The settlement at Darjeeling really began in 1828 with British interest. By 1835, it was separated from Sikkim for establishing a Sanatorium for the invalided servants of the East India Company.
Planning began in 1839, to lay out the Darjeeling town and constructthe Hill Cart Road connecting Siliguri, Pankhabari, Kurseong and Darjeeling. By 1840, Darjeeling town had about 30 buildings and a few respectable hotels.
The name Darjeeling means the place of the Dorje, the mystic thunderbolt of Indra, the rain god. Owing to its pristine environment and favourable climate, Darjeeling was considered the perfect spot for convalescence. Therefore, in the early 1800s, the British East India Company developed it as a sanatorium and later as a hill station for British residents.
Subsequently, to facilitate the lateral development of the region, the British experimented with all kinds of botanical species . In the mid-1800s, surgeon Arthur Campbell and Lieutenant Napier also tried planting tea seeds and saplings along the Himalayan range. The tea harvested in Darjeeling was found uniquely to have the highest level of flavour compared to that from the other areas.
The success of these experiments led to the development of tea plantations throughout Darjeeling in the second half of the 19th century.