This week, The Musafir Stories speaks with Tanisha Guin - a traveller who enjoys slow travelling to offbeat destinations and blogs at www.stepsandstreets.com
Today's destination: Mirik, West Bengal
Nearest Airport: Bagdogra Airport, IXB
Nearest Railway Station: Jalpaiguri Railway station, NJP
Prerequisites - N/A
Packing - Pack light, carry some warm clothes!
Time of the year - March - November
Length of the itinerary: 3-7 days
Mirk is a hill station located in West Bengal, located close to the Nepal border and is popular for the local markets, monasteries, tea estates, orange orchards, monasteries and some warm local folk!
Tanisha and her family set out on a slow and laid-back trip to Mirik with the aim of absorbing the vibe and warmth of the border town, spending time with the locals, understanding history, flora, fauna, tea estates and much more.
The family decided to stay with a local family at their homestay to get the most out of the trip. The group starts its itinerary with a visit to the popular Sumendu lake or Mirik lake - a manmade lake built out of a marsh land and is one of the popular tourist spots of the town.
There are also several viewpoints as one approaches the town, given its strategic location and being situated at a height. The more popular viewpoints are Tingling view point, Simana viewpoint.
In addition to viewpoints there are several tea estates one can visit, the popular ones being Gopaldhara, Goldricks, Thurbo, Okayti, Signbulli among others.
Apart from the tea estates, the area is also popular for orange orchards, the most popular one being Pahilo gaon and Soureni. There are several hikes one can take, most of them unnamed and leading to neighbouring villages.
Once the group has had their fill of nature, many of the experiences being recommended by the homestay host, other options include visiting the nearby Bokar Monastery.
The colourful monastery, painted in bright red and filled with several paintings, referred to as the Thangka paintings is a blissful sight to behold. The monks are very friendly in nature and a visit during the early hours of the day or evenings, one can catch the daily prayers.
Another very popular activity among the tourists is a visit to the Mirik Bazar or Mirik market. The market is the commercial hub of Mirik and one can pick up a variety of things ranging from souvenirs, stoles, woollen clothes, bags, stoles, sweaters, tea, potteries and handicrafts.
Another popular market is right across the Nepalese market, Pashupatinagar market. The border crossing can be done on foot and Indian nationals only need a photo ID to cross over.
The homestay not only gives an authentic experience of the local sights and sounds but also provides a taste of local flavour and food. Make sure to try out the hot and spicy chillies while in Mirik!
Link to Tanisha’s blog post on Mirikt: https://traveltear.com/why-you-should-visit-offbeat-town-of-mirik-in-west-bengal/3163/
Link to Tanisha’s blog: https://stepsandstreets.com
Link to Tanisha’s Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/stepsandstreets/
Link to Tanisha’s facebook: https://www.facebook.com/stepsandstreets19/
Image Tanisha Guin - www.stepsandstreets.com
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