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
"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
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