Algarah

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Algarah
अलगडा
Town
Algarah is located in West Bengal
Algarah
Algarah
Location in West Bengal, India
Coordinates: 27°04′N 88°28′E / 27.06°N 88.47°E / 27.06; 88.47Coordinates: 27°04′N 88°28′E / 27.06°N 88.47°E / 27.06; 88.47
Country  India
State West Bengal
District Kalimpong
Elevation 1,780 m (5,840 ft)
Population (2001)
 • Total 3,000
Languages
 • Official Nepali, Bengali, English
Time zone IST (UTC+5:30)
PIN 734 314
Telephone code 03552
Vehicle registration WB-78, 79

Algarah is a small town located at a distance of 15 km east of Kalimpong town in Kalimpong district of West Bengal, India. It lies at an elevation of 1,780 m (5,840 ft) and has a population of about 3,000.

History[edit]

Algarah is famous for the remains of the ancient Damsang Gadi (Damsang Fort). It is said that the Lepcha king Gyabo Achuk built this fort in 1690 with the help of spirits who brought big round smooth stones from the Reshi river. And the remnants of the fort still do exist. There have been many stories passed from generation to generation about King Gaybo Achuk. It was believed that he used to possess some kind of supernatural powers. There are stories about some hidden treasures guarded by some kind of supernatural forces and also tunnels build by Gyabo Achuk. The fort was initially built to fight the Drukpas of Bhutan. There are many myths about Drukpas fearing to visit the place as it was believed that King Gaybo Achuk was killed by the Drukpa king by forgery. It is said that King Gyabo Achuk used to practice some ancient magic, wherein if his body was cut into two pieces, they would automatically rejoin. So the Drukpa king came up with a plan and lured him into it. The Drukpa king chopped off his head from his body and applied ashes on his half-cut neck so it could not be rejoined, finally resulting in the death of the Lepcha king. It is believed that any Drukpa visiting that place will be struck to death due to some supernatural force.

The fort was later used to ward off the forces of the British East India Company. The fort fell into ruin after the 1864 Anglo-Bhutan War. Every year on 20 December, Lepchas from all the adjoining regions (Kalimpong, Darjeeling, Sikkim) come to Damsang Fort to celebrate the birthday of King Gyabo Achuk and to attend some auspicious rituals that is followed from generation to generation by the Lepcha tribes.

Economy[edit]

The surrounding villages of this small town are Paiyung Busty, Santook Menzong, Tenderbong and Dalapchand. People of these villages depend on agriculture, floriculture, milk production, etc. for their living. Tenderbong Busty is very well known for the production of milk. Potato production is a major income source for the people of these villages. Most of the town's residents are ethnic Gorkhas.