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St Paul’s School - Darjeeling

The minute you look at the grey walls with the red tin roofs, you’re reminded of Shah Rukh Khan jumping into the helicopter in his hit film Main hoon Na, well, that’s not the only movie that has featured St Paul’s School in Darjeeling. Mera Naam Joker by Raj Kapoor, Do Anjaane starring Amitabh Bachchan and Rekha, and Bada Din starring Tara Deshpande and Marc Robinson are some of the films that have used the school in the backdrop. And if you think that’s all its fame to claim then well hear this one – actor Vivien Leigh, who played Scarlett O’Hara in Gone with the Wind, was born in the school campus, in a place which now houses staff members of the school.

Located 7500 feet above sea level St Paul’s School in Darjeeling is acclaimed as the highest public school in the world. St Paul’s started off as The Parental Academic institution in Calcutta, way back in 1823. The idea of founding a public school to meet the demands of the growing Anglo-Indian population in Calcutta was conceived by John William Ricketts. So on May 11823, from a small two-storied house in 11 park street, started the history of this popular institution. It was sometime during the end of 1846 that Bishop Wilson changed its name to St Paul’s, having brought it more closely into connection with St Paul’s Cathedral. By 1863, St.Paul’s was in difficulties and Bishop Cotton, after investigating the matter gave his consent to transfer school to Jalapahar in Darjeeling. He also decided that the school should bear he same name as it did in Calcutta.

The English medium institution is affiliated to the council for the Indian School Certificate Examinations and prepares students for the ICSE exams in the 10th standard and ISC in the 12th. The school also has good facilities for extra curricular activities like plays, elocutions, debates and piano, violin and sitar classes. St. Paul’s is one of the few schools in the world that still plays the Eton fives – a game very rare today.

In the hill town of Darjeeling, which is considered to be the education Mecca of East India, the students of St Paul’s are easily recognized. The well groomed boys are always seen with a long black umbrella in their hand irrespective of the weather conditions. It seems that the school motto is well imbibed into them Moniti Meliora Sequamur meaning “having been taught (or advised) we follow the better (or the higher) things”.

Contact: St Paul’s School, Jalapahar, Darjeeling.
Ph: 03542252334

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