Thacker's Guide to Calcutta (1906)
"Thacker'S Guide to Calcutta", by Rev. W. K. Firminger, M. A., F.R.G.S., Thacker, Spink & Co., Calcutta, 1906
Made available by the Internet Archive.
Source: Library of the University of California, Los Angeles Edited by R Sivaramakrishnan. Posted to IRFCA on: AUgust 29, 2008.
I have seen very little of Calcutta, but I find this book very informative as to what it was like over 100 years ago. The following is a sample extract:
Trips from Calcutta.
1. Darjeeling. The Mail Train must be caught at Sealdah at 4-30P.M. (Calcutta time). (The traveller should telegraph in advance for a berth to be reserved for him at Sara Ghat.) At Boogoola time is allowed for the passengers to take tea. Damookdia Ghat is reached at 4-48 (Madras time) and here the traveller must leave the train and go on board the steamer. Dinner is served on board while the Pudda is being crossed. At Sara Ghat a train is found waiting, Siliguri is reached at 6-28 (Madras time), and after having secured his seat and seen his luggage on board the light mountain train, the traveller will find he has ample time to make a substantial breakfast. Leaving Siliguri the train runs for some miles through rice fields and tea gardens until at Sukna it abruptly meets the foot of the hills. The journey now becomes, at least for those making it for the first time, most delightful. The changes in the vegetation as the train creeps up higher and higher will excite the interest of the naturalist. The ingenuity with which the ascent is negotiated will not escape attention. In one place the lines make a figure eight; and another one can see through the window at one glance the engine and the guard's van. Nothing can be more beautiful than the vast view, which lies below, of the great plain of Bengal. Kurseong will be reached in time for tiffin - Here most probably the traveller will find the need of his great-coat. Darjeeling is reached early in the afternoon. It would be out of place to attempt to describe Darjeeling in a Calcutta guide book: we here merely mention it as a place accessible to the tourist who has at least some four days at his disposal and who is anxious to have a view of the eternal snows of the Himalayas. The
vision is only too often withheld when the rains are about. The highest peak visible from Darjeeling is Kinchenjunga, 28,156 feet. From Senchal a view may sometimes be obtained of Everest, 29,000 feet."