(Last Updated on : 18/05/2010)
Shantiniketan is known for its unsurpassed natural, intellectual and cultural heritage. It has become a tourist spot because of its association with Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore. The natural charm of Shantiniketan is of course a major draw in itself.
Maharshi Debendranath Tagore, the father of Rabindranath Tagore established Shantiniketan in 1863. Rabindranath Tagore set up a Bramhacharya school here, which later came to be known as the Patha Bhavan in 1901. Rabindranath converted it into an experimental open-air school with just five students. But now, it is a full-fledged University with colleges of science, teacher`s training, Hindi, Sino-Indian studies, arts and crafts, and music and dance. The various buildings of the Visva-Bharati campus are the main attractions of Santiniketan. Rabindranath started a rural
reconstruction center at Sriniketan in the year 1922, which is 3 km from Santiniketan. This is the center for traditional handicrafts like batik, pottery, weaving, kantha embroidery and dokra tribal handicrafts.
The whole place of Santiniketan thus is the reminiscent of the great poet Rabindranath Tagore and his vision of International University. Santiniketan is famous for its various festivals also; Poush Mela, Maghotsab, Basanta Utsab etc are a major landmark on the Bengali`s culture calendar. Santiniketan`s Dol Jatra is indeed very atmospheric. The entire campus is decorated with alpana and people sing Holi songs based on Rabindrasangeet. The best time to visit Santiniketan is spring although tourists also flock during autumn and winter.
One can reach Santiniketan from Kolkata by train or by bus.. Direct bus Service is available from Kolkata
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