MIRIK TOURISM | TOURIST PLACES TO VISIT & TRAVEL GUIDE TO MIRIK
#6 of 9 Places to visit in West Bengal
Ideal Trip Duration: Full Day
Nearest City to Mirik: Guwahati (517 Kms), Siliguri (50 Kms)
Best Time to Visit Mirik: March to May & September to December
Peak Season: March to May
At a distance of 35 km from Kurseong, 44 km from Darjeeling, 50 km from Siliguri, 100 km from Kalimpong, 130 km from Pelling, 147 km from Gangtok, 517 km from Guwahati and 591 km from Kolkata, Mirik is a small hill town located in the Darjeeling district of West Bengal. Situated at an altitude of 4,905 feet, Mirik is one of the popular tourist places in West Bengal and among the best places to visit near Darjeeling.
Nestled in the serene hills of Darjeeling district, Mirik is known for its pleasant climate, natural beauty and easy accessibility. The name Mirik comes from two Lepcha words Mir-Yok which means 'place burnt by fire'. The town is dominated by the large Sumendu Lake or Mirik Lake. The southern part of the lake is the tourist town where almost all the hotels are located while the northern part of the lake is more local and in the Northernmost fringe is the crowded Mirik market.
Like Darjeeling, Mirik also used to be a favourite place for the British in India. The open field on the eastern bank of the Mirik Lake was used as a polo field by the British. 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 Jyoti Basu, in 1979.
Mirik is perfect for travellers who are looking for unexplored places away from the maddening crowd. The main attraction of Mirik is Sumendu Lake which is surrounded by a garden named Savitri Pushpaudyan on one side and pine trees on the other, with a footbridge called Indreni Pull connecting the two sides. A 3.5 km long road runs around the lake and is popular among morning walkers. Sumendu Lake also offers boating facilities in shikaras and some stunning views of the Kanchenjunga. Don Bosco Church, Bokar Monastery and Tingling View Point are the other popular places to visit in Mirik. Mirik is also famous for its tea estates, orange orchards and cardamom plantations.
Bagdogra Airport, Siliguri is the nearest airport, which is about 50 km from Mirik and has well connected flights from Kolkata, Guwahati and New Delhi. New Jalpaiguri Junction at Siliguri is the nearest railhead which is about 54 km from Mirik. It is well connected by train with Patna, New Delhi, Mumbai, Guwahati, Bangalore, Agartala, Kamakhya, Dibrugarh, Puri, Gaya, Indore, Jaipur, Kolkata, Amritsar, Chennai, Chandigarh, Ranchi, Bhubaneswar, Cochin and Agartala. Mirik is well connected by bus with Kurseong, Darjeeling, Siliguri, Kalimpong, Gangtok etc. Taxis, private cars, shared jeeps and tourist mini coaches are also the common vehicles to reach Mirik from the major towns of West Bengal. Siliguri is the nearest major bus station which has direct buses from Kolkata, Darbhanga, Guwahati and Patna.
There are several accommodation options available in Mirik ranging from budget to deluxe hotels and resorts to home stays. Majority of the hotels are located in the Krishnanagar area of Mirik. The DGHC (Darjeeling Gorkha Hill Council) operates a motel atop the hill near the helipad and a tourist lodge near the lake.
The best time to visit Mirik is from March to May and from September to December when the temperature is pleasantly cool and the sky is usually clear offering lovely views of Kanchenjunga snow peaks.