The occupation of Assam in 1826 brought the British into close contacts with the mountain state of Bhutan. Frequent raids by Bhutanese into adjoining territories in Assam and Bengal and the bad treatment meted out to Elgin’s envoy in 1863-64 and the treaty imposed on him, by which the British were forced to surrender the passes leading to Assam, led to British annexation of these passes and the stopping of allowance paid to the Bhutanese. In 1865, the Bhutanese were forced to surrender the passes in return for an annual subsidy. It was the surrendered district which became a productive area with tea gardens.
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