Shantiniketan as the name suggests is a place where peace resides and serenity occurs. The place has a long history and significance. Let’s have a look at the history of this place:-
Way back in 1862, Maharishi Debendranath Tagore, father of Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore discovered this place. Bhubandanga (derived from the name of local dacoit) was the original name of this place but Debendranath Tagore rechristened the name to Shantiniketan or a home to peace because the place made him feel so close to nature. Soon within a year he opened a spiritual center, where people from all across the world came here and participated in meditation. With passage of time Debendranath Tagore son, Rabindra Tagore became a power house of literature. There and then he opened a school there with 5 disciples (students) and teachers. Soon, its popularity grew and it became an educational hub. Students came from different parts of the world to get the enlightment. What differentiated them from others was their mode of education. Unlike traditional form of education that is to be undertaken in four walls, this was an open method of education where child could learn amidst the nature.
Places to Visit in Shantiniketan
After having a sneak peek at the history of Shantiniketan, now it’s time to roll out the places that demand and captures the attention of the visitor, have a look at them!
Tagore Asharam- Its one of the most popular destination that reminds us of the works done by Rabindranath Tagore for humanity! Located in Uttrayan complex, it is the place built by the father when he arrived here many years ago. The ashram remains closed on Wednesday. It is a heritage site well-preserved by the government authorities. The site has archives of daily life of Rabindranath Tagore including awards and accolades, daily items used by him and his collection of literary works.
Housing every work of Tagore, this ashram takes us back to the bygone era.
Amar Kutir- Located in the proximity to the university, Amar Kutir highlights the work of local handicrafts including printed bags and cloth.
Khoai Mela- This mela transcends us to the era where local handicrafts ruled the roost. If you wish to attend the fair, it is better to plan a trip on Saturday. This fair begins at 4 pm in the morning and the artisans from the nearby district showcase their artwork with pride.
Rabindra Bhaban Museum- The museum is home Rabindranath Tagore original manuscripts, documents, certificates and photographs. The museum was built way back in the year 1961
Kala Bhavan- As the name denotes, Kala Bhavan is a place where the creativity gets a new meaning. The place focuses on developing artistic bent of mind and has been most beautifully presented on the block.
Chattimtala- This place used to be meditation ground for the father of Tagore, Maharshi Debendranath Tagore. He was a staunch advocate of meditation and introspection as the key towards world progress.
Food in Shantiniketan
Shantiniketan has enormous eating places and different cuisine to savor. The bars and wine shops are remotely located but a drink that is worth trying is rice beer. Its lighter than original beer and one can’t find easily.
Shantiniketan is a place that takes you back to the historic era where culture and religion were of prime importance. This destination is ideal for people who have an artistic bent of mind and for historical buffs.