Band Stand, Darjeeling
Photographer: Bourne and Shepherd
Medium: Photographic print
Photograph from the Macnabb Collection of Darjeeling in West Bengal, India, with a view of the band stand, taken by Bourne & Shepherd in the 1880s. Samuel Bourne and Charles Shepherd established their firm in 1863 and quickly became the most successful photographic firm on the subcontinent. Samuel Bourne was known for his topographical views taken during three expeditions to Kashmir and the Himalayas. The hill station of Darjeeling is situated high up in the foothills of the Eastern Himalayas at an altitude of 2,200 m (7218 feet). It is built on a narrow spur of the Senchal-Singalila range and descends in a series of terraces, on land acquired by the British from the Raja of Sikkim in 1835. Its temperate summer climate and beautiful views of some of the most spectacular Himalayan peaks led to its development in the 19th century first as a sanatorium and later a colonial resort, becoming the official summer capital of the Bengal Government in 1860. It is also the centre of a celebrated tea-growing district. This view looks along the road towards the bandstand (partially obscured by trees), with the Exchange and New Medical Hall in the foreground.