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The dak bungalow above Narkanda in 1868.


From Hindi डाक बंगला (ḍāk baṅglā) under influence from Gujarati બંગલો (baṅglo, Bengali-style house)


dak bungalow (plural dak bungalows)

  1. (India, historical) A posthouse of the old Indian postal service (dak), used as lodging by itinerant British officials and other travellers and as a make-shift courthouse in rural areas.
    • 1875 December 25, Charles Dickens, "Some Bad Old Indian Customs", part II, All the Year Round, number 369, page 298:
      Care was taken not to interfere with Europeans, for the twofold reason, that they seldom carried about with them anything more valuable than their firearms, and that they would certainly be missed, and close inquiries instituted to account for their disappearance. Besides, there was little chance of persuading a European to accept their company, or to rest anywhere save in his own tent, or in a Dakh bungalow.
    • 1878, Encyclopaedia Britannica, 9th ed., "Badnur":
      There is a good sarái or inn for native travellers, and a dák bangalow or resting-place for Europeans.
    • 1888, Rudyard Kipling, "My Own True Ghost Story", The Phantom 'Rickshaw and other Eerie Tales, page 34:
      Seeing that a fair proportion of the tragedy of our lives out here acted itself in dâk-bungalows, I wondered that I had met no ghosts. A ghost that would voluntarily hang about a dâk-bungalow would have to be mad course; but so many men have died mad in dâk-bungalows, that there must be a fair percentage of lunatic ghosts.
    • 1924, EM Forster, A Passage to India, Penguin 2005, p. 229:
      The Dak Bungalow of Chandrapore was below the average, and certainly servantless.
    • 1934, George Orwell, chapter 2, in Burmese Days[1]:
      The life of the Anglo-Indian officials is not all jam. In comfortless camps, in sweltering offices, in gloomy dakbungalows smelling of dust and earth-oil, they earn, perhaps, the right to be a little disagreeable.