Santiniketan is an ashram and education centre located near the town of Bolpur in the Birbhum district of West Bengal. Maharshi Debendranath Tagore, the father of Rabindranath Tagore, established this ashram in 1863 AD in the north-western part of the town of Bolpur for the purpose of contemplating theology and religion. In 1901, Rabindranath established the Brahma Vidyalaya at Santiniketan, which eventually took the form of Visva Bharati University. Rabindranath himself laid the foundation stone of Visva-Bharati on 23 December 1918. Then on 23 December 1921, (8 Poush of 1328 BS), Acharya Brajendranath Sheel inaugurated Visva-Bharati here in the presence of Rabindranath.
Take a Friday for this Weekend Trip. Better to choose the Ganadevata Express in the morning and reach Bolpur station at 8.30 am. Take a rickshaw or Toto to the hotel you have booked in advance. And if you have not booked in advance, then choose the room of your choice near Bhubandanga ground to Ratan Palli, Shyambati-Goalpara, Sonajhuri. There are also many hotels near Bolpur station, the tariff of which are comparatively less, but the distance from Visva Bharati University campus is more. Leave your luggage at the hotel, get a little fresh and have breakfast and go out to Kavitirtha Darshan. Take a guide if you can. You can know a lot of unknown information from them. However, you can go around without a guide. Take a look at Chhatimtala, Upasanagriha, Amrakunj, Tinpahar, Shalbithi, Kalobari, Gaur Prangan and Ghantatala, Singhasadan, Chhoto Kalo Bari or Chaiti etc. Sangeet Bhavan, Kala Bhavan, Malancha, Natyaghar, Nandan can be seen with special permission.
Chatimtala is currently cordoned off, with no public access. To the south of it is the location of Bakulbithi. The “Santiniketan Griho” is now the Heritage Building, in front of which is an artwork “Anirban Shikha” made by the famous sculptor and painter Ramkinkar Baij. The convocation ceremony of Visva-Bharati was held at Amrakunj. The black house is associated with the memory of Nandalal Basu. The famous statues of Kalabhavan are a must-see.
The main attraction of Visva Bharati is the Uttarayan Museum. There are many houses in these premises — Bichitra, Udayan, Shyamoli, Konark, Punascha and Udichi. See the various items used by Rabindranath, gifts, mementoes and many more in Rabindranath Bhavan. And there are cars used by the poet. Return to the hotel after lunch visit Benukunj, Hindi Bhawan, bookstore “Subarnarekha”, art store “Amar Kutir” etc. If you have time or desire, take a look at Amartya Sen’s house “Pratichi”.
The next day, on Saturday morning, visit Prakriti Bhavan and after ten o’clock, come to Vallabhpur Sanctuary. Here you find chital deer, peacocks, beji, snakes. You can climb the Watchtower and see the whole forest at a glance.
Go out at three-thirty in the afternoon to see after the Kopai river for the Khowai. Khowai’s market is sitting on Saturday called “Sanibarer Haat”. Apart from the works of art made by the locals, here you enjoy Santali dances, Baul song. You will never know where the time will pass.
Next day, Sunday morning to visit Sriniketan and Kankalitala.
Remember everything is closed in Santiniketan on Wednesdays. So never set Wednesday for Santiniketan. All the hotels and lodges are booked long before the Poush Mela and the Basanta Utsav. So if you go at this time, you must book in advance.
How to Reach Shantiniketan.
There are Ganadevata (6-05 am) and Santiniketan Express (10-10 am), Visva-Bharati Passenger (4-40 pm) from Howrah to reach Bolpur. On the way back, it is best to catch Ganadevata (6-25 pm) and Santiniketan Express (1-10 pm).
Where to Stay in Shantiniketan.
Best option to stay in Shantiniketan is Hotel Royal Bengal, Bhubandanga, Dak Bunglow West, Bolpur, Birbhum, Bolpur, West Bengal 731204. Nipabithi Homestay
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