AN ELGIN EXCLUSIVE FEATURE By Aishwarya Bhatt
A wonder of British colonial architecture built in the 1930s by an English jute baron Mr George Morgan finds a new life as the Morgan House in Kalimpong. The mansion that is situated on a sixteen-acre estate atop the mountain of Durpindara, is managed as a hotel by the West Bengal Tourism Development Corporation (WBTDC).
A seven-minute scenic and picturesque drive from the Elgin Silver Oaks would lead one to the best spot to find a clear view of the Kanchenjunga mountain range.
Image by @jit_majumdar, Instagram
A visit to the Morgan House feels like a luxurious British Countryside experience!
The mansion and the estate are surrounded by the Kalimpong Cantonment area and overlook the valleys of Relli, Kapher, Deolo, and Labha in various directions. The nearest railway station to the place is in New Jalpaiguri and the nearest airport is in Pakyong.
The Morgan House earlier known as Singamari Tourist Lodge or Durpin Tourist Lodge has a rich and exquisite history.
Image by @kaustav_seal, Instagram
Old places have soul, they are filled with memories and that’s why they resist to collapse.
The origin of the building lies in a gesture of celebration. The wedding of an indigo plantation owner with a jute baron commemorated the emergence of the Morgan House. In the years to come, the property would be used as a summer retreat and find itself to be the ground for elaborate parties and galas. The passing on of the house without an heir to the Morgans would find itself resting in the hands of trustees. After 1947, when India emerged as an independent nation, the house would be handed over to the government.
An incidental connection lies between the Morgan House and the eve of India’s independence in Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru. During 1962, India’s first Prime Minister Pandit Nehru was taken ill and Morgan House was to rise to the occasion as the government’s rest house. The sudden demise of Pandit Nehru would change the course of action of the property’s fate. After being handed over to the tourist department in 1965, the home finally found itself to the carers it belongs to today in 1975. Since then it has been managed like a boutique hotel and is open to tourists.
Hard to believe we’d been here just over a year ago, and the entire world has changed since. Known for being a famous haunted hotel, we had an eerily peaceful stay here, and although I admit there were no paranormal sightings that night, one can’t help but wonder: did we perhaps transition to the darkest possible timeline as we slept? Are our bodies still sleeping in the colonial bedroom while our minds are trapped in limbo? Sigh. Guess we’ll never know. – Shounak Ghosh, Facebook
Although there has been no concrete proof of the claims, Morgan House finds itself to be one among the most sought after tourist attractions thanks to tales of it being haunted. This ethereal and mysterious destination is just an 8-minute drive from The Elgin Silver Oaks, Kalimpong.