The horror and delights of Dak Bungalows chronicled in a book

The horror and delights of Dak Bungalows chronicled in a book

If you have been thinking of Dak Bungalows as boring and haunting government run buildings of past then you need to explore them more for a stint with furious ghosts and delicious chicken treat, says Rajika Bhandari who has archived the dangers and delights of Dak bungalows in her book "The Raj on the move".

The 41-year-old social science researcher based in New York spent a fair amount of time in Dak bungalows with deep verandahs and sprawling gardens during her childhood, all thanks to her mother, a former government officer.

However, when she moved from India to US she realised her sense of appreciation for India's history and architecture, from romantic fifteenth century monuments of Mandu to imperial British buildings of Lutyens Delhi and she decided to revisit the Dak Bungalows to unearth the ghost stories and folklore that lurk in the corridors.

"I had been staying in Dak Bungalows and circuit houses for many years and had always been intrigued by their quirky character," Rajika told PTI in an interview.

"Some were of course entirely forgettable, but then there were others that clear had a fascinating history behind them that was just waiting to be discovered" she added.

The book is not a thriller account which tells about how haunting Dak Bungalows are or a historical account of the transformation of Dak Bungalows into circuit houses or guest houses over the period of time.

It is a tell-all-tale talking about each and everything related to Dak Bungalows from the hybrid anglo-Indian cuisine that evolved at these bungalows and Khansamas (all-in-one cook, butler and factotum) to the experiences of British memsahibs who stayed at dak bungalows.

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