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British Bungalow, Darjeeling: A taste of English glory

The British Colonial Bungalows in India are an everlasting charm with their majestic appearance & sprawling area. Built mostly in the 18th & 19th century in India, they are still an architectural delight. Located at various places, especially the Cantonment areas they are being maintained by the Indian Army in their original finesse. One such place is Darjeeling which captivates you with its English world charm.

Nestled in the magnificent Himalayas, Darjeeling offers a splendid view of the mighty Kanchenjunga and people from all over the world visit this beautiful hill station to catch a glimpse of the gorgeous range.

View of Mt. Kanchenjunga from Gazebo at MES IB

I would not be wrong if I say that I was blessed to experience the breathtaking view of Kanchenjunga from one of the most exquisite Bungalow in the cantonment at Darjeeling.

MES Inspection Bungalow

Perched on a small hillock of the Jalapahar cantonment in Darjeeling, the MES Inspection Bungalow is a heaven for nature lovers. Quiet, serene & quaint, the bungalow brushes your senses with an enchanting British world aroma.

The top view of MES IB & Gazebo

Surrounded by trees & engulfed in the clouds, the bungalow poses a reflection of the British poise & grace .
The architecture of the bungalow is an elegant example of the Bygone era. Constructed in 1897 – 98, the building still stands functional without much renovation & gives you a glimpse of the past glory.

History

The bungalow was erstwhile a single officers accommodation for the British Army Officers. It  was sited such that on clear days, the view of Mt. Kanchenjunga & valley of Darjeeling can be enjoyed from the lawns & glass hut on the first floor.

The side view of the Bungalow with Glass hut above the porch

Building Design

The bungalow is spread in a large open area with a boundary wall and lawns around it. The entrance is typical & striking with a long pathway leading to the front porch.

The pathway leading to the second gate
The entrance pathway with porch & tall pillars

 The plan of the building was of a typical British residence with all fundamental areas including porch, verandah , drawing room, bedrooms in front & services at the rear. Presently, it has been converted into an MES Inspection Bungalow with two guest rooms on the ground floor and two on the first floor. The doubled storied  building is constructed over a plinth area of 3072 sq.ft. with sandstone, cement & lime powder. The floor & roof is made of ‘dhuppi’ wood.

Each room has large windows to allow ample sunlight

The design of the window is typical English Bay window with glass shutters & fixed ventilators.

The doors are wooden with wooden chaugath & carving depicting scenes of battle
Typical design of windows in the interior opening into verandah. Decorative patterns can be seen on the top which showcase Indianness depicting the craftsmen must be Indians
The elaborate wooden staircase leading to the upper floor is a vintage charm
Typical niche on all sides which was probably used to light lamp during night time.
The ornate door handle & bolt in brass
Each room has a fireplace with a chimney on top & is functional till date

The bungalow continues to carry on its 120 Year old legacy standing erect with its classic and stately appearance. Interiors of rooms have been refurbished with use of wallpapers and upholstery to cater to today’s needs & comfort.

My mom & Dad relaxing in the room which reflects every bit of British dignity.  The partition wall in the room has been adorned with a wallpaper which blends well with the royal era.

The stay at MES IB, surely gives you a taste of the Colonial architecture and brushes you with the exquisite savor of the British era. The 120 year old bungalow reflects strong imprints of the British Style and its ideal location, capturing the best view of sunrise & sunset from its sprawling lawns, beautiful gazebo & glass sit out on first floor. Surely, it is a retreat in itself.

The rising sun clicked from the lawns of MES IB

(All pictures have been clicked by the Author & are the copyright of Design)

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