East Himalaya

Monday, October 24, 2011

Sister Nivedita, 100 years of farewell from Darjeeling

"The boat is sinking but I shall see the sun", she was just 44 years old, but had to bid good bye to Darjeeling and the world from this house, which is still to see the light of the restoration. Margaret Elizabeth Noble was born on 28th October, 1867 in Ireland, and it was her meeting with Swami Vivekananda in November 1895 which made her travel to India, and through her service to this country, she became Sister Nivedita. 
As a neighbour to Acharya Jagdish Chandra Bose at Darjeeling, and on his request, she translated Rabindranath Tagore's 'Kabuliwalla' in English, which was very well accepted and made her a part of the then literally world. She was given the title of 'Lokmata', 'mother of the people' by Gurudev Tagore. She was often visited by Indian freedom fighters like Aurobindo Ghosh, Gopal Krishna Gokhale, and others.
She initially believed that British in India was that of friendship, justice and development, but while working with the people, she saw the brutality of the British rule. She started a school for deprived girls in Kolkata in 1898, the school included adult women and widows as students, she was one of the frontline working leaders when plague broke out in India, and she has volunteered in the most difficult situation, thus giving her the name 'Nivedita', meaning 'the dedicated soul'.  
Help Tourism in 2011, during their Year of 'Enlightenment through voluntourism', dedicates their work to Sister Nivedita and requests all foreign volunteers to India to visit her place in Darjeeling as a ‘volunteer’s pilgrimage’.
Her epitaph aptly reads ‘Here reposes Sister Nivedita who gave her all to India’. 


  1. Thanks a lot for this write up and a rare and unique photo.
    I feel very sorry as we,Indians have forgotten the great soul of Sister Nivedita.

  2. Sister Nivedita has not been forgotten. ACT-Darjeeling Chapter and Help Tourism has continuously kept Roy Villa of Darjeeling in focus, finally for the attention of the world, yesterday,the Chief Minister of West Bengal, the Chief of Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (Darjeeling Hills)and the Ramakrishna Mission finally took up the memorial and are working together to dedicate the same for service of youth.

  3. Raj , There is a need to showcase Indian History to Indians , specially to the present generation . Need of the hour is to encourage "volunteerism" among Indians too

  4. Please wait some months, swami nityasatyanandaji maharaj and other two respected monks and loving brothers are there. they have started the restoretion