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Discover Santiniketan

Description

Santiniketan, located in the Birbhum district of West Bengal, India, is a small town near Bolpur nearly 3 hours from Kolkata. Established by Maharshi Devendra Nath Tagore, Santiniketan was expanded by his son, the famous Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore whose vision transformed it into a university town, the Visva Bharati University. Founded as an ashram, Santiniketan ( meaning abode of peace) became a spiritual centre where people from all religions were invited to join for meditation and prayers. It has grown to become one of India’s most renowned places of higher learning. Santiniketan is also a world-renowned tourist attraction because Rabindranath Tagore wrote many of his literary classics here; his house is a place of historic importance.

The aim of this educational institute was the quest for truth, blending the methods of learning of the East and West. Visva Bharati, now more than a hundred years old, is one of the most prestigious universities of India with degree courses in humanities, social science, science, fine arts, music, performing arts, education, agricultural science and rural reconstruction. The list of alumni includes Nobel-winning economist Amartya Sen, globally renowned filmmaker Satyajit Ray and the country’s leading art historian, R. Siva Kumar, to name just a few. Many world-famous teachers came to be associated with it, including C.F. Andrews and Alex Aronson. Some of its illustrious students are Gayatri Devi, Indira Gandhi, Satyajit Ray, Abdul Ghani Khan, Sukriti Chakrabarti, and Nobel Laureate Amartya Sen.

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Major Highlights of Santiniketan

Prayer Hall: The Upasana Griha is a prayer hall, made of several coloured Belgium glasses with marble steps on all the four side. This prayer hall is also named as ‘Kanch Mandir’ in local term (Kanch in Bengali means glass and Mandir is temple).

China Bhavan: A centre for Chinese studies. Natir Puja, a dance drama of Tagore, is painted on its wall under the guidance of Nandalal Bose, a pioneering Indian artist.

Hindi Bhavan: Department of Hindi Language. There is an important wall mural called “Medieval Saints” made by Binode Behari Mukherjee in the main hall.

Black House: A mud building known for its relief works done by stalwarts like Ram Kinkar and Prabhas Sen. Usually the final year students of Visva Bharati stay here.

Patha Bhavan: It is now a secondary school and an example of the traditional Brahmacharya Ashram.

Kala Bhavan: The College of Fine Arts & Crafts has a museum exhibiting sculptures, frescoes, murals and a library of art books.

Sangeet Bhavan: College of Dance and Music.

Santiniketan Griha: The oldest building of Santiniketan. It was built by Rabindranath Tagore’s father Debendranath Tagore. Rabindranath Tagore stayed here as a young boy. When little Rabi went to Himalaya, his parents lived here.

Dehali: Rabindranath used to live with his wife Mrinalini Devi in this two storeyed building.

Uttarayan Complex: The poet lived and worked in the Northern Complex consisting of several buildings: Udayana, Konarka, Shyamali, Punascha and Udichi.

Bichitra: It is also called Rabindra Bhavan, a research centre and museum where the poet’s personal belongings, paintings and editions of his works are exhibited. The replaced Nobel prize is also kept there.

Brahmo Mandir: Upasana Griha, constructed in 1891. Look out for sculptures and frescoes of Nandalal Bose, Ramkinkar Baij and Binode Bihari Mukherjee, particularly around Kala Bhavan.

Chhatimtala: Here Maharshi Devendranath, the father of Rabindranath Tagore, used to meditate. Prayers are held usually at convocation time. Successful graduates of the are presented a branch of five leaves from the Saptaparni trees found around.

Visva Bharati Central Library: It is a paradise for book lovers.

Punascha and Udichi: The complex has well-laid out gardens.

Kopai River: Known as “Amader Chhoto Nodi”( Ours’ small river) in many of Tagore’s poems, particularly those for children.

Khoai Mela: The mela starts from around 15:00 and goes on till about 17:30-18:00 only on Saturdays.

Shilpa Gram: ShilpaGram, close to the Ballavpur deer sanctuary, is designed artisitically showcases traditional handicrafts of eastern region (including Bihar, Assam, Orissa, Manipur, Andaman, Jharkhand, represented by a traditional house with collection of paintings, artifacts, etc.

Amar Kutir: Many handicrafts like cloth, leather, batiks, hand-loomed fabrics are available.

Basundhara: It is situated at Sonajhuri palli. That offer quality kantha stitchwork in the form of Sarees, Dupattas, etc throughout the year.

Kankalitala: This is one of the sacred Shakti- Peethas, with a temple, on the bank of the river Kopai.

Tour Plan and details

  • Trip Duration:  13 hours
  • Tour Starts:  08:00 am
  • Pick up : From Hotel/Airport/Staton
  • Refreshments & Packed Drinking Water: Included
  • Chauffeur with Phone: Provided
  • Guide: Optional
  • Tour price : From $ 85.00 per person, min 2 persons required
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