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- Hill Stations in West India
Overview of Mirik
According to Lepcha community people, Mirik means a place which emanates a burnt smell due to fire. Situated remotely within the foggy hills of the scenic district of Darjeeling in the Indian state of West Bengal, Mirik is known all over the country for its breath-taking Sumendu Lake. There are marvellous pine trees all around the lake and a bridge by the name Rainbow Bridge that runs over the lake. A road that stretches for 3.5km around this lake is an ideal spot for walking. Nepali, Hindi and English are widely spoken by people residing in Mirik. This beautiful place stands at 1495m or around 4905 feet above sea level and is one of the biggest tourist destinations in West Bengal.
History of the place
What is now a big tourist spot was once just a bazaar that sold the essential things needed for one’s household. The spectacular Sumendu Lake was just an empty ground which the British rulers used for their golfing activities. It was only during 1969 that the Tourism department of West Bengal took some initiatives to increase tourist inflow into Mirik. The Thurbo tea estate that was quite close to Mirik was the key factor behind this place being a sought after tourist destination. This estate lent around 335 acres to Mirik during 1969, post which work started in full-swing to remodel this place completely. It was only during 1979 that all the renovation work was completed and the CM of West Bengal during that time, Jyoti Basu inaugurated Mirik as a full-fledged tourist destination.
Mirik that stands at 4905 feet above sea level is inclined 26.88 degrees towards the North and 88.18 degrees towards the East geographically. The place is very cool during winters, with temperatures dipping to below than zero degrees Celsius during winter seasons.
How to reach and local modes of transport
Air – Bagdogra Airport which is around 27km far from Mirik is the nearest airport available. This airport has a lot of flights that connect it with almost all the major cities in East India and rest of the country.
Rail – Bagdogra and New Jalpaiguri railway stations which are located at a distance of 25km and 34km respectively from Mirik are the nearest big railway junctions.
Road – Buses run by Bengal State Transport Department and private sector operators ply frequently between Mirik and other important cities in East India. Big cities like Kurseong, Siliguri, Darjeeling, Kalimpong, Rumtek and Gangtok are located at a distance of 40m, 46km, 60km, 88km, 105km, 151km and 153km respectively.
Local modes of transport – Taxis and cars are available on hire for travelling in Mirik. Local cabs and pony rides are some of the most preferred option for commuting within Mirik.
Attractions and Things to do in Mirik
Sumendu Lake is a place that one cannot miss when they come to Mirik. The road that is 3.5km long is a perfect place to indulge in some physical exercises like walking and jogging. Pine, Oak and Chestnut trees that are grown in large numbers all around the lake increase the beauty of the lake. Many tourists enjoy the quietness of the lake and have a relaxing time with their families on the shores of the lake. Bokar Chockor Ling Monastery is another important place in Mirik that attracts lots of tourists. This Tibetan monastery is well-known for its architecture and paintings. One can see many Buddhists meditating within the peaceful premises of the monastery.
The Pasupati Market in Darjeeling is a place that needs to be visited by tourists who love shopping for the local specialities. Paddle boating, pony riding, trekking and shopping are few activities that tourists can indulge in when they are in Mirik.
Where to eat in Mirik and what are the local delicacies
There are quite a few options for tourists for eating while visiting Mirik. Some of these places serve pure vegetarian food whereas some specialise in authentic Bengali cuisine and South Indian food as well. Shivam Restaurant, Kolkata Hotel, Hills Restaurant, Gitanjali Nepali hotel and Lalit Sagar Hotel are some good places to eat in Mirik. Freshly cooked green vegetables with local fish and meat are the special dishes of Mirik.
Where to stay in Mirik
Jagjeet Hotel and Restaurant & Bar are a couple of 2-star hotels in Mirik for the comfort of the tourists. Ratnagiri Hotel, Viraj Hotel and Sadhbhavana Hotel are some of the budget hotels available for tourists to choose from.
STD, PIN code and Emergency Numbers in Mirik
The STD and PIN codes of Mirik are 0354 and 734214 respectively. The emergency contact numbers of Mirik Police, Mariam Hospital, Eden Hospital and Tourism Board Office are 2443226, 2254637, 2252784 and 222488271 respectively.
Banks, Hospitals and Tourist Information Centre
1 - State Bank of India
North 24, Paraganas district,
Mirik – 734214
Ph: 0354 2243255
2 - Central Bank of India
Darjeeling District, Mirik – 734214
Ph: 0354 2443068
Hill Council of Darjeeling Gorkha
Silver Fir, Bhanu Sarani
Darjeeling district – 734214
Ph: 0354 2254879
Hospitals in Mirik
1 - Dr. Nayak Nursing Home Private Limited
Sevore Road, Mile No.2, Siliguri district – 734401
Ph: 0353 2548890
2 - Anandlok Medical Centre
Siliguri, Hill Cart Road, Darjeeling district,