Kurseong: Wikis

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Kurseong
Kurseong
Location of Kurseong
in West Bengal and India
Coordinates 26°53′N 88°17′E / 26.88°N 88.28°E / 26.88; 88.28
Country  India
State West Bengal
District(s) Darjeeling
Population
Density
80377 (2001)
15,916 /km2 (41,222 /sq mi)
Time zone IST (UTC+05:30)
Area
Elevation
5.05 km2 (2 sq mi)
1,500 m (4,921 ft)
Website http://www.wb.nic.in/westbg/kurseong.html

Kurseong (Nepali:खर्स्यन्ग्, Khār-sỵāng) is a hill station (and sub-divisional town) situated in Darjeeling district of West Bengal, India. Located at an altitude of 1458 metres (4864 ft), Kurseong is just 30 km from Darjeeling. It has a pleasant climate throughout the year and the winters are not as severe as Darjeeling.

The local name of Kurseong is called "Kharsang" which in the Lepcha language means "Land of the White Orchids". Kurseong is 47 km from Siliguri and is connected to the city by road and the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway. The nearest airport is at Bagdogra.The nearest major railway station is New Jalpaiguri [NJP], which is about 53 kilometers from Kurseong. The town is based mainly on schools and tourism. The best times to visit Kurseong are between March end and May and between the end of August and October.

Kurseong was ceded to the British Empire by the chogyal (monarch) of Sikkim in 1835. Later in 1880, the small hamlet became a tourist destination for the colonial authorities and was a preferred place for sanatoriums where the sick would recuperate.

Contents

Tourist destinations

Kurseong is developing as a quiet hill station. The gardens include Castleton, Makaibarie, Ambotia and Goomtee.

Religious sites:

1. The Ambhotia Shiva Temple.
2. Giddapahar Durga Mata Mandir.
3. Jagdish Mandir on Bank Road (on way to the Eagle's Craige). This is a very old temple (almost 300 years old) of Lord Jagannath. 4. St. Pauls Church on Hill Cart Road, Near St. Joshephs School. 5. Buddhist Gompa in Montieviot.
6. Buddhist Gompa in Dowhill Road.

Natural sites:

1. Eagle's Craig.
2. Deer Park - Now known as DowHill Park, on the DowHill Road. 3. The Kholas (Water Falls - Springs) like Whistle Khola (named by the Britishers, as there is a bend and the toy train whistles when passing through it, locals call it Hussain Khola.)

Museums:

1. Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose Museum and N S C Bose Institute of Asiatic Studies, hosted in the house of his elder brother, Sarat Chandra Bose, are situated at the Giddhapahar Area. Netaji was interned in this house by the British Govt. in the late thirties. The house now displays photocopies of the exchange of letters between Netaji and his would be wife, Ms. Emilie, many rare photographs of his Indian National Army (INA), other memorabilia of the Indian Freedom Movement and a few personal belongings of Netaji and the Bose Family.

Other Sites:

1. Chimney: A walk or ride through the forest of Cryptomaria Japonica on the road, now called Aranya Sarani, leads to the vast open meadows at Chimney. The curious name of the place is reminiscent of the days, when there was a Bungalow here on the only road (Old Military Road) leading to Darjeeling. A long, dilapidated chimney, standing all alone, is the only remnant of the bungalow now. History whispers to you here, amidst splendid solitude.

Kurseong

Civic administration

Kurseong Municipality, which is over 125 years old is the main civic administration body for the town of Kurseong. It is located at 13, Dowhill Road. The Municipality is divided into 20 wards [from 12 wards] and each has a ward commissioner who is in charge of the individual ward. After agitation by GJMM, Mr. P.C. Agarwal (the last elected Chairman of the Municipal community) has resigned from the post of Chairman (as he was associated with the political party GNLF). Presently Kurseong is facing a political movement from Gorkha JanMukti Morcha for a separate state. Due to this agetation the Municipal Commitee is suspended Kurseong has its own Munsif Megistrate Court and has the Police Station and Town Out Post in P B Road. The S.D.O. (Sub Divisional Officer) is the head of the administration for the Town.

Politics

Shanta Chhetri of Gorkha National Liberation Front (GNLF) won the Kurseong seat thrice in a row defeating Buddhiman (intelligent) Rai, Independent, in 2006, and Tulsi Bhattarai of Communist Party of India (Marxist) (CPI(M)) in 2001 and 1996. In 1991, Nar Bahadur Chettri, Independent as India, defeated Dawa Lama of CPI(M) . In 1987, Harka Bahadur Rai of CPI(M) defeated A.N.Pradhan of Indian National Congress (INC). In 1982, H.B. Rai of CPI(M) defeated Dawa Narbula of INC. In 1977, Dawa Narbula of INC defeated Anand Pathak of CPI(M).[1]

Kurseong assembly constituency is part of Darjeeling (Lok Sabha constituency).[2]

Presently Kurseong and the entire hill is under the influence of an agitation for a separate state. The elected political system is not functioning in the area as Gorkha Jan Mukti Morcha the leading party in the agitation is boycotting all elected leaders under the Govt. of West Bengal.

Education

Among the towns of Darjeeling District, Kurseong was nicknamed as "the school town" due to the emergence of many new schools in the town. Like the other hill stations within the District of Darjeeling, Kurseong also has its fair share of renowned schools established during the British Rule in India viz St Helens Convent, Goethals Memorial School, Dowhill Girls School and Victoria Boys School.

The schools can be classified into two distinct groups. The English Medium and the Nepali Medium. The English medium schools are mostly affiliated to the Indian Certificate of Secondary Education [ICSE], Delhi while the Nepali Medium Schools are affiliated to the State Education Board ie West Bengal Board of Secondary Education [WBBSE], Calcutta. Some of the schools are also affiliated to the Central Board of Secondary Education [CBSE], Delhi

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English Medium Schools

WBSE—Saint Alphonsus School a leading school of the town., St. Joseph School ICSE/ISC -- St Helens Convent, Goethals Memorial School, Dowhill Girls School, Victoria Boys' School, Himali Boarding School1, Glen Hill Public School1, St Anthony's School, Cambridge English Boarding School, Dawn Boarding School, Jnaneshwar Memorial Academy, Bellevue Boarding School. CBSE -- Godwin Modern School, Daisies Boarding School Tiny Tots School was the first English Medium nursery school opened in 1970 as a private school from where the trend of schools started in Kurseong and became the Town of Schools.

Nepali Medium Schools

WBBSE --1, Pushparani Boys High School1, Scottish Mission Girls School, Rama Krishna Girls School

1 Schools that provides secondary [year 10] as well as higher secondary education [year 12]

Teachers of Dowhill Girls and Victoria Boys' School are recruited through WB Public Service Commission. Both boys and girls are in Dow Hill School from KG till class III. Thereafter, it is only for the girls. The other school is for boys and from class IV. Both the schools set in picturesque natural surroundings, have hostel facility. While tution fees are not needed in Govt. schools, moderate fees' for boarding facilities are charged and the amount is less than half of what is required in other schools of the category. These two schools, established between 3 and 17 August, 1879, are among the old schools in the country. Sir Ashley Eden the then Lt. Governor of Bengal, had conceived the idea of establishing the school for the children of those in the lower ranks of Government service. When the school was started, it only used to admit children of European origin, and the environment as well as the ideals of the school were that of a typical British Public School. Since then, the educational facilities were extended to others. They are not a Church School. The ideals of the schools changed with Independence, and at that time the very existence of the schools was in jeopardy. But with the timely interference by the Education Department of the Government of West Bengal, the schools quickly adjusted to the new social atmosphere. Soon was a great influx of students of Indian origin and the number of European students decreased. At present almost all are Indian, barring a few from the neighbouring countries of Nepal and Bhutan. Students from states other than West Bengal are also admitted without any restriction thus maintaining the cosmopolitan atmosphere. Though the medium of instruction is English, students are made aware of their rich Indian heritage in the classrooms, sports field and on the stage. They are the only schools under the Government of West Bengal, which are affiliated to ICSE and they have produced many distinguished students settled in all parts of the world, who have excelled in different spheres and continue to excel.

On May 16, 2005 Himali Boarding School has been appointed as the first Cambridge International Examinations (CIE) centre in north-east of India. The students have the option of sitting for the globally recognised, A and AS [equivalent to year 12 school board examination] level examinations of CIE or the school's own year 12 school board examination [ISC].

University colleges

Kurseong has one college "Kurseong College" which is affiliated to the University of North Bengal. It provides undergraduate studies - Bachelor of Arts [General and Honours], Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Commerce [General] the institute is fast developing and is offering bachelor degrees in various fields of science, commecrce and especially with the introduction of economics honours. The institution is looked after by a General body which comprises the principal of the college, the SDO of kurseong,appointed members for the general body and the most important personnel being the General secretary of the college who is nominated or elected through a free and fair election. There has been plans that have been taken and initiated and recently the college is expanding,utilising and constructing the premises. The college also offers diploma courses on various fields the 2006 batch also completed and received the three years diploma in communicative English,and computer education has been made mandatory now.

There is a polytechnic college "Darjeeling Polytechnic" which offers Diploma in Civil Engineering, Computer Science & Engineering, Diploma in Electrical Engineering, Diploma in Mechanical Engineering. The polytechnic college of Kurseong was one of the first and the best engineering college in past however the instiution has been facing a lot of discripency and has not been maintained by the authority and the authorities in turn lacks support from higher levels.

From 1889 to 1971 there was even, on St Mary's hill (two km north on the way to Darjeeling), a Theological College training Jesuit seminarians to the priesthood. The St Mary's College was shifted to Delhi where, from 1972 onwards (and under the new name of Vidyajyoti College of Theology) it is still flourishing. The old Theologate's building now hosts the "Eastern Forest Rangers College", which provides training courses to the would be Forest Rangers of India. There is a "West Bengal Forest School" near Deer Park and Victoria Boys School, Dowhill which also provides training for foresters as well. About 6 kilometers north on the way to Darjeeling at Tung, there is an "Industrial Training Institute" [ITI] which offers various vocational course in plumbing, motor mechanics, and book binding.

Also in St Mary's Hills, "Holy Cross Institute" offers higher secondary course in Commerce via the vocational stream.

Transport

Bagdogra Airport, Siliguri, is 60 km away. Taxis/buses are available at the airport for transit to Kurseong.

Siliguri, 50 km and New Jalpaiguri, 57 km are the nearest main stations. It is an important station on the toy train route from New Jalpaiguri to Darjeeling. The Toy Train takes a little over 5 hours from New Jalpaiguri to Kurseong.

Kurseong is also well connected by roads.

Demographics

As of 2001 India census[3], Kurseong had a population of 40,067. Males constitute 51% of the population and females 49%. Kurseong has an average literacy rate of 84%, higher than the national average of 59.5%: male literacy is 88%, and female literacy is 80%. In Kurseong, 6% of the population is under 6 years of age.

References

External links


Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

Kurseong is a city in North Bengal.

Get in

Kurseong is about 45 kilometers from Siliguri the gateway to North Bengal. The airport of Siliguri is known as Bagdogra while the railway station is known as New Jalpaiguri. It takes approximately 2 hours to reach Kurseong if you travel by Hill Cart Road, the comfortable and scenic link running parallel to the railway tracks or about one hour using the Old Army Road (Pankhabari Road), which is steeper.

See

Kurseong is home to the costliest teas in the world. World famous Castleton, Ambotia and Makaibari tea gardens produce the most delicate aromas of all black teas known to mankind.

Do

Kurseong is the ultimate experience in leisure. You just relax or move around the town, tea gardens or the parks. Enjoy the cool mountain breeze. The town is small, clean and relatively uncrowded. To enjoy pristine beauty of the Himalayas you can walk to Eagle's Craig (Durpin Dhara) or trek (or take a taxi) to Deer's Park. Eagles Craig provides panaromic view of Kurseong Town and the plains of Siliguri. You can view Himalayan peaks with their golden glow for sunrise. Trek to Balason river but take local advice for that. you can also visit st marys hill and visit groto church of virgin mother mary.there is also a forest museum on dowhill road. and most important darjeeling himalayan railway museum on kurseong railway station. museum of netaji subhash chandra bose on giddha pahar.And wide arry of heritage churches such as st andrews church, st pauls church etc

Buy

One can buy beautiful Tea from either Tea Estate's outlet countr or from shops available in plenty. Woolen garments, jackets are very attractive and can be purchased from shops located on T.N.Road.

Eat

You can eat Momo's, the Tibetan variety of dumplings.

Drink

you can try local drinks such as "chaang" prepared from fermented millets,and tonba another local fermented drink.

Sleep

Cochrane, Government owned Tourist Lodge and Shyams provide cosy stay.

Get out

Continue with your journey to Darjeeling (about 35 kilometers), to Sikkim or Kalimpong. To catch a train or flight, you have to go to Siliguri.

Routes through Kurseong
Darjeeling  N noframe S  SiliguriJalpaiguri
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1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

KURSEONG, or Karsiang, a sanatorium of northern India, in the Darjeeling district of Bengal, 20 m. S. of Darjeeling and 4860 ft. above sea-level; pop. (1901), 4469. It has a station on the mountain railway, and is a centre of the tea trade. It also contains boys' and girls' schools for Europeans and Eurasians.


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