Darjeeling district, a part of Jalpaiguri division is a district of the West Bengal state with its administrative headquarters located at Darjeeling town. The district got its name from its headquarters town, Darjeeling. On the other hand the term Darjeeling is derived from the two Tibetan words such as Dorje meaning thunderbolt and Ling meaning place or land.Both these Tibetan words together mean the land of the thunderbolt.Sikkim, East India Company, Nepal and Bhutan are closely related to the history of the Darjeeling district.A part of dominions of the Chogyal of Sikkim was formed by a great portion of the Darjeeling district. At that time the Chogyal ofSikkimwere defeated in the hands of the Gorkhas of Nepal. From the very beginning the Gorkhas were trying to capture the entire region of Darjeeling because the place has been remained a centre of attraction for Gorkhas since 1780. By the early 19th century, the Gorkhas speared the Sikkim as far eastward to the Teesta River and also annexed the Terai. At that time, the British were actively involved in preventing the Gorkhas from over-running the whole of the northern frontier. The Anglo-Gorkha war broke out in the year 1814, which resulted in the defeat of the Gorkhas and then it led to the signing of the Sugauli Treaty in 1815. Whenever, someone unfolds the history of West Bengal, it is obvious to remember the demand for the creation of a separate Gorkhaland state within India raised by theGorkha NationalLiberation Front during the 1980 which not only disturbed the peace of thecountry but also hampered the administration system of the state.On 14th February, 2017Kalimpong district was separated from the Darjeelingdistrict.
Subhajit Saha, a distinguished professional table tennis player who won the men's doubles gold in the 19thCommonwealth table tennis championship held at New Delhi in 2010 was born on 4th May, 1982 at Siliguri town in the district.
Geographically, the district lies at 27°04'N latitude, 88°26'E longitude and 2045 m Altitude.In the year 2019, there was a total 75.19% forest area of total geographical area. The district encompasses a geographical area of 3,149 sq. km. and it is bounded by Sikkim on the North, Uttar Dinajpur district and Bihar on the South, Jalpaiguri district on the East, Nepal on the West, Bhutan on the North East and Bangladesh on the South East. The climate of the district remains pleasant throughout the year. Most of its rainfall occurs in the monsoon season. The actual rainfall in the district was 2757.4 mm in the year of 2019-2020.
Administration wise, the district is divided into 4 sub-divisions namely Darjeeling Sadar, Kalimpong, Kurseong and Siliguri. Moreover, the district comprises 29 towns and 687 villages. The administrative language in the district is Bangali.
According to 2011 census the district has a population of 18,46,823 out of which 9,37,259 are males and 9,09,564 are females. The district has a sex ratio of 970 (females for every 1000 males). During the year 2001-11 the population growth rate in the district was 14.77% including 12.84% were males and 16.83% were females. As per 2011 census the major religion in the district is Hindu with 74.00% of the total population. The population density in the district is 586 (persons per sq. km.). According to 2011 census the principal languages in the district are Nepali, Bengali and Hindi with 46.39%, 29.22% and 17.28%.In the year 2018 the number of live births in the district was 34,276 out of which 17,815 were males and 16,461 were females. In the same year the number of deaths in the district was 14,844 out of which 8,868 were males and 5,976 were females.
Tourism and tea industry are the backbones of the economy of the district. The Darjeeling tea has a great demand not only at the national level but also at the international level because its flavour is quite different from the tea produced in the rest of the parts of India. Most of the people of the district are engaged in the tea industries in order to earn their livelihood. The other chief agricultural crops in the district are rice, wheat, gram, maize, barley, potato, etc. Every year a huge chunk of revenue comes from these agricultural crops helps in its economy to a great extent. Darjeeling is also popularly known as the Queen of the Himalayas. Since 1860 Darjeeling had become famous as a significant tourist destination.It is a perfect destination for shooting films; in fact many renowned Bollywood and Bengali cinemas are made in this place.The contribution of the forestry products in its economy is also remarkable.In the year2013-14 the Gross Domestic Product in the district was Rs. 20,17,820 lakh at Current Price and Rs. 10,66,432 lakh at Constant Prices in the year 2004-2005. The Net Domestic Product in the district during the period 2013-14 was Rs. 18,45,883 lakh at Current Price and Rs. 9,64,229 lakh at Constant Prices in the year 2004-2005. The Per Capita Income or NDDP, At Factor Cost in the district during the period 2013-14 was Rs. 87,695 at Current Price and Rs. 45,809 at Constant Prices in the year 2004-2005.
The Darjeeling district has many reputed schools which had been established by the British during their rule in India. Some of its institutions which are well known for their educational excellence are Mount Hermon School, St. Robert's H.S. School, St. Joseph's College, Loreto Convent and St. Paul's School, etc. It has five recognised colleges as well namely St. Joseph's College, Southfield College, Darjeeling Government College, Ghoom-Jorebunglow Degree College and Sri Ramakrishna B.T. College. As per 2011 census the literacy rate in the district is 79.56% out of which 85.61% are males and 73.33% are females. The total number of literates in the district is 13,15,585 including 7,17,673 are males and 5,97,912 are females.
Dawa Narbula, an eminent Indian politician and a member of the 14th Lok Sabha from the Darjeeling constituency of West Bengal was born on 16th December, 1935 at Darjeeling. He is a member of the Indian National Congress (INC) political party.
The district has several centres of attraction which allure many travellers from different parts of the country as well as world. The Japanese Peace Pagoda, established by Nipponzan Myohoji in Darjeeling is the highest free structure in the town which also showcases the four avatars of the Buddha. Dhirdham temple,one of the notable temples of the district is designed on the conception of the famous Pashupatinath temple of Kathmandu which was built in1939. Kurseong, an extraordinary pilgrimage is located in the Darjeeling district. Manytemples are located in this sacred place such as Ambhotia Shiva Temple, Jagdish Mandir,Giddapahar Durga Mata Mandir, Buddisht Gompha in Montieviot, Buddist Gompha in Dowhill Road, etc. The place has many spots of nature tours likewise Tiger Hill, Museum of NaturalHistory,Padmaja Naidu Himalayan Zoo,Llyod BotanicGarden,Tea gardens and Observatory Hill, etc.