|Elevation||1,495 m (4,905 ft)|
|• Official||Nepali, Hindi, English|
|Time zone||IST (UTC+5:30)|
|Lok Sabha constituency||Darjeeling|
|Vidhan Sabha constituency||Kurseong|
Mirik (Nepali: मिरिक) 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.
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 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 all the year round with temperatures of a maximum of 30 °C in summer and a minimum of 1 °C in winter.
As per the 2001 India census, Mirik (urban unit) had a total population of 9141. Males numbered 4619 and females 4522. Mirik had an average literacy rate of 74%, higher than the national average of 59.5%. The density of population was 1406 per square km. The decadal growth rate of population (1991–2001) was 30.18. Mirik (rural unit) had a total population of 42237. Males numbered 21112 and females 21125. The density of population was 354 per square km. The decadal growth rate of population (1991–2001) was -1.33.
Administration and health care
Mirik is a community development block in the Kurseong subdivision of Darjeeling district. The urban hub at Mirik is looked after by a Municipality with nine wards while the outlying villages is taken care of by six Gram Panchayats: Chenga Panighata, Pahilagaon School Dara–I, Pahilagaon School Dara–II, Soureni–I, Soureni–II and Duptin. There is long-standing demand for making Mirik a separate subdivision in Darjeeling district. A Taluka Court, which has a Civil Judge and a Judicial Magistrate, operates 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.
As per order of the Delimitation Commission in respect of the delimitation of constituencies in West Bengal, the whole area under Kurseong subdivision, viz. Kurseong municipality, Mirik municipality (http://mirikmunicipality.org), Kurseong block and Mirik block will be part of the Kurseong Assembly Constituency of West Bengal. Kurseong Assembly Constituency is an assembly segment of the Darjeeling Lok Sabha Constituency.
Mirik is 52 km (32 mi) northwest of Siliguri city and 49 km (30 mi) south-southwest of Darjeeling town.
Few buses ply from Mirik to Siliguri and Darjeeling. Shared taxis operate from Mirik to Siliguri and the fare was Rs. 80 (2012) per passenger. One can hire a taxi at a cost of Rs. 800 to 1200. Shared taxis also operate from Darjeeling Motor Stand to Krishnanagar, Mirik (just beside the Mirik Lake) and the fare is the same. It is operated by Mirik Tour & Travels. Shared taxis are available for internal transportation within Mirik to travel from Mirik Lake to Mirik Bazar at Rs. 5 per head.
Mirik Bazar, Thana Line, Krishnanagar, Dewsidara, Thurbo, Mirik Busty and Byapari Golai are some localities in Mirik where accommodation is available for tourists. However, the majority of the hotels and restaurants are in the Krishnanagar area of Mirik. DGHC (a government agency) operates a motel at a hilltop near the helipad at Allay and a tourist lodge located near the lake. There are other good hotels in Krishnanagar such as Jagjeet, Sadbhavna, Ratnagiri, Mhelung, The Park Hotel, Viraz, Parijat and Blue Lagoon. There are some hotels in Mirik Bazar such as Boudi Hotel and Hotel Payal. There are many lodges and private guest houses such as Nigha, Ashirvad and Buddha. There is a beautiful Forest Rest House in Mirik that can be booked from the District Forest Office, Kurseong. There is also a PWD (Public Works Department) Inspection Bungalow near the lake that can be booked from Siliguri PWD office. Rangbhang Homestay is the first homestay in the Mirik Valley and offers one of a kind experience.
There are numerous eateries catering to different tastes. Kolkata Hotel serves pure Bengali food. T Plus is an ideal fast food center. Geetanjali Nepali Hotel and Hills Restaurant are other restaurants. There are some foreign liquor off-shops and bars. Hotel Lohit Sagar and Tejashwee Fast Food serves pure vegetarian food, including South Indian dishes. There is a departmental store for foodstuffs and soft drinks attached to Mirik petrol pump. Near the lake, there are many food stalls that serve fast food.
- 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 panaromic 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.
- Mirik Church - It is located near Don Bosco School.One of the most beautiful and one of the bigger catholic church of Darjeeling district.
- Swiss Cottage (also known as Motel) - an exotic lodging at the highest altitude of Mirik, far from the crowds of the town.
- 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.
Banks and Financial Institutions
There are four banks in Mirik, namely, State Bank of India (branch code: 7336) (Krishnanagar), United Bank of India (Krishnanagar), Central Bank of India (Mirik Bazar) and Uttar Banga Kshetriya Gramin Bikash Bank (Soureni Bazar, 6 km on the way to Siliguri). There are three ATMs, one of SBI, one of HDFC Bank and one of Axis Bank, all located at Krishnanagar.
Other financial institutes like Postal Savings, NABARD, Bandhan Finance, Customer Service Points of private financial institutions are available.
High schools and colleges
- Brindavan Boarding School ( English Medium )
- Orange Lake School (English medium) ICSE and ISC
- Lewis English School (English medium) ICSE
- Don Bosco School (English medium) Madhyamik (WBBSE)
- Mirik Higher Secondary School (English medium) Madhyamik (WBBSE) and Higher Secondary (WBCHSE); Vocational Education Travel and Tourism course (affiliated to W.B.S.C.V.E.T.)
- Soureni Rabindranath High School (Nepali medium) Madhyamik (WBBSE) and HS (WBCHSE)
- Phuguri High School (Nepali medium) Madhyamik (WBBSE) and HS (WBCHSE)
- Woodland Academy (English medium) ICSE
- Glenmore International School (English medium) ICSE
- Pine Hall Academy, Soureni (English medium) ICSE
- Temple of Wisdom, Soureni (English medium) ICSE
- Green Lawn School, Soureni (English medium) ICSE
- Thurbo High School, 9th Mile (Nepali medium) Madhayamik (WBBSE) and HS (WBCHSE)
- Cambridge English School (English medium) ICSE
- Rasdal Gaon Junior High School (English medium) Madhayamik (WBBSE)
- Murmah Prem Sundar High School (Nepali medium) Madhayamik (WBBSE)
- Sophies Academy (Nepali and English medium), Secondary and Senior Secondary (NIOS)
- Snowdrops School CBSE
- Mirik College (affiliated to North Bengal University)
- SikkimInfo, About Mirik.
- West Bengal Census, Census of India 2001.
- Mirik Factfile, Jagjeet Hotel.
- Darjeeling Forum, Sumendu Lake History.
- Ven. Bokar Rinpoche, Bokar Monastery.
- Darjeeling News, Mirik oranges.
- Rato Mate, Darjeeling Gardens Pvt. Ltd.
- Shopping at Pasupati, Pasupati Travel.
- Glenmore Int. School, Glenmore International School.
- Information of Mirik from The Park Hotel
- Mirik Travel Information
- Information of Mirik from Jagjeet Hotel
- Hotel Ratnagiri
- Don Bosco School
- Glenmore School
- Eco-Tourism at Rangbhang Homestay