Shantiniketan - In Lands of Tagore | Weekend Getaway from Kolkata

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Photo of Shantiniketan - In Lands of Tagore | Weekend Getaway from Kolkata by Pratik Santra

If you are looking to take a break from hectic life in a calm , peaceful life for a week end Shantiniketan is the place to be with family or friends.

Reaching Shantiniketan

Shantiniketan is small town near Bolpur in the Birbhum district of West Bengal . You can either drive your self to the place (163.5 km) via NH19 and NH114 from Kolkata or take train from Howrah and the nearest rail way station is Bolpur ( 2.8kms away ) and second nearest Prantik (3.5kms away) . In 3-4 hrs you can wave goodbye to city life and enter the land of Tagore, where you can find peace , calmness all around you in the arms of nature.

Photo of Shantiniketan - In Lands of Tagore | Weekend Getaway from Kolkata 1/19 by Pratik Santra

Exploring Visva-Bharati University

Rabrindranath’s father, Debendranath Tagore wanted to built a gurukul/school for educational and spiritual purpose. He was given this land and he named is Shantiniketan , which means a peaceful home ( shanti - peace ; Niketan - home)

Later Rabindranath Tagore started living here and and opened the university known as Visva-Bharati University. A local guide accompanied us and informed us the details of every buildings , places and their importance in the history and how Tagore was associated with each of them. So if you are visiting here, it's good to have a local guide if you want to know every details of the

Photo of Shantiniketan - In Lands of Tagore | Weekend Getaway from Kolkata 2/19 by Pratik Santra
Chattim Tala , the meditation spot of Tagore's Father, Maharshi Debendranath Tagore.

Today classes of junior sections are still held under trees and open sky and higher . I can imagine how cool it is to study under the shades of trees, blue sky and hearing the tweets of birds and cool

breeze passing by you all time.

Photo of Shantiniketan - In Lands of Tagore | Weekend Getaway from Kolkata 3/19 by Pratik Santra
The open classrooms where students sit around the teacher & The bell of the school

The Rabindra Bhavan Museum where personal belongings of the Poet are kept , with some of his masterpiece artworks. His achievement are also displayed in the galleries.

Photo of Shantiniketan - In Lands of Tagore | Weekend Getaway from Kolkata 4/19 by Pratik Santra
Rabindra Bhavan Museum

The guide showed us the various Houses and belongings of Tagore, where he lived at different stages of his life. Some of Tagore's original manuscripts, letters, documents, paintings, certificates and photographs are kept in the houses.

Photo of Shantiniketan - In Lands of Tagore | Weekend Getaway from Kolkata 5/19 by Pratik Santra
KONARK- Built in 1919. Konark as it stands today went through various stages of transformation. A few steps from the main room on the east,is a well know red verandah-where the Poet held poetry session.
Photo of Shantiniketan - In Lands of Tagore | Weekend Getaway from Kolkata 6/19 by Pratik Santra
PUNASCHA - Tagore moved into this house in 1946. He would often sing and work in the open terrace in front of the house
Photo of Shantiniketan - In Lands of Tagore | Weekend Getaway from Kolkata 7/19 by Pratik Santra
UDICHI- This is the last house built for the poet . He came to live at Udichi towards the end of 1939.
Photo of Shantiniketan - In Lands of Tagore | Weekend Getaway from Kolkata 8/19 by Pratik Santra
The Car used by Tagore.
Photo of Shantiniketan - In Lands of Tagore | Weekend Getaway from Kolkata 9/19 by Pratik Santra
Tagore's house interior.
Photo of Shantiniketan - In Lands of Tagore | Weekend Getaway from Kolkata 10/19 by Pratik Santra

The Deer park is also a must visit if you have never seen deer before.

Sonajhuri Sanibarer Haat-Khoai Mela

Photo of Shantiniketan - In Lands of Tagore | Weekend Getaway from Kolkata 11/19 by Pratik Santra
The place gets it's name from the tree "sonajhuri" which looks like golden basket and located on the banks of Khoai river. The Mela is at it's prime on Saturday ( Sanibar) and during Holi . But if you can't visit on weekends you will still find shops at this place. If you are staying near Shantiniketan hire an auto and reach the place in 5-10mins. You can stay at hotels near this place as well . The Sonajhuri trees are ideal for photography.
Photo of Shantiniketan - In Lands of Tagore | Weekend Getaway from Kolkata 12/19 by Pratik Santra
Sonajhuri

The place has a charm of it's own. Baul singing bengali folk songs in ektara and traders selling traditional handicrafts , jewellery enhances the beauty of the place. Who wouldn't enjoy folk bengali song by the river in the evening with a cup of tea . The atmosphere of the place is simply magical.

Photo of Shantiniketan - In Lands of Tagore | Weekend Getaway from Kolkata 13/19 by Pratik Santra
Bauls at Sonajhuri singing Folk Songs
Photo of Shantiniketan - In Lands of Tagore | Weekend Getaway from Kolkata 14/19 by Pratik Santra
Various Handicrafts at mela

Digging Up The Past

Two 19th century building located at on the outskirts of Shantiniketan is probably the nearest heritage excursion spot from Shantinekatan. The Sarkar Rajbari and The Palace of Lord Sinha. The Sarkar Rajbari is still in good shape but the Sinha Palace has lost all it's beauty and the ruins are left behind. Personally speaking the The Palace of Lord Sinha is a better place for photo-shoot . It has a special devastated ,abandoned effect of it's own.
Photo of Shantiniketan - In Lands of Tagore | Weekend Getaway from Kolkata 15/19 by Pratik Santra
Sarkar Rajbari
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The ruins of Lord Sinha Palace

Kankali Tala Mandir

It is one of the Shakti Peethas where the waist (or kankal in Bengali) of Parvati fell which is at present the Kankalitala town. It's about 30 mins in auto.
Photo of Shantiniketan - In Lands of Tagore | Weekend Getaway from Kolkata 17/19 by Pratik Santra
Kankali Tala Mandir

Drive to Massanjore dam

If you have an extra day in hand you can visit the Massanjore dam (66kms away from Shantiniketan). Enjoy boating and the nature

Photo of Shantiniketan - In Lands of Tagore | Weekend Getaway from Kolkata 18/19 by Pratik Santra
Massanjore dam

Staying At Shantiniketan

Numerous budget friendly hotels are available online in and around shantiniketan at affordable prices for all. We stayed at Park Guest House near the deer park.
Photo of Shantiniketan - In Lands of Tagore | Weekend Getaway from Kolkata 19/19 by Pratik Santra

Happy Journey to all

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