About us

The Ivanhoe House was built in the year 1841 as a summer retreat by Mrs. Mackie, owner of the Mokrung Tea Estate in Assam. It is perhaps the only house of that era in Darjeeling that has come down to us intact, thereby providing a window on how life may have been lived when Britain ruled an Indian Empire of which Darjeeling was a part.

‘Ivanhoe’ was transformed into a “quietly comfortable and elegant” Boarding House for British Raj families in 1871. Famous movie stars like ‘Vivien Leigh’ (of ‘Gone with the Wind’ fame) and ‘Julie Christie’ (of ‘Dr. Zhivago’) used to spend holidays here with their parents, during school breaks. Sir George Everest, the Surveyor General of India (who discovered Mt. Everest as being the highest point on earth, and after whom the mountain was named) was here. Ivanhoe also welcomed as a houseguest, Col. Sir Francis Younghusband, the leader of the British Expeditionary force of 1904 into Tibet (the forbidden country!). The House was also occupied by the Vicereine of India, Lady Curzon (wife of the celebrated Viceroy, The Marquess of Curzon); Sir Charles Bell, (British Political Officer for Sikkim, Bhutan and Tibet) and the legendary British mountaineers, George Mallory and Andrew Irvine, who disappeared below the summit of Mt. Everest in 1924.

The name ‘Ivanhoe’ was, of course, derived from the tale of King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table.

 


 

4, Franklyn Prestage Road, The Mall, Darjeeling, West Bengal, India, 734101: Tel: +91-(0)354-2255349, Fax: +91-(0)354-2255349