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Contagion and EnclavesTropical Medicine in Colonial India$
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Nandini Bhattacharya

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9781846318290

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: June 2013

DOI: 10.5949/UPO9781846317835

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date: 21 November 2017

The Sanatorium Enclave: Climate and Class in Colonial Darjeeling

The Sanatorium Enclave: Climate and Class in Colonial Darjeeling

Chapter:
(p.84) Chapter 4 The Sanatorium Enclave: Climate and Class in Colonial Darjeeling
Source:
Contagion and Enclaves
Publisher:
Liverpool University Press
DOI:10.5949/UPO9781846317835.004

Over the nineteenth century, Darjeeling became an important part of the wider colonial polity and economy of north Bengal. The enclave of Darjeeling changed to accommodate affluent and middle-class Indians. Both Indian medical discourse and popular culture stressed the health benefits of ‘hill climates’ to Indian bodies, resulting in the transformation of the racial component of Darjeeling as a hill-station as well as the medical discourses of climate in the tropics. Darjeeling was essentially transformed into a tropical enclave which promoted social exclusivity that extended into the medical realm. The Indian elite, notably the Bengalis, staked a claim over its privileges and facilities as over-crowding and the consequent spread of diseases within the town exerted enormous pressures on most of the other principal hill-stations. In Bengal, a new class of educated elite, the bhadralok, as well as a landed aristocracy known as zamindars, emerged in Bengal. This chapter explores issues of climate, race, and class in Darjeeling's colonial enclaves during the colonial period.

Keywords:   Darjeeling, Bengal, colonial enclaves, class, race, climate, hill-stations, bhadralok, zamindars, colonial period

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