Santiniketan-Bolpur

Important Seasonal Festivals Heritage Places Information on Visva Bharati Sriniketan

               

Santiniketan

---   the abode of peace             

               Santiniketan has the distinct identity of culture and heritage, which gives the place a unique soft touch. This is a preferred tourist destination developed as a part of the popular religious-cultural tourist circuit of the region viz. Santiniketan-Bakreswar-Tarapith.

          The place was originally selected by Maharshi Debendranath Tagore to practice religious mediations. Rabindranath started an experimental school known as ‘Brahmacharya Ashrama’ here with an objective to educate the student in close liaison with nature in the style of ‘Tapovana’ of ancient India. Later an international university named Visva-Bharati came up as a center of Indian culture and the meeting place of the East and the West.

           Rabindranath was great lover of nature. He planted trees in and around the Ashrama and gave it a green look. He introduced several festival to celebrate seasons, to commemorate great name and these were free from any religious narrowness.

 

 IMPORTANT  SEASONAL FESTIVALS

 

Vriksharopana and Halakarshana : These are festivals of tree planting and ploughing accompanied by music, dance and chanting of Vedic Hymns to invoke nature’s fertility and healing up of wounds of nature, held annually in the month of August.

Varshamangal : Held to celebrate the rainy season in the month of August.

Silpotshava : Held in the month of September to exhibit the handicrafts of Santiniketan-Sriniketan  industries.

Pous Utsava : Held from seventh of Pous every year to commemorate the Maharshi’s initiations in to Bramhmo religion and foundation day of ‘Brahmacharya Ashrama’. Prayer at ‘Chhatimtala’ marks the beginning of the day. Various cultural functions are organised. Folk artistes from Rural Bengal, specially ‘Bouls and Fakirs’ gather to sing songs for three days.

Basantotsava : Held in the month of March on the day of Holi. Spring is welcomed through music and dances. Teachers and students greet each other with Abirs in this festival day.      

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 Heritage Places

 

Chhatimtala :   Maharshi Debendarath used to mediate under the Chhatim Trees.

Upasana Griha : A prayer hall, made of several colored Belgium glasses with marble steps on all the four sides. During evening service, candle is lit around the prayer hall, and it wears a magnificent look in flickering light.

Dehali : Rabindranath used to live with his wife Mrinali Devi in this two storied building.

China Bhavana : A centre for Chinese studies. Natir Puja, a dance drama of Tagore is painted on its wall under the guidance of Nandalal Bose, pioneering Indian artist.

Black House : A mud building known for its relief works done by stalwarts like Ram Kinkar and Prabhas Sen.

Santiniketan Griha: The oldest building of Santiniketan.

 Uttarayana : The garden with five houses where Rabindranath used to live.

 Shyamali : Rabindranath welcomed Gandhiji at this mud house.

Udayana :  The biggest building where Rabindranath spent his last days.

Museum and Archive : Situated in Uttranyana complex, it contains the original manuscript, paintings and personal belongings of Rabindranath. Archive has a Library and research wing.

 

        Another worth visiting place around Santiniketan is remnants of ‘Khoai’- a name coined by the Poet himself for a special kind of undulating laterite land formation. The stream of rainwater meandering through it offers a magnificent view during monsoon.                              

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Information on Visva Bharati

 

Campus Area  39 Sq. Km.
Population  25,000 (approx.)
Area covered  Institutional Area, Staff quarter / Residential Areas. Heritage Zone of Maharshi Debendra Nath Tagore, Rabindranath Tagore at Santinikethan.
Road Length  Around 18 Kms.
Tourist, Visitors

 3500 per day (approx.) ; but during major festival ( like Pous Utsav, Basanta Utsav, Rabindra  Paksha,  Naba Barsha )  it goes up to average 40,000 per     day or more.               

 

 

SRINIKETAN

 

The Institute of Rural Reconstruction was founded in 1922 at Surul, 3 K.M. away from Santiniketan. It was formally inaugurated on 6 February 1922 with Leonared Elmhirst as its first Director.

 

Second but contiguous campus of Visva Bharati came to be located in 1923 at a site which assumed the name of Sriniketan. It took over the work of training in handicrafts already began by Silpa Bhavana. But the main object was that it bringing back life in is completeness to the villages and help people to solve their own problems instead of solution being imposed on them from outside. An emphasis was laid on a scientific study of the village problem before a solution was attempted.

 

In consonance with such ideas about reconstruction of village life a new type of school meant mainly for the children of neighbouring villages who would eventually bring the offering of their acquired knowledge for the welfare of the village community was also conceived. This school, "Siksha-Satra" was started in Santiniketan in 1924 and shifted to Sriniketan in 1927. The Loka-Siksha Samsad an organisation for the propagation of non-formal education amongst those who had no access to usual educational opportunities, was started in 1936. Siksha-Charcha for training village school teachers followed next year.

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Travel Tips

 

         Railway Station at Bolpur and Prantik.  Two and half hour  journey by train from Kolkata.

Connected bus with other districts of West Bengal and Kolka

Town Service buses in an around the area.

Number of hotels & lodges  -  85

Number of accommodation  -  1650

Annual influx of tourists      -  12 lakhs (approx.)

Sub-divisional Hospital with ICCU and one BPHC.

Community Police Service (Dial-100)

 

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