Close to Darjeeling, the quaint town of Mirik in West Bengal is perfect for a summer escape for an offbeat traveller. Nestled in the heart of rolling hills and a lake gleefully running through the town, Mirik has a charming ambiance. Like Darjeeling, Mirik is a favourite among the mountain loving people of India.

The most stunning attraction of the city is Sumendu Lake, especially if boating is one of your favourite activities. However, swimming is not recommended here. The arched bridge over the lake, the glimmering water, the rising peaks in the background and the Dhupi trees all around make this lake a peaceful haven for travellers. You can choose to sit in the garden perched at the eastern bank or even go horse-riding along the lake.

Arguably, the hills have the most beautiful churches. The one that you shouldn’t miss is the Don Bosco Church, a gorgeous Roman Catholic church with brilliant structural design. Interestingly, Don Bosco Church is located in such a strategic manner that it can be spotted from anywhere in the town.

 
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Located at the highest point of Mirik, Bokar Monastery is a must visit if you want a full view of Mirik from an elevation. With the gilded statue of the Buddha at its heart, Bokar Monastery takes pride in being one of the most pretty Buddhist monasteries in India. There are a few sunrise and sunset points close to the monastery, that too afford gorgeous panoramic views of the town of Mirik.

If you go during the season when oranges bloom in the orchards, you’ll have the best experience of your life. Then there are the tea gardens that produce Darjeeling tea especially Thurbo, Soureni, Gopaldhara, Singbulli, Okayti and Phuguri located in and around Mirik. You must visit them on a trip here; or else head to Tingling View Point, if you wish to look at the tea gardens from a height.