Mirik is a picturesque tourist spot nestled in the serene hills of Darjeeling district in West Bengal, India. The name Mirik comes from theLepcha 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. 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. Mirik is 52 km (32 mi) northwest of Siliguri city and 49 km (30 mi) south-southwest of Darjeeling town. Bagdogra (IATA airport code IXB) 52 km (32 mi) south of Mirik is the nearest airport and New Jalpaiguri adjacent to Siliguri is the nearest railway station. 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.