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Darjeeling Hill Road. Two miles above Gyabarry, looking North East.

Darjeeling Hill Road. Two miles above Gyabarry, looking North East.

Photographer: Unknown

Medium: Photographic print

Date: 1865

Shelfmark: Photo 243/(6)

Item number: 2436

Genre: Photograph

Photograph from the album of views depicting the Construction of the Darjeeling Hill Road taken by an unknown photographer in 1865. The road connecting Darjeeling with Siliguri on the plains was initiated in 1861 largely as a result of the sudden expansion of tea plantations in the mountains. Constructed and maintained by the Public Works Department, it was 48 miles long, 25 feet wide and cost around £6,000 per mile to build. This road was very difficult to build: the thickly forested hills were hard to clear, the ground was rocky and precipitous, the blasting was greater than originally expected (at times the gun powder ran out) and cuttings had to be made into large solid rocks. By 1865 the upper section of the road from Darjeeling to Kurseong was completed and the lower section from Kurseong to the plains was completed in 1869. This was a popular tourist route owing to the spectacular scenery it passed through, but was later superseded by the railway.

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