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Academic & Professional Books  History & Other Humanities  Environmental History

The Ravaged Paradise Environmental History of Colonial Darjeeling Himalaya (1835-1947)

By: Dipanwita Dasgupta(Author), Ranjan Chakrabarti(Foreword By)
243 pages, 7 plates with 9 b/w photos, 2 plates with 2 b/w maps; tables
Publisher: Routledge
The Ravaged Paradise
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  • The Ravaged Paradise ISBN: 9781032498287 Hardback Apr 2023 Not in stock: Usually dispatched within 1 week
Price: £135.00
About this book Contents Customer reviews Biography Related titles

About this book

This book makes a systematic attempt to explore the environmental history of Darjeeling during the British colonial period (1835-1947), which profoundly transformed the environment of Darjeeling by introducing commercial control over natural resources. After the foundation of Darjeeling as the hill station for the low-income groups of British administration living in Bengal and Burma, the place was transformed into a social, recreational and commercial centre for the British authorities. The railway construction boom, the introduction of tea plantations, the growth of a commercial market for timber and increasing demands for fuel and building materials depleted the forest cover. The less explored regions of Darjeeling attracted the adventure-thirsty Britons. A series of investigations were made on the marketable products, the condition of roads, and the quality of the soil of these regions. The ethnographic, geological, botanical and zoological study of Darjeeling was started by the colonial officials in the nineteenth century. In the early stage of the expansion of colonialism in Asia, Africa, Australia and South America, the European colonizers faced numerous problems in dealing with the untouched nature. The accumulation of the knowledge of surrounding regions and proper management of the labour became essential for the colonial authority for the transformation of the existing environment of the densely forested tropical colonies.


List of Illustrations and Maps
List of Tables

1. Introduction
2. Tribes and the Natural Habitat
3. Deadly Plain and Homely Hills
4. Commercialization of Exotic Flora
5. Communication, Deforestation and Conflict
6. Climate, Landscape, and Nostalgia
7. Forest and Wildlife
8. The Violence of Nature

Appendix I: Lepcha Medicinal Plant and their Usage
Appendix II: The List of Earthquakes in Darjeeling (1842-1947)


Customer Reviews


Dipanwita Dasgupta is Assistant Professor in Department of History, Cooch Behar Panchana Barma University. Her field of specialization include economic history of modern India. She takes particular interest in environmental history and comparative theology.

By: Dipanwita Dasgupta(Author), Ranjan Chakrabarti(Foreword By)
243 pages, 7 plates with 9 b/w photos, 2 plates with 2 b/w maps; tables
Publisher: Routledge
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