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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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The Sanatorium Enclave: Climate and Class in Colonial Darjeeling

The Sanatorium Enclave: Climate and Class in Colonial Darjeeling

(p.84) Chapter 4 The Sanatorium Enclave: Climate and Class in Colonial Darjeeling
Contagion and Enclaves
Liverpool University Press

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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