Shantiniketan in Bolpur
The University town of Shantiniketan is recognized worldwide as a significant center for pursuing higher studies and being the home to the Nobel Laureate and National Poet of India Rabindranath Tagore. Students from all over the world come here for further education in the Visva Bharati University founded in 1921 by Rabindranath Tagore himself. Not only students, the place is also frequented by thousand of visitors who are attracted by the extensive campus ground, open-air classes and above all the scenic natural beauty of the destination. Serenity is the essence of Santiniketan – the abode of peace. Rabindranath Tagore settled in Shantiniketan permanently from 1901 and left Shantiniketan for the last time in 1941.
Santiniketan, rich with its culture and heritage features a number of sightseeing spots. The most significant site is the Visva Bharati University and its different departments, the most notable being the Kala Bhavan. One can spot some frescoes and sculptures of Nandalal Bose & Ramkinkar Baij around Kala Bhavan.
Tagore’s Ashram features a number of buildings namely the Shantiniketan building, Dehali, Nutan bari and others. School classes and some major activities are held in the Amro Kunja (Mango Grove). The place also houses some institutions of Visva Bharati. One can also spot a hillock featuring an age-old banyan tree on the eastern side of the ashram.
The Uttarayan complex has several buildings like Konark, Udayan, Shyamali and others. The Rabindra Bhavan Museum popularly called Bichitra houses letters, manuscripts, medals, documents, paintings and certificates associated with Tagore.
Chatimtala is the place where Rabindranath’s father Debendranath Tagore rested during his visit to a nearby Zamindar House and discovered the serenity of present Shantiniketan for the first time. This spot has been marked by a pulpit to commemorate the founding of Shantiniketan. Khowai region and Kopai River (Rabindranath’s Amader Choto Nodi) are other destinations where one can spend some time.
Apart from this, one can also visit Hindi Bhavan, Cheena Bhavan, Nipon Bhavan, Sangeet Bhavan, Patha Bhavan, Vinaya Bhavan, Siksha Bhavan, Kaalo Bari etc. The campus of Shantiniketan is also worth visiting.
You can spend hours visiting the different sites of Santiniketan and experiencing the village life. One can also take a guide to explain all the details of the sites. Visit a number of fairs held in the region throughout the year, the most notable being Poush Mela, Basanta Utsav, Nandan Mela, Magh Mela, Barsha Mangal etc. Regular weekly markets (Haat) selling all local handicrafts can be found at Sonajhuri Haat held near the Khoai region.
General Disclaimer Information
- How to Reach
- Santiniketan is accessible by a number of conveyances including trains, bus and cars. The nearest railway station of Santiniketan is Bolpur and Prantik, which can be reached from Kolkata in two to three hours. One can avail the trains like Shantiniketan Express and Visva Bharati Fast Passenger. If you prefer the bus route, then you need to avail the Kolkata-Asansol bus or Kolkata- Durgapur bus, which will take you to Panagarh respectively. From these respective stops, one needs to catch another bus to Santiniketan.
- Shantiniketan is located 212 kms from Kolkata by roadway, which takes around 3-4 hour to reach. So, one can also drive along the Durgapur Expressway heading towards Bolpur by crossing Bardhaman, Panagarh and the Ajay River crossing.
- Best time to visit
- One can visit Santiniketan at any time of the year
- Lodging facilities at Shantiniketan
- There are many hotels available at Shantiniketan. All hotels has AC as well as non AC rooms with attached western bathrooms, separate dining area, play area, parking area, lush lawn, garden, 24 hrs power supply, 24 hrs security, sitting room, restaurant & bar and a pond. All rooms are equipped with TVs, windows facing gardens and wardrobes. There is provision to avail fully equipped homestays as well.