3d. to is. 6d. per diem; masons,
£1, 8s. per month ; day-labourers, 6d. to pd. per diem ; tea-garden
coolies, 6s. to los. per month ; grass-cutters, 14s. per month; domestic
servants, from i8s. to £1, 12s. per month.

Tea. — The staple industry of Ddrjiling is the cultivation and manu-
facture of tea. It is conducted almost entirely by means of English
capital and under skilled European supervision. The discovery of
tea in India dates from 1826, when a Mr. Bruce, who commanded a
flotilla of gunboats in Upper Assam in the first Burmese war, found
the plant growing wild, and brought down with him some plants and
seeds. It was not till some time after tea cultivation had established
itself in the Assam Valley that any attempt was made to introduce it
into Bengal proper. The first regular tea-garden in Darjiling was opened
in 1856 ; and after the natural mistakes of the first few years, the business
has continued to prosper with accelerating prosperity. In 1866 there



136 DARJILING.

were 39 gardens established, with an area under cultivation of 10,392
acres, yielding an out-turn of 433,715 lbs. of tea. By 1875 ^^ number
of gardens had increased to 121, with an area under cultivation of 22,162
acres, and an out-turn of 4,600,758 lbs. of tea. In 1882-83 the number
of tea-gardens numbered 165, covering a total planting area of 44,482
acres, of which 26,716 acres were under mature and 5854 under immature
plant, while 12,282 acres taken up for planting had not been put under
seed. The approximate yield of the season 1882-83 was 8,080,293 lbs.
A favourable season and good markets combined to render the years
1881-82 and 1882-83 very encouraging ones for the planters, and to re-
establish many gardens to which the disastrous year of 1 880-8 1 had
nearly proved fatal. Improved machinery and processes of manu-
facture have been introduced into many of the gardens. Plucking
is more carefully attended to than formerly, and greater regard is
paid to the withering and manipulation of the leaf. Steam machinery
is used now on many gardens, while in others water-power is em-
ployed. The principal blights which tea-planters have to contend
with are the red spider, green fly, and mosquito blight. This last-
named insect causes most apprehension in the lower ranges of the
hills. The plague is said to be increasing, and to be more serious
than the red spider by attacking the bud, and not allowing the plant
even to mature. The red spider proves a terrible scourge in some
gardens, and baffles the efforts of the most energetic planter to get rid
of. A white grub turning into a brown beetle attacks the roots of the
tea plant, and wherever it makes its appearance is exceedingly destructive.
Coolie labour is on the whole plentiful, and the light nature of the work
attracts a number of immigrants from the surrounding hill States, espe-
cially Nepal. The Census of 1881 shows that during the previous
decade there has been a great increase of settled immigration of Nepalis
with their wives and families to the Darjiling tea-gardens. Women and
children take a large part in the labour on a garden, in plucking and
sorting. The Darjiling and Himalayan Raihvay has greatly increased
the facilities for the transport of tea to Calcutta.

Cinchona^ etc. — The cultivation of cinchona was commenced by
Government in 1862, and the experiment has now established its
success. In 1875, a sum of ;^52i7 was expended on the plantations;
the yield of dry bark was 211,931 lbs., which produced 1989 lbs. of
quinine valued at ;£"3i82. This was the first year when the young
trees came into bearing. The total number of trees in the plantation
on the 31st March 1882, was 4,762,200 cinchonas of all sorts. The crop
of bark amounted to 341,570 lbs. Of cinchona febrifuge, 10,878 lbs.
were issued during the year; 4650 lbs. were sold to the general public,
and the remainder was supplied to Government hospitals and dispen-
saries. There was a net profit on the year's working of ^13,000, equal



DARJILING. 137

to a dividend of 13 per cent, on the capital expended. The saving
effected by Government during the year by the substitution of cinchona
febrifuge for quinine was ^35,000. The success of the Government
plantation has induced private cultivation. One company has taken up
a large tract of ground east of the Tista for this purpose, and another is
rearing seedlings on its tea-gardens. The experimental cultivation of
ipecacuanha has also been attempted, but without much success as yet.
In 1876, a public botanical garden was established at Rangariin; but
this has since been abandoned, and a new garden has been established
in the station.

Darjiling is not liable to either of the calamities of flood or drought.
In the event of local scarcity from any cause, the hill people could
always save themselves from starvation by migrating to other localities ;
but in the tardi^ previous to the construction of the railway, the
inhabitants were in some danger of isolation. If the price of rice were
to rise rapidly in January, after the gathering of the dinan or low-land
rice crop, that should be regarded as a sign of approaching scarcity.

Manufactures^ Trade, etc. — Coarse cotton cloth is woven by all the
aboriginal tribes, especially by the Lepchas. The favourite colours are
white, with blue and red borders. These Lepcha cloths are in some
request among the residents and visitors to the station. The price of
the better sorts varies from J[],\ to £^\^ 8s. each.

The local trade of Darjiling is entirely confined to the wants of
European inhabitants, and of the tea plantations. A considerable trade
is carried on by the hillmen with residents and visitors in China cups,
turquoise, coral, and amber ornaments, jade and agate cups and beads,
praying wheels, bells, amulets, and other curiosities illustrative of
Buddhist monastic life ; kukris^ Bhutia, and Lepcha knives, etc. The
Darjiling shopkeepers trade mostly in European piece-goods, stores,
glass, hardware and crockery. Much attention has recently been directed
to the development of through trade with Tibet via Sikkim, and with
Nepal. In 1881, the import of untaxed salt from trans-Himalayan
sources into Darjiling amounted to 1658 cwts. The chief articles of
import from Nepal are sheep, goats, cattle, poultry, hides, food-
grains, and country cloth ; the exports consisting principally of Euro-
pean piece-goods, gram, salt, vegetables, betel-nut, sugar, and tobacco.
The trade with Sikkim is of the same character as that with Nepal, but
is more extensive. In 1882-83 the total value of the Sikkim trade
through Darjiling was ;£"3 1,644, namely, imports ;^2o,oi4, and exports
;£i 1,629. The Bhutan trade mainly passes through Jalpaiguri District.
The Darjiling and Himalayan Railway is gradually absorbing all the
District traffic, to the exclusion of bullock carts and pack ponies.

Mines. — The mineral wealth of Darjiling was carefully investigated in
1873 by Mr. Mallet of the Geological Survey. He was of opinion that



138 DARJILING,

the coal measures, which are easily exposed, but are of a peculiar friable
character, might possibly be used remuneratively on the Northern Bengal
Railway. Their chemical analysis is good, especially for the formation
of artificial fuel, but there would be no little difficulty in delivering
the coal on the plains. Both iron and copper are worked in several
places by the Nepali's, but the character and accessibility of the mines
is not such as to attract European capital. Lime can be procured in
abundance from dolomite, tertiary limestone, and calcareous tufa. The
last-mentioned is now largely burned in kilns.

The Northern Bengal State Railway stops in the plains at Siliguri,
about 8 miles short of the hills ; but railway communication is carried
on to Darjiling by the Darjiling and Himalayan Railway, 40 miles in
length. In 1882, the total length of roads within the District was
returned at 617 miles. An excellent iron suspension bridge has recently
been constructed across the Tista on the highway to Tibet.

Adviinistration. — In 1880-81, the total revenue of Darjiling District
amounted to ;2{^i 8,814, towards which the land-tax contributed;^! 1,967.
The expenditure was ;^i4,i5i. In the following year, 1881-82, the
total revenue had increased to ;£^3o,oo3, and the land-tax to ;2^i 3,843,
while the civil expenditure w^as;£"i 7,667. Under the head of land revenue
is included the house and bullock tax paid in a certain portion of the hills,
and also the poll-tax levied in the still unsettled tract east of the Tista.
In 1882 there were 3 covenanted officers stationed in the District, and
6 magisterial and 4 civil and revenue courts open, presided over by 6
stipendiary magistrates and 5 civil judges. In 1881, the regular police
force consisted of 223 men of all ranks, maintained at a total cost of
;^4093, and a municipal police of 35 officers and men, costing ;!^496.
These figures give i policeman to 5 square miles of area, or to every
601 persons in the population ; the cost averaged ;^3, 14s. 5d. per square
mile, and 7 Jd. per head of population. In the same year, the number
of persons in Darjiling District convicted of any offence, great or small,
was 1492, being i person to every 104 of the population. By far the
greater proportion of the convictions were for petty offences. The
District contains one jail, which is necessarily a very expensive one on
account of the small number of prisoners confined. In 1881, the daily
average number of prisoners was 88*8, of whom 277 were females; the
labouring convicts averaged 81 '6. These figures show i prisoner to
every 1747 of the District population.

Education has considerably advanced in recent years, despite the
difficulties caused by an aboriginal population speaking various strange
tongues, and dwelling in widely-scattered huts among the mountains.
Up to i860 there was only i school in the District — the Government
English School, attended by 33 pupils. By 1872, the number of schools
had risen to 29 with 723 pupils; the total expenditure was ^1735,



DARJILING. 139

towards which Government contributed ;^667. In 1875, the schools
further increased to 46 and the pupils to 994. The Census of 1881
returned 1610 boys and 179 girls under instruction, and 5686 males
and 269 females able to read and write, but not under instruc-
tion. The principal educational institution is the St. Paul's School,
established at Calcutta in 1845 for the sons of Europeans and East
Indians, and removed to Darjiling in 1864. In 1881 it was attended
by 134 pupils, and received a Government grant of ;£^5o5. Other
schools for European and Eurasian education are — a Government
boarding-school at Karsiang, attended in 1881 by 28 boys and 13 girls ;
a Protestant girls' school, wdth 85 pupils ; St. Joseph's Roman Catholic
Seminary, with 51 pupils; and the Darjiling Convent School, with 36 boys
and 131 girls. A Government boarding-school for aboriginal tribes has
also been established in Darjiling, and is attended by Lepchds from
Sikkim, and Bhutias. All the pupils learn English and Tibetan. Its
purpose is to train up a body of explorers, surveyors, and interpreters ;
and it has been fairly successful in this respect. The Church of
Scotland has established a number of primary schools, chiefly for the
children of Nepali coolies working in the tea-gardens. An English
newspaper, the Darjiling News, is printed at the station.

Medical Aspects. — The climate of Darjiling is marked by excessive
humidity. According to Dr. Hooker, ' Sikkim is the dampest region in
the whole Himalayas. . . . Throughout the greater part of the year, the
prevailing wind is from the south-east, and comes laden with moisture
from the Bay of Bengal.' The few hours between sunrise and 9 a.m.
form the only period of the day entirely free from clouds, mist, or rain.
The average annual rainfall is returned at 120 inches. The rainfall in
1 88 1 was 9 inches below the average. The average mean atmospheric
pressure over a period of five years is 23*320. During 1881, the
maximum temperature recorded was 76'2° F. in May and July; the
minimum by night was 36*5° in December.

The District is not unhealthy, the hills being almost free from
endemic disease except goitre. In the ta?'di and the lower valleys
malarious fevers occur. Cholera rarely if ever visits the station, and
small-pox is disappearing before the introduction of vaccination. During
1 88 1, the charitable dispensaries at Darjiling station, Karsiing and
Kalimpong, were attended by 183 in-door and 9356 out-door patients.
Before the close of that year a second dispensary was opened at
Karsidng.

[For further information regarding Darjiling District, see the Statistical
Account of Bengal, vol. x. (Triibner & Co., London, 1877); Selections
of the Governfnent of Bengal regardi7ig the Tea Industry in Bengal ;
Paper by Mr. B. H. Hodgson on the Koch, Bodo, and Dhimal T?'ibe ;
Dr. Hooker's Himalayan Journals, 2 vols. (London, 1854); Tofogra-



I40 DARJILING SUB-DIVISION AND TOWN

phical Survey conducted by the late Captain H. J. Harman, R.E., and
continued by Lieut-Colonel H. C. B. James, of the Survey Depart-
ment; the Bengal Census Report of 1881 ; together with the Annual
Adjninistraimi and Depart??iental Reports for the three years ending
1883.]

Darjiling. — Head-quarters Sub-division of Darjiling District,
Bengal. Area, 792 square miles; villages, 122; occupied houses,
11,801. Population (1881) 65,001, namely, males 36,683, and females
28,318. Hindus numbered 48,172; Muhammadans, 961; Christians,
629; Buddhists, 15,225; and Brahmos, 14. Proportion of males,
56*43 per cent. ; average density of population, 82 persons per square
mile ; number of houses per square mile, 15 ; persons per house, 5*5.
Darjiling Sub-division consists of the police circles {thdnds) of Darjiling
and Kalimpong. It contained in 1883, 3 civil and 3 criminal courts,
and a District police numbering 179 officers and men. The chaukiddri
or village watch system is not in force in the District.

Darjiling. — Town and administrative head-quarters of Darjiling Dis-
trict, Bengal, situated in the lower Himalayas. Lat. 27° 2' 48" n., long.
88° 18' 36" E. The station occupies a narrow ridge, which divides into
two spurs, descending steeply to the bed of the Great Ranjit, up whose
course the eye is carried to the base of the great snowy mountains.
The ridge is very narrow at the top. The valleys on either side are at
least 6000 feet deep, forest clad to the bottom, with very few level spots,
but no absolute precipice. From the flanks of these valleys innumerable
little spurs project, occupied by native clearings. The ridge varies in
height from 6500 to 7500 feet above sea-level. Darjiling was acquired
by the English Government in 1835 as a sanitarium, a tract of country
138 square miles in extent being ceded by the Raja of Sikkim, in return
for an allowance of ^300 per annum, afterwards raised to ;!^6oo. The
station rapidly increased, and soon became a favourite summer retreat
for the officials of Lower Bengal and their families. The Lieutenant-
Governor of Bengal ordinarily spends several months of every year in
Darjiling, which is now brought within 24 hours' journey of Calcutta, by
the Northern Bengal State Railway, and its continuation, the Darjiling
and Himalayan Railway. Darjiling is rapidly increasing in favour as a
summer resort for visitors and for invalids. A fine building, the Eden
Sanitarium, was opened in 1883 for the reception of sick and convales-
cent, with accommodation for 52 patients. Private building enterprise
has increased considerably in the last few years, especially on the
property of the Maharaja of Kuch Behar. A line of pipes has been
laid from the Senchal Springs which furnishes the town with an ample
supply of good water. New secretariat and other public buildings are
in contemplation. Besides the residence of the Lieutenant-Governor
and the public offices, the other principal buildings are the Episcopalian



DARKUTI—DARRANG. 1 4 1

Church, Wesleyan Chapel, Roman Catholic Convent, St. Paul's School,
Club, etc. Two gardens, Lloyd's Botanical Garden and the People's Park,
are open to the public. A military depot, consisting of barracks for
about 150 men, stands on the hill some 500 feet above the station,
and about a mile distant, which is occupied by European invalids
during the hot months. The situation, although very bleak, is healthy.
The population of the town fluctuates according to the season, but
the number was returned by the Census of February 1881 at 7018,
namely, Hindus, 4592; Muhammadans, 614; 'others,' 1812; area of
station, 3420 acres. This may be called the normal or resident popula-
tion, but during the hot weather months, from April to October, it is
much increased by the influx of visitors from the plains. The area of
the municipality formerly coincided with that of the tract originally
ceded by the Sikkim Raja, and comprised about 138 square miles.
It is now, however, restricted to the station itself. Municipal income,
1881-82, ;2f5964; expenditure, £si9^.

Darkuti.— One of the petty Punjab Hill States under the Govern-
ment of the Punjab. The Rana of Darkoti, Ram Singh, is a Rajput.
When the Gvirkhas were driven out of the hills, the British Government
confirmed the chief in possession of this State, which, owing to its
smallness, pays no tribute. The area is 5 square miles. Lat. (centre)
31' 7' o" N., long. 77° 38' 30" E. Population (1881) 590. Revenue,

Dannan. — Town in Shakargarh fahsil, Gurdaspur District, Punjab.
Population (1881) 1618, namely, 1242 Hindus and 376 Muhamma-
dans; number of houses, 251. A third-class municipality, with a
revenue in 1882-83 of £S2> ] expenditure, £s^ ; average incidence
of taxation, 8d. per head of population. The town is the seat of a
colony of Pahari Mahajans.

Daro. — Village in the Shahbandar Sub-division, Karachi (Kurrachee)
District, Sind, Bombay Presidency. Population (1881) about 1000,
mainly agricultural. The Pinyari river is here crossed by a masonry
bridge of six spans, each 25 feet wide. Police station; dharmsdla,
or rest-house ; catde pound. Has road communication with Mirpur
Batora, 8 miles distant, with Belo, and with Bano.

Darod. — Petty State in Jhalawar Division, Kathiawar Province,
Bombay Presidency. It consists of i village, with 2 independent tribute-
payers. The revenue is estimated at ;£"ii8 ; tribute of ^36, 12s. is paid
to the British Government, and oi £^ to the Nawab of Junagarh.

Darrang (Durrung). — District forming a portion of the upper
valley of the Brahmaputra, in the Province of Assam. It lies between
26° 12' 30" and 27° 2 30" N. lat., and between 91° 45' and 93° 50' e.
long. Bounded on the north by the Bhutia, Aka, and Daphla Hills ;
on the east by the Maramarnai river, separating it from Lakhirapur



142 DARRANG.

District ; on the south by the Brahmaputra ; and on the west by
Kamriip District. Area, 3418-26 square miles. Population (1881)
273,333 persons. The administrative head-quarters are at the town of
Tezpur, situated near the confluence of the Bhairavi with the Brahma-
putra.

Physical Aspects. — Darrang consists of a narrow strip of land, shut
in between the lower ranges of the Himalayas and the Brahmaputra.
Its total length is 126 miles from east to west, with an average width
of about 25 miles. Numerous rivers and streams cross it, flowing
southwards from the hills ; and the general level is broken by a range
of low hills, from 200 to 500 feet high, which sweep outwards in a
crescent shape from the Bhairavi to the Brahmaputra, covering an area
of about 25 square miles. The population of the District is sparse,
and the area under cultivation is still very limited. Extensive tracts
are overgrown with dense reed and cane jungle, characteristic of
the Brahmaputra valley, amid which occur rare patches of rice culti-
vation. Virgin forests cover a large portion of the region which lies
under the northern hills. Forest reserves, from which timber-cutting
and juin cultivation are carefully excluded, have recently been declared
by the Government over an aggregate area of 272 square miles. In
1880-81, the total amount of revenue realized from the direct sale of
timber, and from royalties on the sale of timber, amounted to £,2^^^.
Wild animals of all kinds abound, including elephants, rhinoceros,
buffaloes, bison, and tigers. In 1879, it was found necessary to revise
the rates paid for the destruction of wild animals. The following is the
present (1883) sanctioned scale for Darrang District: — Tigers, ;£'2 ;
leopards, los. ; bears, ;^i ; hyaenas, 5s. During 1880-81, £\^2 was
paid on this account. Wild elephants occasionally do considerable
damage to the crops. The right of capturing these animals has recently
been placed under restrictions, and was leased out in 1882-83 for
;^2 56. Gold- washing is carried on in several of the hill streams,
especially in the Bhairavi. Limestone of an inferior quality is found in
the west of the District ; and travertine, containing as much as 90 per
cent, of lime, has been discovered just beyond the British frontier.
Coal, also, is known to exist outside the northern boundary of the
District, but not, it is believed, in valuable quantities or of good



Online LibraryWilliam Wilson HunterThe imperial gazetteer of India (Volume 4) → online text (page 17 of 58)