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Title: Shantiniketan  
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Subject: Bengal, Indira Gandhi, Locomotive, West Bengal, James K. Baxter, Dartington Hall, Constitution of India, Baul, Anushakti Nagar, Gayatri Devi
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For the University in Shantiniketan, see Visva-Bharati University.

Shantiniketan's Annual Poush Mela

Coordinates: 23°41′N 87°41′E / 23.68°N 87.68°E / 23.68; 87.68Coordinates: 23°41′N 87°41′E / 23.68°N 87.68°E / 23.68; 87.68

Country India
State West Bengal
District Birbhum
Elevation 58 m (190 ft)
 • Official BengaliEnglish
Time zone IST (UTC+5:30)
Lok Sabha constituency Bolpur
Vidhan Sabha constituency Bolpur

Shantiniketan (Bengali: শান্তিনিকেতন Shantiniketôn) is a small town near Bolpur in the Birbhum district of West Bengal, India, approximately 180 kilometres north of Kolkata (formerly Calcutta). It was made famous by Nobel Laureate Rabindranath Tagore, whose vision became what is now a university town (Visva-Bharati University) that attracts thousands of visitors each year.[1] The English-daily,The Nation (Thailand) notes,"Using the money he received with his Nobel Prize for Literature in 1913, the school was expanded and renamed Visva-Bharati University. It grew to become one of India's most renowned places of higher learning, with a list of alumni that includes Nobel-winning economist Amartya Sen, globally renowned filmmaker Satyajit Ray and the country's leading art historian, R. Siva Kumar, to name just a few"[2] Santiniketan is also a tourist attraction because Rabindranath Tagore wrote many of his literary classics here, and his house is a place of historical importance.


Shantiniketan was previously called Bhubandanga (named after Bhuban Sinha). This area was gifted from the Sinha family (family of Lord Satyendra Prasanno Sinha) to the Tagore family. Rabindranath's father, Maharshi Debendranath Tagore, found it very peaceful and renamed it Shantiniketan, which means abode (niketan) of peace (shanti). It was here that Rabindranath Tagore started Patha Bhavana, the school of his ideals, whose central premise was that learning in a natural environment would be more enjoyable and fruitful. After he received the Nobel Prize (1913), the school was expanded into a university in 1921. By 1951, it had become one of India's central universities. Many world famous teachers came to be associated with it, including C.F. Andrews and Alex Aronson. Some of its illustrious students are Gayatri Devi, Indira Gandhi, Satyajit Ray, Abdul Ghani Khan, Sukriti Chakraberti, and Nobel Laureate Amartya Sen.

Kala Bhavana, the art college of Santiniketan, is still considered one of the best art colleges in the world. Other institutions here include Vidya Bhavana; the Institute of Humanities, Shiksha Bhavana; the Institute of Science, Sangit Bhavana; Institute of Dance, Drama and Music, Vinaya Bhavana; Institute of Education, Rabindra Bhavana, Institute of Tagore Studies and Research, Palli-Samgathana Vibhaga; Institute of Rural Reconstruction, and Palli Shiksha Bhavana; Institute of Agricultural Sciences. There are also other centres, affiliated to major institutions such as Nippon Bhavana, the Indira Gandhi Centre for National Integration, Rural Extension Centre, Silpa Sadana; Centre for Rural Craft, Technology and Design, Palli-Charcha Kendra; Centre for Social Studies and Rural Development, Centre for Biotechnology, Centre for Mathematics Education, Centre for Environmental Studies, Computer Centre and Indira Gandhi Centre for National Integration. As well as Patha-Bhavana, there are two schools for kindergarten level education; Mrinalini Ananda Pathsala, Santosh Pathsala; a school for primary and secondary education known as Shiksha Satra, and a school of higher secondary education known as Uttar-Shiksha Sadana.

Shantiniketan is also home to Amartya Sen, the 1998 Nobel Prize winner in Economics.


Shantiniketan is located at 23°41′N 87°41′E / 23.68°N 87.68°E / 23.68; 87.68.[3] It has an average elevation of 56 metres (187 feet).


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 July August.

The weather in Shantiniketan is usually a pleasant one although you will come across the normal weather changes during summer, winter and Monsoon. Nonetheless Spring has its own charm in Santiniketan not only because of its natural beauty blooming to its fullest amidst the lush greenery but also due to the famous Vasanta Utsav held to mark the festival of Holi with the onset of Spring.

Shantiniketan can be visited at any time of the year. The climate is moderately warm.

, with summer temperatures at around 34-38°C and winter at 12-15°C. July and August see heavy rainfall.

Major events

Numerous social and cultural events taking place throughout the year, have become part and parcel of Shantiniketan. These include - Basanta Utsav, Barsha Mangal, Sharodutsav, Nandan Mela, Poush Mela, Magh Mela, Rabindra Jayanti to name a few. Of these, the Poush Mela deserves special mention, this being a major tourist attraction.It is a 3-day fair (Bengali, mela means a fair ), starting on the seventh day of the Bengali month Poush(usually, last week of December). It fetches not just tourists, but also artisans, folk singers, dancers, and the traditional Baul from the neighbourhood.


Prayer Hall

Upasana Griha : A prayer hall, made of several colored Belgium glasses with marble steps on all the four sides by the poet's father in 1863. During evening service, candle is lit around the prayer hall, and it wears a magnificent look in flickering light. Prayers are held on Wednesday.


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

China Bhavana

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

Black House : A mud building known for its relief works done by stalwarts like Ram Kinkar and Prabhas Sen. Usually the final year student of Visva Bharati stay here.

Shantiniketan Griha

Shantiniketan Griha: The oldest building of Santiniketan. This is the first building in santiniketan.this is built by Rabindranath Tagore's father Debendranath Tagore.Little Rabi when came here with his father they stayed here.When Rabi went to Himalaya they came here first...

Kala Bhavan

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

Uttarayan Complex

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.


Bichitra:It is also called Rabindra Bhavan, a Research Centre and Museum where the poet's personal belongings, paintings & various editions of his works are exhibited It is designby the Rabindranath tagore's son shamindranath tagore.

Sangeet Bhavan

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


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.


Kankalitala: This is one of the sacred Satipithas, located on the bank of the river Kopai. A temple is located here.

Visva-Bharati Central Library

Visva-Bharati Central Library: Paradise for Book Lover

Gardens and Parks at Shantiniketan

Deer Park : Near Sriniketan, 3 km 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.


Various handicrafts and handlooms can be bought here.


Shantiniketan is famous for its Bengali themed food, especially fish curry.

Places near Santiniketan

  • Fullora (40 km)
  • Nalhati (104 km)
  • Kankalitala (7 km)
  • Bakreshwar (58 km)
  • Massanjore (78 km)
  • Kendubilwa (42 km)
  • Nanoor (23 km)
  • Tarapith (80 km)
  • Kolkata (163km)
  • Barddhaman (58 km)

Hindi Bhavana:Department of Hindi Language. There is an important wall mural called "Medieval Saints" made by Binode Behari Mukherjee in the main hall.


External links

  • Official Shantiniketan website
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