A 40 Year "Retrospective Journey"


“Be good, keep your feet dry,
your eyes open, your heart at peace
and your soul in the joy of Christ.”
Thomas Merton

November 12, 2008

Calcutta to Darjeeling

November 12, 1968

Thomas Merton travels from Calcutta to Darjeeling, West Bengal on November 12, 1968. He writes... "This is a much finer place than I expected - a king of places, full of Tibetans, prayer flags, high in mists, wonderful mountains, all hidden as we came up the wretched road along which there have been some seventy very bad landslides... The ride from Bagdogra was long, through thick woods, then higher and higher into the clouds. Finally we came to the Windamere Hotel, the most pleasant place I have been to in India." AJTM p.133


About Darjeeling
"Darjeeling is internationally famous for its tea industry and the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The tea plantations date back to the mid 19th century as part of a British development of the area. ...When the People's Republic of China annexed Tibet in 1950, thousands of Tibetan refugees settled across Darjeeling district. " Wikipedia


The Windamere Hotel
www.windamerehotel.com
Current President of the International Thomas Merton Society, and Merton pilgrim , Donald Grayston (Peregrinus Mertonius) made a real live, "in-the-flesh" pilgrimage to India in November 2000. He went to Darjeeling and visited Merton's room (#14) at the Windamere Hotel. He shares this photo of room 14, from his collection.
Room 14 - Windamere Hotel (Grayston photo)
Happy trails... Rob
“Pilgrimage to the place of the wise is to find escape from the flame of separateness.” Rumi

2 comments:

Darjeeling Info said...

Nice post. I would like to invite you to submit your Darjeeling experiences on a Darjeeling information site. Hope you have something to share. Thanks!

FD said...

very well written about the place, Darjeeling and windamere hotel. Would it be possible for you to give an active reference to windamere hotel(www.windamerehotel.com),it would help your readers to get more information about the hotel and its historic importance.