Shantiniketan- The Place of Peace

Shantiniketan. It is the name of peace. It is the name of solitude. It is the name of isolation. While I move in the silent roads of laterite sands, echoes a poem “…..and miles to go before I sleep” It is Shaniniketan. It is the place, wher Tagore lived, now his memory reigns. It is our pride. India’s Pride. World’s Pride.

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Travel to me my habit to escape from dazzling dull office of Kolkata. Travel to me to find a new way of life. Travel to me is to see and find the 3 Ps- Places, People and Peace. So, I planned for Shantiniketan in late autumn and headed to Kolkata Station for Haldibari Express. Take a note: From Howrah and Sealdah, you can also reach Shantiniketan.

In the late morning, I reached Shantiniketan. Hired a cab for Rs.1200 to see the places of interests for a whole day. Shantiniketan is a home of Visva Bharati University founded by Noble Laurate Rabindranath Tagore in 1921. It was declared a central university in 1951. Now it is called Tagore Ashramas for tourists to access. Viswa Bharati University, House of Amartya Sen, Goalpara, Sonajhuri, Artist’s Corner, Shriniketan, Prantik, Labhpur, Hemtampur Palace, Kankalitala Temple, Shilpigram and Kopai River. If you check-in on Saturdays, you can see Khowai mela at Sonajhuri.

21Ashrama of Tagore

Firstly I reached at ashrama. Uttarayan Complex-Rabindra Bhaban attracts the eyes and then followed the other crowd. The first building Uttarayan Complex-Rabindra Bhaban was a guest house built in 1863 by Maharshi Devendranath Tagore. It was named Shantiniketan and thereafter the entire place acquired that name. Uttarayan Complex-Rabindra Bhaban has several buildings associated with the family of Tagore- Santiniketan building, Nutan Bari, Dehali and many more. The school classes and major cultural events are held in the Amra Kunja. Some of the Visva Bharati institutions are also located here. The tourists are not authorized to wander into areas where outdoor classes are held. Some distance away on the eastern side is a small hillock with a large banyan tree. After that every thing comes- Upasana Griha, Chhatimtala, Uttarayan complex (Ticket Rs. 40; Udayan, Konark, Shyamali (mud hut){Under Taken by Archaeological Survey of India}, Punascha and Udichi), Rabindra Bhaban Museum (Open on working days from 10:30-16:30. Open on Sundays. Closed on Wednesadys. The house is called Bichitra), Shilpa Gram, Prakriti Bhavan, Cheena Bhavana, Hindi Bhavana, Nippon Bhavana, Kala Bhavana, Patha Bhavana, Sangeet Bhavana, Vidya Babhana, Siksha Bhavana, Vinaya Bhawana, Sriniketan Campus (Winter: 14:00-16:30 hours. Summer: 14:30-17:30. During vacations: 07:30-11:00)

Khowai_1Evening in Shantiniketan

The evening in Shantiniketan is golden. Silent walking near the Kopai or sitting on the dry leaves of Sonajhuri enchant the heart and soul. The gentle breeze and the Khoai Mela attack the heart in the midst of silent trade in art and commerce. Khoai Mela, Amar Kutir and Prakati Bhavan are must visit.

Shilpigram _2Morning in Shantiniketan

Early morning at 5, the name again becomes appropriate- Its Shantiniketan- Abode of Peace. Staying here in the morning makes your mind fresh, especially when you hear the chirping of autumnal birds and the Rabindrasangeet from a distant radio. Roaming in Ballavpur Deer Park and outside access of Hetampur Rajbari are my additions to give a extra happiness in this sojourn.

Here Poush Mela and Basanta Utsav are popular. So please come and visit Shantiniketan.


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