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About Mirik

Mirik is a picturesque tourist spot nestled in the serene hills of Darjeeling district in West Bengal, India. The name Mirik comes from the Lepcha words Mir-Yok meaning "place burnt by fire".

Mirik has become a popular tourist destination for its climate, natural beauty and easy accessibility. The centre of all attraction is the Sumendu lake, surrounded by a garden on one side and pine trees on the other and linked together by an arching footbridge called Indreni Pull (Rainbow Bridge). A 3.5-km-long road encircles the lake and is used for walks with the view of Kangchenjunga on the far horizon. Boating on the quaint shikaras and pony riding are available.

History of Mirik

Mirik Bazar began a commercial centre of the region where people from the surrounding villages and tea gardens came to trade and buy their necessities. The present lake area was a marshland with thick growth of sweet flag (Acorus calamus, locally called bojho). A playground stood in the present garden area where the British officers played polo. In 1969, the West Bengal tourism department began the process of acquiring 335 acres of land from the neighbouring Thurbo tea estate. The work of developing this land into a tourist spot began in 1974 when Siddhartha Shankar Ray was the chief minister of West Bengal. The tourist spot, which included the newly built lake and the Day Centre, was inaugurated by the next chief minister of West Bengal, Jyoti Basu, in April 1979. With the flourishing of tourism, Krishnanagar developed on the other end of the lake with hotels and restaurants catering to tourists.

Geography of Mirik

Mirik has an average elevation of 1,495 m (4,905 ft). The highest point is the Boker Monastery at about 1,768 m (5,801 ft). Mirik lake at about 1,494 m (4,902 ft) is the lowest point. Mirik is 52 km (32 mi) northwest of Siliguri city and 49 km (30 mi) south-southwest of Darjeeling town.

Climate of Mirik

The climate is pleasant almost all the year round with temperatures of a maximum of 30 °C in summer and a minimum of 1 °C in winter.

Demographics of Mirik

The 2011 Census of India recorded a population of 11513 in Mirik Notified Area (i.e., urban unit). 5688 were males and 5825 were females. Mirik rural area (under gram panchayats) recorded a total population of 46374. Males numbered 23394 and females 22980.

Healthcare in Mirik

There is a government hospital at Mirik with six general physicians and one dentist. There are no specialist doctors but there is an optometrician. There are two medical shops at Krishnanagar and one pathological lab cum optical shop. There are few more medicine shops at Mirik Bazar.

Transportation in Mirik

Mirik is 52 km (32 mi) northwest of Siliguri city and 49 km (30 mi) south-southwest of Darjeeling town.

Bagdogra (IATA airport code IXB) 52 km (32 mi) south of Mirik is the nearest airport and New Jalpaiguri adjacent to Siliguri is the nearest railway station.

Few buses ply from Mirik to Siliguri and Darjeeling and the fare is Rs. 70. Shared taxis operate from Mirik to Siliguri, Darjeeling, Kurseong, Kakarivitta (Nepal), Sonada, and Kalimpong. The fare is Rs. 100 for Siliguri, Kurseong and Darjeeling (2014) and Rs 120 for Kakarvitta and Sonada (2014) per passenger. One can hire a taxi at a cost of Rs. 1200 to 1600 for Darjeeling, Kurseong, Siliguri and Kakarivitta. Shared taxis also operate from Darjeeling, Siliguri, Kurseong, Sonada and Kakarivitta to Mirik. Shared taxis are operated from Mirik by Mirik Tours & Travels (Krishnanagar). Taxis are available for internal transportation within Mirik to travel from Mirik Lake (Krishnanagar) to Mirik Bazar at Rs. 15 per head.

Tourism in Mirik

Sumendu Lake - It is the heart of Mirik. There is an 80-ft (24-m) long footbridge over the lake. One can boat in the lake or take a horse ride around the lake.

Rameetay Dara - A viewpoint near the town from where one can see the surrounding mountains and the vast plains below.

Bokar Monastery - It is located on the way to Rameetay Dara and is famous as a Buddhist meditation center.

Rai Dhap - Source of drinking water for Mirik and a picnic spot.

Debisthan - A temple of a Hindu goddess located on a hillock near the Sumendu lake.

Tingling View Point - A panoramic view of the tea gardens can been seen from here.

Tea Gardens - A number of tea gardens producing the famous Darjeeling tea are located in and around Mirik.

Orange Orchards - Mirik is famous for its high-quality oranges.  These are grown in Mirik Busty, Murmah and Soureni Busty.

Orchids - Mirik has one of the best climate for a typical orchid called Cymbidium orchids, which fetches one of the highest prices in the world flower markets. One such Cymbidium orchid garden is "Darjeeling Gardens Pvt. Ltd." located in Rato Mate in Mirik.

Bunkulung (Jayanti Nagar) - Ecotourism is being promoted here and home-stay facilities are available here. Rangbhang Homestay, Mirik Busty also promotes eco-tourism.

Pasupati Nagar - This border market with Nepal is a commercial center for trade in clothes, electronic and household goods.

Don Bosco Church, Mirik - It is located near Don Bosco School. One of the most beautiful and one of the bigger catholic church of Darjeeling district.

Sunrise Point - Scenic views of the sun rising in the east and its reflection on Kanchanjunga in the north. The plains of North Bengal can also be seen from here.

Darjeeling Hills Bible School - Situated at Deosay Dara, Mirik Darjeeling Hills Bible School is the oldest bible school in Eastern Himalayan Region. One of the beautiful places for holding seminars, conferences, etc.

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