Shantiniketan

 
 
shantiniketan_1.jpgAn International University founded by Nobel Laureate Rabindranath Tagore where the cultures of the East & the West could meet and mingle. Named Vishva-Bharati, the University represents Indian traditions while incorporating the best of other cultures. Shantiniketan, the abode of peace, was initially an Ashram or hermitage founded in 1863 by Maharishi Devendranath Tagore. In 1901 his son, Rabindranath converted it into an experimental open-air school with just five students. It proved a success. He widened the scope of studies which gradually formed the nucleus of a University.

Another interesting feature about Santiniketan is that splendid sculptures, frescoes, murals and paintings of Rabindranath, Nandlal Bose, Ramkinkar, Bindobehari Mukhopadhyaya and others adorn the campus.

Temperature (deg C) : Summer- Max.39.4, Min.34.3; Winter- Max.15.7, Min.12.1.
Rainfall : 125 cms ( June to September ). Heavy in JulyAugust.
Season : Throughout the year.

The University remains closed in May-June and for one month during the Puja Holidays i.e. September-October.

Access

Air : The nearest airport is Calcutta 213 km.

Rail: The nearest railhead is Bolpur, 2 km away. Trains connecting Bolpur with Howrah/Sealdah (Calcutta) are 3015/3016 Howrah-Bolpur Shantiniketan Exp,  3133/3134 Sealdah-Mughalsarai Exp, 3071/3072 Howrah-Jamalpur Exp, 2557/ 2558 Kanchenjunga Exp., 335/336 Vishwabharati Fast Pgr., Shantiniketan Exp., Danapur Fast Pgr. and Tarapith Passenger.

Road: Good motorable roads connect Shantiniketan with Calcutta 213 kms (Bolpur 2-Panagarh 44-Burdwan 48-Calcutta 119), Durgapur 56 kms, Sarnath 197 kms

Local Transport : Tourist cars and buses available from the Manager, Tourist Lodge. Charges according to distance and time.

Places to visit

Shantiniketan is a University town and a centre of learning. The Uttarayan complex where the poet lived consists of several buildings such as Udayana. Konark, Shyamali, Punascha and Udichi which reflect the architectural genius of the poet's illustrious son the late Rathindranath Tagore. In addition there are Kala Bhavan (College of Fine Arts and Crafts). Sangit Bhavan (College of Music and Dance), Vidya Bhavan (College of Humanities), Siksha-Bhavan (College of Science) and Vinaya Bhavan (Teacher's Training College), Cheena Bhavan and Hindi Bhavan. The Shantiniketan campus of Viswa Bharati has grown up to be a centre for learning with a bias towards art, music and humanities. At Shriniketan, mainly a Centre for Rural Service and Studies (Palli Samgathan Bibhaga), there is a college of Agriculture (Palli Siksha Sadan) as well.

The places of interest are mainly on the campus and have a distinctive feature of some of the best in Indian art and culture.

China Bhavan : The Chinese Faculty.

Chhatimtala : Here Maharshi Devendranath, the father of Rabindranath Tagore, used to meditate. Prayers are held usually at Convocation time. Successful graduates of the Vishwa Bharati University are presented a branch of five leaves each from the Saptaparni trees which abound in the area.

Kala Bhavan : The College of Fine Arts & Crafts has an museum exhibiting sculptures, frescoes & murals and a library of art books.

Patha Bhavan : Now a secondary school, it is of particular interest as an example of the traditional `Brahmacharya Ashram'.

Prayer Hall : Founded by the poet's father in 1863, the hall is made of glass. Prayers are held on Wednesday.

Bichitra : Also called Rabindra Bhavan, a Research Centre and Museum where the poet's personal belongings, paintings & various editions of his works are exhibited.

Sangeet Bhavan : College of Dance and Music. The University is replete with works on Art, Music and the Humanities.

Uttarayan Complex : The poet lived and worked in the Northern Complex consisting of several buildings as : Udayana, Konarka, Shyamali, Punascha and Udichi. The Bichitra ( or, Rabindra Bhavan ) designed by the poet's son Rathindranath Tagore.

Fullora (40 kms), Nalhati (104 kms), Kankalitala (7 kms), Bakreshwar (58 kms): Nearest railway station Dubrajpur 12 kms. WBTDC Tourist Lodges & PWD Inspection Bungalows available

Massanjore (78 kms): Mayurakshi Bhavan, Youth Hostel available to stay there.

Kendubilwa (42 kms): Buses ply from Bolpur railway station. Buses also ply or Kenduli from Calcutta for tourists.

Nanoor (23 kms) : Birthplace of the Vaisnava poet,Chandidas (14th century). Buses ply from Bolpur railway station. Travet Sng time: one hour.

Tarapith (80 kms) : One can reach Tarapith firstly from Bolpur to Rampurhat by train or bus and then 5 kms by bus or cycle rickshaw. Ramkanai Dharamshala a number of hotels are there.

Photography is not permitted

Visiting Timings

Shantiniketan
Winter:- 1400 to 1630 hours
Summer:- 1430 to 1730 hours.
During vacations:- 0730 to 1100 hours.

Shriniketan
Winter:- 1030 to 1230 hours
Summer:- 0800 to 1000 hours.

Permission is required from the Public Relations Officer, Vishwa Bharati for taking photographs.

Museums and Art Galleries

Kala Bhavan, Bichitra (Rabindra Bhavan).

Parks and Gardens

Deer Park : Near Sriniketan, 3 kms from Shantiniketan. Originally, the area was a fast eroding `Khowai'. It is now a large wooded area with herds of deer and makes a natural bird sanctuary.
Uttarayan Gardens: University Campus.

Shopping

Grameen (Bolpur), Sarvodaya Ashram (Bolpur), (Handicrafts & handlooms) Vishwa Bharati Shilpa Sadan (Shantiniketan), Shantiniketan Cooperative Stores (Shantiniketan).

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