Santiniketan Tourism and Travel Guide
History of Santiniketan: Santiniketan was previously called Bhubandanga (named after Bhuban Dakat, a local dacoit), and owned by theSantiniketan Tagore family. Rabindranath’s father, Maharshi Debendranath Tagore, found it very peaceful and renamed it Santiniketan, which means abode (niketan) of peace (shanti). It was here that Rabindranath Tagore started Patha Bhavan 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 Noble Prize (1913), the school was expanded into a university. Many world famous teachers have become associated with it, and Indira Gandhi was one of its more illustrious students.
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 SantiniketanIntegration. 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.
How to Reach?
By Road: Regular buses ply regularly on the Calcutta-Santiniketan route covering a distance of 211 km.
By Rail: The nearest railway station to Santiniketan is Bolpur, which is connected to Calcutta. From Bolpur, one can simply take a cycle rickshaw to cover the 2 km distance to Santiniketan.
By Air: The nearest airport is at Calcutta.
Festival: Rabindra Janmotsav is celebrated in mid-April to mark the Bengali New Year and as well Tagore’s anniversary.
Briksharopan, the festival of planting saplings, and Halakarshan, the festival of plowing the fields, are celebrated on 22nd and 23rd day of Sravana (August).
Varshamangal, the festival of rains, is celebrated during August/September.Santiniketan
Poush Utsav, a fair held at Santiniketan and Visva Bharati from 7th to 9th Poush (December), is observed to mark its foundation day. Tribal sports, dances, and folk songs, including songs by Bauls-the wandering minstrels of Bengal-are a part of the fair and festivities.
Maghotsav is celebrated on the 11th of Magha (January) to mark the anniversary of Brahmo Samaj.
Vasanta Utsav is held to mark Holi. The students dance and sing their ways through Amrakunja, followed by open-air variety programs.