is a small town near Bolpur in the Birbhum district of West
Bengal, India, and approximately 180 kilometres north of
Kolkata (formerly Calcutta).
was made famous by Nobel Laureate Rabindranath Tagore, whose
vision became what is now a university town ( Visva-Bharati
University ) that attracts thousands of visitors each year.
Shantiniketan is a tourist attraction also because Rabindranath
lived here and penned many of his literary classics (namely
Tagore songs, poems, novels etc.) and his home is a place
of historical importance.
was earlier called Bhubandanga (named after Bhuban Dakat,
a local dacoit), and was owned by the Tagore family. In
1862, Maharshi Devendranath Tagore, while on a boat journey
to Raipur, came across a landscape with red soil and meadows
of lush green paddy fields. Rows of chhatim trees and date
palms charmed him. He stopped to look, decided to plant
more saplings and built a small house. He called his home
Santiniketan (abode of peace). Santiniketan became a spiritual
centre where people from all religions were invited to join
for meditation and prayers. He founded an 'Ashram' here
in 1863 and became the initiator of the Brahmo Samaj.
on December 22nd 1901, Devendranath's son, Rabindranath
Tagore started a school at Santiniketan named Brahmachary
Asrama modelled on the lines of the ancient gurukul system.
After he received the Nobel Prize which enhanced not only
the pride of India but also the Prestige
of Santiniketan the school was expanded into a university.
It was renamed Visva Bharati, it's symbolic meaning being
defined by Tagore as "where the world makes a home
in a nest". 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. At Tagore's behest, the
annual Paus utsav became an important cultural event where
students and teachers of his school took an active part.
Paus Mela, therefore, becomes a meeting ground for urban
people and rural folk. Rural artisans bring their wares
like batik printed materials, the most famous Santiniketan
Leather bags, earthen wares, paintings, etc, to
the fair while urban relatives set up stalls so that rural
people could buy the new industrially produced goods that
was revolutionizing life in the cities. While it has not
discarded its traditional value systems the educational
system founded by Tagore thus proves to have also kept pace
and evolved with changing times.
from Visva Bharati the Bengal Institute of Technology and
Management (BITM) is also located in Santiniketan - a place
you wouldn't readily associate with an engineering college.
Even the surroundings are very different from, say, a BE
College or a Jadavpur University. Situated in the midst
of paddy fields along the Sriniketan bypass, seven kilometres
from Bolpur, the BITM
Santiniketan campus looks desolate and there's hardly
any transport connecting the college to the nearest town.
But once you enter BITM, it's a different world. You are
greeted by huge buildings, gardens, canteens, laboratories
and playgrounds that dot the 60-acre campus.
the main attraction of this place remains because of its
association with Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore (1861-1941),
one of Bengal's greatest figures, of course the natural
charm of Santiniketan is a major draw in itself. Home
at Santiniketan would surely call for peaceful Residential
Neighbourhood at Santiniketan amidst the greenery
all around. Thus here comes Upoban the new concept of housing
complex launched as a joint venture of Bengal Ambuja Housing
Development Limited and Sriniketan Santiniketan Development
Authority who enhances on materializing their vision of
setting a well facilitated Residential neighbourhood at
Santiniketan with utmost satisfaction of its residents.
since this is one of the most renowned and coveted tourist
spot in Bengal one would surely like to gather information
on Hotels at Santiniketan.
Please note that there are tourist lodges and Tourist cottages
run by the West Bengal Tourism Development Corporation apart
from which Visva Bharati runs a guesthouse as well. One
can also find youth hostels at Bolpur and Bakeswar along
with quite a few private hotels at Bolpur.
in Santiniketan is usually a pleasant one although you
will come across the normal weather changes during Summer,
winter and Monsoon. Nonetheless Spring has its own charm
in Santiniketan not only because of its natural beauty blooming
to its fullest amidst the lush greenery but also due to
the famous Vasanta Utsav held to mark the festival of Holi
with the onset of Spring.
From Calcutta Shantiniketan is 136 kms:
Rail: By train from Howrah to Bolpur. Shantiniketan is 2
kms from Bolpur by cycle rickshaw.
Road: By road it is 211 km from Calcutta. Direct bus service.