Mirik floating market sets sails again

Mirik floating market sets sails again
Kolkata: The West Bengal Khadi and Village Industries Board (WBKVIB) has provided a unique platform for the hill artisans to showcase and sell their handicrafts including woollens in the form of a renovated floating market at the Mirik Lake in Darjeeling. The market that started its journey from Saturday has already begun to witness good footfall. The floating market that was set up on the lake in 2018, was completely destroyed in August last year by a devastating storm.

It was Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee who had formally inaugurated the floating market from the venue of the Hill Business summit held in March 2018. The market has been remodelled in a manner so that it can withstand similar natural disasters. "We have taken steps to assemble a plethora of handicrafts items that are used for decorative purpose and a variety of woollen items like sweaters, jackets, gloves, socks, carpets etc, under the umbrella of the Mirik floating market. There will be 4 to 5 shopkeepers who will be catering to the customers," said Mrityunjoy

Bandyopadhyay, CEO of WBKVIB. The hills are famous for the weaving of Tibetan woollen carpets. The wool for the same is spun by the Tibetan women of Darjeeling on the traditional spinning wheels known as Chassba. Generally, bold colours and geometric patterns are used. The most common of all carpets is the dun a small bedside carpet which has up to sixty knots to a square inch. Traditional craftsmen prepare the sculptural model of a bronze figure using direct wax for each bronze figure. They are also skilled at making beautiful cane baskets of various designs and shapes which have multiple uses. Darjeeling tea, honey and oranges will also be available at the floating market.

People visiting Darjeeling hardly miss the opportunity to spend some time in and around Mirik Lake. The lake is surrounded by a garden on one side and pine trees on the other, linked together by an arching footbridge. A 3.5-km-long road encircles the lake and is used for walks with the view of Kanchenjunga on the far horizon. Boating on the quaint boats and horse riding options are also available. The WBKVIB has signed an MoU with a private agency which will be responsible for the supervision of the floating market. The Mirik municipality has extended full support to WBKVIB for this initiative. "We are hopeful that the tourists visiting the lake will surely be attracted by this market," a senior WBKVIB official said.

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The West Bengal Khadi and Village Industries Board (WBKVIB) has provided a unique platform for the hill artisans to showcase and sell their handicrafts including woollens in the form of a renovated floating market at the Mirik Lake in Darjeeling

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