Mirik Meaning "Place Burnt By Fire"
Mirik is a tourist spot located in the hills of Darjeeling district in West Bengal, India. It is the headquarters of Mirik subdivision. The name Mirik comes from the Lepcha words Mir-Yok meaning "place burnt by fire".
Mirik has become a tourist destination for its climate, natural environment and easy accessibility. The centre of all attraction is Sumendu Lake, surrounded by a garden named Savitri Pushpaudyan (after Savitri Thapa, a martyr soldier of INA) on one side and pine trees on the other, linked together by an arching footbridge called Indreni Pool (named after Indreni Thapa, a martyr soldier of INA). 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 horse riding are available.
Geography and climate
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.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.
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.
Mirik became the subdivisional headquarters of Mirik subdivision on 30 March 2017.
Tourist Sites & Sightseeing Tours
- 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 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 be seen from here.
- Tea Gardens - A number of tea gardens produce Darjeeling tea specially Thurbo, Soureni, Gopaldhara, Singbulli, Okayti and Phuguri are located in and around Mirik.
- Manjushree Park - 20 mins drive from Mirik. Suitable for children and peace-seekers.
- Orange Orchards - Mirik is known 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 several home-stay facilities are available.
- Pashupatinagar - This border market with Nepal is a commercial center for trade in clothes, electronic and household goods.
- Don Bosco Church- It is located near Don Bosco School. One of the bigger Catholic churches of Darjeeling district.
- Mirik Church (UCNI) - This is the oldest Church in Mirik, situated at Deosay Dara, Ward No. IV, Mirik. The church building being erected in 1962 while the house church (fellowship) started some eight decade ago. The same old building still exists today. The church remains open everyday for everyone. While English Service starts at 9:30 am Sunday followed by Nepali Service at 11:00 am onwards. The Church is in close relationship with Darjeeling Hills Bible School (DHBS) which the first school offering theological training in nepali language since 1954. Through many decades Mirik Church and Darjeeling Hills Bible School have being continuously contributing evangelism in Nepali Speaking Community.
- Darjeeling Hills Bible School (DHBS) -
- Swiss Cottage (also known as Motel) - An exotic lodging at the highest altitude of Mirik, far from the crowds of the town.
- Sunrise Point - 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.
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