I come from a small city (erstwhile sleepy town) that goes by the name of Siliguri, situated in the eastern state of West Bengal. My city sits on the foothills of the Himalayas and is surrounded by dense forests and tea gardens. I’ve always bragged about my city’s proximity to the hill stations that adorn the surrounding mountains. Kurseong is just an hour away, and it takes only 3 hours to get to Darjeeling. As a kid I used to brave the chilling winters and head there all alone to spend time away from the city, and suck out all the marrow of life. As I grew up, I began discovering places in the surrounding hills. Places I hadn’t been to before and where very few locals had had the opportunity to venture.
But my recent exploits this year lead me to a place that was completely off the radar and minds of the Indian populous for over a century. This all started when I was going through a bad phase after quitting my full-time job as a content writer and was forced into preparing for civil services by my peers. One morning, as I was making my way through the general knowledge section of an online quiz, I came across this question, “Which was the first town in India to get electricity?” Since i’m not really a bright individual when it comes to GK and trivia, I generally go through these questions real quick by randomly hitting options or just by skipping them, but this question seemed very dubious to me, especially because Darjeeling was listed as an option. I selected Delhi and the correct answer was spat on my face by the website, it was Darjeeling! So I packed up my books for the day and started to do some research and figured out that Sidrapong Hydroelectric Power Station, located in the foothills of the Arya Tea Estate, in the West Darjeeling hills, was the first hydroelectric power station in Asia.