Places to visit

Santiniketan

The University town of Shantiniketan (Tagore’s Ashram) 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 Viswa 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.

Tagore’s Ashram features a number of buildings namely the Santiniketan 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 Viswa Bharati. You 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 Bhaban Museum popularly called Bichitra houses letters, manuscripts, medals, documents, paintings and certificates associated with Tagore.

·         Vidya Bhavan - In 1925, Rabindranath Tagore founded Vidya Bhavan, which is the study centre for the social sciences and humanities. It is situated in Santiniketan’s Viswa Bharati University complex. Here regular graduate and undergraduate courses are offered.

·         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 Shnatiniketan. Khowai region and Kopai River (Rabindranath’s Amader Choto Nadi) are other destinations where you can spend some time.

·         Kala Bhavana - In 1919, Rabindranath Tagore established Kala Bhavan, the centre for study and research in visual arts in India, in the complex of Viswa Bharati University.

·         Rabindra Bhavan - was established in Santiniketan in 1942, which stands on the shores of the River Kopai in West Bengal’s Birbhum District.

·         Patha Bhavan - There are two institutions in Santiniketan that are associated with the Viswa- Bharati University offering primary and secondary education. One is Shiksha Satra and the other is Patha Bhavana.

·         Sangeet Bhavan - In the year 1919, Rabindranath Tagore had set up Sangeet Bhavana as a centre for promoting folk dance, arts, drama and music. Providing training in Hindustani classical instrumental music, vocal music and Rabindrasangeet are the speciality of this centre. It also teaches musical dance dramas.

·         Uttarayan Complex - Uttarayan Complex is the place where Rabindranath Tagore used to live and is hence a very popular location. The entire complex is divided into many buildings in varying architectural styles.

·         Siksha Bhavan - ‘Siksha’ is the word for science in Sanskrit and Siksha Bhavan means a centre for studying science. This centre like all the bhavans, was established by Rabindranath Tagore, which is situated inside the campus of Viswa Bharati University.

·         Cheena Bhavan - There is a centre in Santiniketan that focuses on developing relationship between India and China. This centre for studying about China is known as Cheena Bhavan that promotes the liaison between the two nations.

·         Hindi Bhavan - Rabindranath Tagore understood the importance of the language Hindi in integrating the Indian society, so a centre for learning Hindi was also established inside Santiniketan that is named Hindi Bhavana.

·         Nippon Bhavan - The Nippon Bhavan is an independent centre that is not controlled by Viswa Bharati University and its programs are carried out by direct contact and exchange with Japan. It collaborates with some centres of the University and the department of Japanese studies is currently situated in the Nippon.

Amar Kutir - Tourists interested in purchasing handicrafts and artefacts can visit Amar Kutir, which is located close to Santiniketan. Amar Kutir was a society or a cooperative movement by Rabindranath Tagore, to aid and develop the art and craft of the village folk.

Ballavpur Wildlife Sanctuary, Santiniketan - While at Shantiniketan, you must visit the Ballavpur Wildlife Sanctuary. Located in Birbhum District of West Bengal, the Sanctuary is home to a variety of deer and water birds apart from jackals and foxes. Look out for small herds of black buck and spotted deer as you tour the sanctuary.

Kankalitala Temple - just 9 km from Santiniketan is a temple popular as a Satipeeth. Surul, located near Sriniketan, features temples decorated with terracotta carvings. You can also visit another Satipeeth at Labhpur-Fullara, just 30 km. from Santiniketan. Tourists also visit Nanoor, famous as the birthplace of the Sanskrit poet of the 14th century – Chandidas. Kendubillo is another destination, popular as the hometown of another renowned Sanskrit poet, Jaidev.

Khowai Haat - It is a fair conducted on every saturday in Santhiniketan. It starts in the very early morning 4'o clock. All types of household items, handicrafts, artifacts, clothes and other tradable items are sold here. Locals throng this mela to have a valued purchase. This is a worth place to visit.

 

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