Famous Kala Bhavan - Shantiniketan
Center of Learning For The Distinguished
Shantiniketan is without a doubt the most serene and laid back town in West Bengal. Famous for the world renowned Vishwa Bharati University, Shantiniketan came into the picture when the father of Noble Laureate Rabindranath Tagore, Maharshi Debendranath Tagore came to this place , then called as Bhubandanga. The peace and tranquility attracted him so much that he built a home for himself and named it Shantiniketan which means Abode of Peace. It was here that Rabindranath Tagore indited many of his literary classics. With time, it became a spiritual center that attracted people from many parts of the world. The tranquil environment made it a suited place for meditation. Today it is one of the biggest attraction of the place. Since then, Shantiniketan has undergone drastic changes. The educational town is today considered to be an upmarket destination. Having a home here is a status symbol, so don't be surprised if you find huge and flashy bungalows belonging to noted personalities lining the streets. Still, there is no dearth of quiet places where you can spend some quality solitary time.
Vishwa Bharati University
Started as a school named Patha Bhavana, the ideas and ideology of Rabindranath Tagore has helped it grow into a university. His principle was that learning in a natural environment can be more enjoyable and fruitful. In 1913, after Rabindranath Tagore was awarded with Noble, the school was expanded further and was renamed Vishwa Bharati Unisversity. The university has given to the world leaders like Indira Gandhi, Satyajit Ray and Amartya Sen. There are many institutes under the university, the most famous of them all being the Kala Bhavana (Institute of Fine Arts). The time of any festival is best to visit Vishwa Bharati University, especially Basant Utsav (Holi). Students dressed in white clothes and drenched in all colors, sing and dance and enjoy without inhibitions.
The house of Rabindranath Tagore is an important place that cannot be left out. Most of things are still kept the same way and not much alteration are done in the settings of the place. Feel the peace still prevailing inside the house. Another main attraction is the Poush Mela that is held here every year. It starts on the 7th day of Poush Month which generally falls around January. It marks the start of harvesting season. The three day fair attracts vendors from all parts of West Bengal and tourists from every corner of the world. Most of the sellers in the fair are the nearby tribals who bring with them handicrafts that most closely reflects the arts that prevailed decades ago, least influenced by western ways. You can also witness cultural performances as well in the fair.
Shantiniketan Tourist Information
Shantiniketan is situated approximately 211 km by road from the capital city Kolkata. There is regular direct bus service between the two destinations. By train, you can reach till Bolpur from Howrah. From Bolpur, Shantiniketan is just 2 km away. As staying options in Shantiniketan, there are number of tourist guest houses that are run by West Bengal Tourism department and a guest house run by Vishwa Bharati University. You can also opt for many private hotels in Bolpur which are available at reasonable prices.