Mirik

 14-Apr-2022


Morning, Divyesh felt lazy to travel. So, I decided to go to Mirik alone. I am always happy to travel alone. I went to the bus station and enquired about the bus to Mirik. I learnt that the bus would leave at 7:40AM. I wondered if it would be practical to wait for the bus. As this was a day trip, I would loose a lot of time waiting and then traveling in the bus. So, I decided to take a shared taxi. 

At the taxi stand, behind the bus station, I booked a seat in a Bolero. The driver was waiting for the taxi to be filled. After almost 30 minutes or even more, the taxi finally was full and ready to leave. Ticket price from Siliguri to Mirik on a shared taxi is Rs200 per person. 


The taxi prices have gone up recently because Petrol and Diesel prices in the country have sky-rocketed. At West Bengal, the price for one litre of petrol was Rs 114.8 and Diesel was sold at Rs99.53 per litre. 


A couple sat next to me. Their friend had come to see them off. While leaving, he asked them to be careful and call him if they found themselves in any kind of trouble. To that the driver responded to the couple - Oh there is nothing to worry! Go anywhere during daytime, but not at night. That cracked me up. 


While buses to Mirik are few, there are several buses to Darjeeling and it is the cheapest way to get there. The transport system in Siliguri is really good and as I have mentioned in my earlier post, people are honest and helpful too. The only thing that I did not appreciate, was the lack of cleanliness. Garbage was thrown almost everywhere. People are good but they need constant reminder on cleanliness. 


As soon as the taxi exited Siliguri city limits, we found ourselves midst tea plantations. 


As we proceeded further, the scene changed to a hill terrain. After almost 1.5 hours or maybe 2 hours of drive, we finally reached Mirik. My first stop was at Bokar monastery, which is located up a small hill. 


The road to the monastery was filled with beautiful houses with their front yard embellished with gladiolus, rose, geranium and gerbera and dahlia flowers. The valley below was covered in mist and the sight was absolutely mystical. 


The mist had also covered the Bokar monastery. Inside, the monks were seated in a row to perform their morning prayers. The chanting of mantras and the loud sound made by the drums filled me with an inexpressible, overpowering feeling. I sat there quietly for a while, observing. The monks took a short break in between. Tibetan bread and soup were served to them as breakfast. 

I stepped out and explored the surroundings. The location was perfect and the setting, idyllic. This place reminded me of  my first ever solo backpacking trip in 2006 to a Tibetan settlement in Bylakuppe. After having spent almost 2 hours, I hesitantly decided to continue my journey. 

Outside the monastery, I stopped at a restaurant to check if they still served breakfast. Unfortunately, they did not. But the owner was kind enough to make a tea specially for me. I was delighted. After all, a tea was all I needed at that time. 


I walked down the hill and turned right, towards town centre. Mirik is a very small place and the town centre is hardly a kilometre long. And that is what makes it beautiful. If I stayed here any longer, I would know each and every shop and perhaps some of those owners. 


I walked directly to the lake. There are two lakes here - Mirik lake and Sumendu lake. However, they are kind of connected though.

By the lake, tourists had gathered in numbers. People were boating, riding horse or sitting by the lake. I walked to the other side of the lake for some great views of the town and the hills behind. I picked a nice spot to sit and sketch. 


But I could not continue my sketching for a long time as I was terribly hungry. I realised that I had not eaten since last night. So, I began walking back towards the other side of the lake. On my way, I did take a detour to visit a small temple uphill. 

When I reached the other side of the lake, I was confused with the number of options I had to eat. There are a lot of restaurants offering all kinds of food. From a distance, I observed an old lady, neatly and meticulously, roll the momo dough and stuff it in with a scoop of minced meat that she had carefully set aside in a bowl. She reminded me of my late aunt, from whom I had learnt the discipline involved in cooking. I decided to go eat at her small store and I was not disappointed at all. The Veg momos and Veg Thupka I had there were absolutely delicious. By the end of my meal, the Thupka bowl looked neatly wiped. 

Back in town, I stopped at a small cafe to drink some cold coffee. After that, at around 1:45 PM, I walked to the taxi stand where a shared taxi was waiting for its last passenger. I got in and we left immediately.


I wish I had more time to spend in Mirik. It is not a place you would visit in a rush. Mirik needs to be experienced when the tourists have left, as the town returns to its reality - without the noise and the activities. Here, you would want to relax or leisurely walk, observing the lifestyle; sit in a cafe and sketch or perhaps read a book. That’s for next time!


Back in Siliguri, Divyesh and I went to Open tea house Cafe for an early dinner. I had a Veg burger. The food was okay. Next, we bought a power bank for the trek. I already had one, but I realised that I might need another. We stopped at Koality sweets & snacks to have some yummy rashagolla and Misthi Dohi. This is my favourite sweet store in Siliguri. 


Since Divyesh wanted to go to Vega circle mall, we headed there to do some window shopping before heading back to the hotel. The next day, we were leaving from Siliguri and heading up north to Sikkim. 



Comments

  1. Thanks for the interesting travelogue. Another thanks for sharing these beautiful photos.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hello Ajeya, i visited after blog after one year, in one go red all you posts. I have one query, for landscape photography what Lens you using photos very good. Just tell me your digital gears you carry while traveling.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello Deepak. Thank you. I am glad you caught up.
      I use an iphone 12 now to click pictures and capture videos for my vlog. Until last month, it was an iphone 8. It has been more than 4 years that I have not used my DSLR.

      Delete

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