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Shantiniketan – The Peaceful Dwelling of Rabindranath Tagore
Shantiniketan and Rabindranath Tagore
It is quite common for people to think about the great poet and Nobel Laureate, Rabindranath Tagore, even when someone mentions the name of Shantiniketan. The long association of the legendary Indian with this small town located in the Birbhum district of West Bengal is a legend in itself. Known previously by the name of Bhubandanga, the Tagore family came to own the area when it was gifted by Lord Satyendra Prasanno Sinha gifted it to Maharshi Debendranath Tagore, the esteemed father of Rabindranath Tagore. Maharishi Debendranath Tagore was please by the peaceful and tranquil atmosphere of the area and hence renamed it Shantiniketan, meaning “the abode of peace”. Later Rabindranath Tagore started his school of ideas named Patha Bhavan at this place. This unique school enabled students to learn in a natural environment. It was the vision of Rabindranath Tagore that enabled Shantiniketan to grow from a small town into a University town, hosting the famous Visva Bharati University.

Places of Tourist Interest
Uttarayan Complex: This is perhaps the most important of all tourist attractions in Shantiniketan because of the fact that it was the abode of Rabindranath Tagore himself. The complex consists of several buildings constructed in different styles of architecture. There are five houses belonging to Rabindranath Tagore inside the complex, which also houses a prayer hall built by Mahrishi Dbendranath Tagore in 1863. The hall was primarily used for conducted Bramho prayers. The complex also has museum and a gallery where a watch and bangle are on display along with numerous frescos.   

Rabindra Bhavan: Established in 1942, Rabindra Bhavan is a relatively new addition to the various bhavans of Shantiniketan. The Bhavan is located on the banks of River Kopai and has on display a collection of the personal belongings, books, pictures and even voice recordings of Rabindranath Tagore. In the general section, visitors can get a glimpse of the letters and paintings of renowned artists of the time as well as the well preserved manuscripts of the writings of Rabindranath Tagore.  

Cheena Bhavan: This unique Bhavan is completely dedicated towards strengthening the relations between India and China. To improve the association of the two nations, the centre focuses on studying the various aspects of Chinese lifestyle, society and other aspects in depth. The place is often frequented by the various Chinese scholars; ho teach at the Visva Bharati University, to help the students and the staff working in this centre to better understand Chinese society and culture.

Patha Bhavan: Patha Bhavan is basically an educational complex which follows the rules and systems of the Gurukul teachings prevalent in the ashrams in ancient India. The Bhavan was set up in 1901 by Rabindranath Tagore himself and since then it has grown to become a renowned institution. The students gain knowledge in the midst of nature and are have every freedom to communicate and interact with the teachers. The unconventional manner of teaching the students is really nice to see, which is why visitors are attracted to this complex in large numbers.

Kala Bhavan: Kala Bhavan was established in 1919 by Rabindranath Tagore with the aim of enabling students to stud and research the visual arts of India. The Bhavan is a part of the Visva Bharati University complex and students are able to study subjects related to the art and history of India, which include history of art, painting, sculpture, graphics and artistic design. Students can choose between a graduate and a diploma course. 

Things to Buy From Shantiniketan Shantiniketan is famous for its beautiful handicraft items and primarily the jewelry made form terracotta beads and iron wires. These can be purchased from the local markets of nearby villages, where they are custom made.


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