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Darjeeling, Bengali: দার্জিলিং) is a Himalayan city in the Indian state of West Bengal. The name Darjeeling is composed of two words “Dorje” and “ling”. “Dorje” means “thunderbolt” and “ling” means “place”. So, Darjeeling is “the Land of Thunderbolt”. It is internationally renowned as a tourist destination, along with its tea industry and the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is "hill town headquarters" of Darjeeling district with a partially autonomous status within the state of West Bengal. The town is located in the Mahabharat Range or Lesser Himalaya at an average elevation of 6,710 ft (2,050 m).

The development of the town dates back to the mid-19th century, when the British set up a sanatorium and a military depot. Subsequently, extensive tea plantation was done in the region, and tea growers developed distinctive hybrids of black tea and created new fermenting techniques. The resultant distinctive Darjeeling tea is internationally recognized and ranks among the most popular of the black teas. The Darjeeling Himalayan Railway connects the town with the plains and has one of the few steam locomotives still in service in India. Darjeeling also has several British-style public schools, which attract students from throughout India and neighboring countries.

The British initially decreed the Darjeeling area a "Non-Regulation District" (a scheme of administration applicable to economically less advanced districts in the British Raj)—acts and regulations of the British Raj needed special consideration before applying to the district in line with rest of the country. As a consequence of the 1905 Partition of Bengal, the area came under the jurisdiction of the Rajshahi division, placed in the newly created province of East Bengal and Assam. Later in 1919, the British declared the area a "backward tract". The British ruling class constituted Darjeeling's elite residents of the time, who visited Darjeeling every summer. An increasing number of well-to-do Indian residents of Kolkata (then Calcutta), affluent Maharajas of princely states and land-owning zamindars also began visiting Darjeeling. The town continued to grow as a tourist destination, becoming known as the "Queen of the Hills". The town saw little significant political activity during the freedom struggle of India owing to its remote location and small population. Revolutionaries failed in an assassination attempt on Sir John Anderson, the Governor of Bengal in the 1930s. After the independence of India in 1947, Darjeeling merged with the state of West Bengal. The separate district of Darjeeling emerged as an established region consisting of the hill towns of Darjeeling, Kurseong, Kalimpong and some parts of the Terai region. When the People's Republic of China annexed Tibet in 1950, thousands of Tibetan refugees settled across Darjeeling district

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