Sarat Chandra Das (1849−1917) was born in Chittagong in East Bengal, now a part of Bangladesh, and studied civil engineering. In 1874 he was appointed headmaster of a school in Darjeeling; he was also a spy and adventurer, a linguist and Buddhist scholar. As a spy, he went to Lhasa twice—in 1879 for six months and in 1881 for fourteen months. The reports he wrote during these expeditions were published in 1902 as Journey to Lhasa. Other than this travelogue, Das wrote spiritual and scholarly tracts and compiled a dictionary of the Tibetan language.
His house, Lhasa Villa, still stands in Darjeeling today.