On your visit to Santiniketan you will notice yourself drawn to a place called the asrham that comprises all that Kabi Guru (Lord of Poets) Rabindranath Tagore had established.
Approximately 200 Kilometres North of Kolkata, Santiniketan is connected by road and rail. The nearest railway station is Bolpur.
Santiniketan means “abode of peace”. In 1863, a meditation center was founded at Santiniketan by Maharshi Debendranath Tagore, the father of the world famous bengali poet Rabindranath Tagore. He had established the Brahmo Vidyalaya and in 1901 another open-air laboratory school. In 1921, it had expanded into Visva-Bharati University. Visva-Bharati is a residential university with International body, hostels and extensive grounds. It includes separate colleges for fine arts and crafts, dance, music, teachers training, Asian Languages, technology, post graduate studies and research. “Rabindra-Sadhana” is the university’s museum and the center for the study of Tagore. There is another institution for rural reconstruction, health, social welfare, and the revival of the folk arts at Sriniketan , which is very close to Santiniketan. This institution also founded by Tagore in 1922.
Santiniketan is the embodiment of serenity and peace, far removed from the concrete jungle. Here imposing sculptures of Ram Kinkar greet you at every turn of the road. Paintings of Nandalal, Abanindranath and Binod Bihari captivate your senses.
Uttarayan is the complex where Rabindranath lived, has a museum and art gallery.
Visva Bharati University is the University at Santiniketan, 2 km from the nearest railway station Bolpur, is now a centre of international studies and culture. The university is also open to visitors.
Sriniketan, a centre for traditional handicrafts like batik (on leather, cloth and silk), pottery, weaving kantha embroidery and dokra tribal handicrafts is situated three kilometers from Santiniketan.
His residence, a prayer hall for the community, the school, the university, and various areas for cultural activities.
The Ashram area represents the encouragement and belief of Tagore even though it seems overshadowed by the university.
A visitor usually takes cycle rickshaw rides in and around the area. What would draw your attention would be boards that say Heritage Complex. Although the saddened state of the buildings do not have the basic paint jobs done and doesn’t fit with the image of a heritage complex, you would not really mind it.
There are plenty of places to stay in Santiniketan. On reaching there, be sure to ask any of the locals. People all over Bengal are known for giving good directions.
Long live Santiniketan, long live Tagore.
To Lean more about this fascinating town visit Santiniketan