Thursday, 3 May 2018

Morgan Mansion, Kalimpong - that still retains the colonial legacy


At night.Morgan Mansion,Kalimpong,W.Bengal.en.wikipedia.org/

Morgan Mansion (1930s),Kalimpong,W.Bengal. en.wikipedia.org
 Almost every nook and corner of India the British had left their imprint in the form of bungalows, buddings, churches, memorials, etc., and it shows how resourceful and active explorers they were in the colonial era. The colonial era is gone for ever, but not the colonial aura that comes ou strong at many monuments.

While most of the colonial buildings and monuments are fairly being taken care of, some are in ruins. State governments across  India are taking steps to repair and restore them, but their action is too slow because of  lots of official paper work, reels of red tape and frequent interference from politicians who care more for the votes than for the dying monuments.

Morgan House on the hill station of Kalimpong, Kalimpong district, West Bengal is a fine example of Colonial Mansion  and is being managed by the dept. of Tourism. West Bengal
Jute baron George Morgan, British India. Revolvy
Morgan Mansion, Kalimpong, West Bengal.TravelersWiki.com
Government(WBTDC). Built by an English jute baron Mr George Morgan in the 1930s, lots of tourist who come to this hill station never fail to visit this  European - style residence. Earlier this property was also known as Singamari Tourist Lodge or Durpin Tourist Lodge. 

The history of this mansion is not clear, however, it is believed, this nice  residence in a serene ambiance was built  to commemorate the wedding of an indigo plantation owner with a jute baron Mr George Morgan - the coming to-gether of two rich British families. 

Built on a 16 acre land atop the picturesque hill Durpindara, from  this quiet place one can enjoy a clear view of the Kangchenjunga mountain range in its majesty in the morning sunrise and its fading silhouette  at sundown. The mountain view is just breath-taking. The mansion along with  the estate is located in a secluded area 3 kilometers away from Kalimpong  surrounded by the  Cantonment area . The entire locality overlooks the valleys of Relli, Kapher, Deolo and Labha in  different directions. The nearest railway station is in New Jalpaigur and is just  52 km from Darjeeling and 75 km from Gangtok by road.

This quiet mansion  was once reverberated with tangos and waltzes  during parties hosted by  Mr. and Mrs. Morgan as it became a summer retreat.  As it was a practice among the British and Europeans in India to hit the near-by  hill station to cool  themselves off as the summer heat and radiation would become unbearable for them in those summer  days  on the plains when there was no such a thing called air-conditioning. 

Mr and Mrs Morgan died without a legal heir, hence it was  handed over to government of India post Indian independence. Only after 1962, it became a government rest house, following indisposition of  Pt Jawahar Lal Nehru.  Unfortunately, this plan was given up after the unexpected demise of Pt. Nehru in the wake of Indo-China war which went in favour of China. India, being a young country, having been horribly exploited by the British, was not prepared for the war. It was a complete let down by China, tantamount to proverbial stabbing on a friend's back silently.
In 1975 West Bengal Tourism Development Corporation took it over and  managed it as a boutique hotel and is open to tourists.
Tit-bits:
01.Countless actors from Bollywood stated here. Famous American ambassador in India and friend of Pt. Nehru Chester Bowles stayed here

02. This lodge is also is believed  to be haunted and have been featured in several lists of haunted lodges and hotels. How far it is true, it is known?


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Morgan_House,_Kalimpong
http://incnorthbengal.blogspot.in/2017/12/morgan-house-kalimpong.html