Monday, July 22, 2024

Tourism      Pilgrim Centers      Ashram/Maths      West Bengal     Birbhum    


Place : Bolpur in the Birbhum district, West Bengal
Significance : A famous tourist destination in West Bengal
Timings : 1430 to 1730 hours
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Santiniketan is a small town in West Bengal, near Bolpur in the Birbhum district, which is 180 km from Kolkata. A famous tourist destination in West Bengal, this was a vision of the famous Bengali poet and Nobel Laureate, Rabindranath Tagore. He wrote many of his literary classics here. A serene, artistic and culturally rich secluded environment, it attracts many talented students from all India and other foreign countries.

Santiniketan has a distinct culture and heritage of its own which can be experienced in the various festivals it celebrates like Poush Mela, Basantotsava and Rabindra Jayanti.

Shantiniketan was previously called Bhubandanga, named after Bhuban Sinha. This area was gifted from the Sinha family to the Tagore family. Rabindranath's father, Maharshi Debendranath Tagore, found it and renamed it Santiniketan. He found it mainly due to the attraction of the natural beauty and calmness of the area. Shantiniketan means peaceful (shanti) abode (niketan). He formed a trust in 1863 for running the Santhiniketan. He entrusted the new trust with the task of arranging a fair, Paush Mela, with a primary aim of propagating a new religious faith known as Brahmo Dharmo. Presently the major celebration in Santhiniketan and a major attraction for tourists is this Paush Mela, conducted every year in December.

In 1901 Rabindranath Tagore started an experimental place of learning with a 'class room' under the trees, and a group of five pupils. This class room that he started later became the 'Vishva Bharati University in 1921.

It has the paintings of Rabindranath and Nandalal Bose and sculptures of Ramkinkar.

Now known as 'University Town' attracts pupil from all over the world and aspires to be a spiritual meeting ground in a serene environment. It has the faculties in all major disciplines like humanities, agriculture, cottage industries, Indian Music and Drama, performing arts, Philosophy, Sanskrit and art. An interesting feature of this university is that the sculptures, paintings, murals and frescoes are found around the campus. It has the paintings of Rabindranath and Nandalal Bose and sculptures of Ramkinkar.

Apart from the University, some places that attract visitors at Saantiniketan include the Udayana, Tagore's residence, Chhatimtala, where Rabindranath Tagor's father Maharsi Debendranath used to meditate under the shade of Chatim tree and got its name due to the many Chhatim trees here, rose garden created by Tagore, . Other places of interest are the Upasana Griha, Dehali, Kala Bhavan, Mrinali, China Bhavan, Santiniketan Griha, Shyamali, Sriniketan, Black House,Nippon Bhavan, etc.

Visiting Time:
Winter:- 1400 to 1630 hours
Summer:- 1430 to 1730 hours.
During vacations:- 0730 to 1100 hours.

For taking photos permission is needed from the Public Relations Officer, Vishwa Bharati.