Travel Back To Tagore's Time By Staying At This Eclectic Homestay

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Some 117 years ago, the great Rabindranath Tagore laid the foundations of an open-air school in harmony with nature. His principles were simple. Art, literature and education transcend boundaries and borders built by men. But, those were different times. Today belongs to the social media and multi-million apps that keep us occupied. But, if you are tired of being wired and want to take a break then there is a homestay that will take you back to the days of Tagore.

Photo of Travel Back To Tagore's Time By Staying At This Eclectic Homestay 1/1 by Varun Suchday

Nayana's Homestay, lovingly known as Chotta Kothi, is a time travel capsule. Here you will find neither TVs nor any ultramodern gadgets. Here you will find the melodious song of the birds, the flickering of the fireflies and the buzz of the bees. Situated next door to Rabindranath Tagore's university town of Shantiniketan, Chotta Kothi is a refuge for art and literature lovers.

Photo of Santiniketan, West Bengal, India by Varun Suchday

The cottage has been carefully designed and decorated to appeal all the five senses. It adorns endangered Dokra sculptures, vintage furniture, terracotta art pieces, family pictures and memorabilia from the travels of Nayana, the homestay owner. The homestay also has vast outdoor space for kids and pets to enjoy. You can enjoy a cup of Darjeeling tea sitting in the verandah or head to the rooftop and look for the singing birds and dancing fireflies.

Photo of Travel Back To Tagore's Time By Staying At This Eclectic Homestay by Varun Suchday

The three bedrooms lead you across the length and breadth of Bengal with its local art pieces and textiles. The peace and relaxation your mind feels in the bedrooms are hard to describe in words. The living room is the pièce de résistance. The lights, the sink-in sofas and the old world ambience provide the stage for long conversations and mindful readings.

Photo of Travel Back To Tagore's Time By Staying At This Eclectic Homestay by Varun Suchday

Nayana Gangooly, the owner of Chotta Kothi, is always up for a conversation. She is a wine connoisseur and a world traveller and is also well versed in local handicrafts. You can strike up a conversation about all things Bengal and beyond over a cup of Coorgi coffee or a glass of fine wine.

Food

The homestay offers a complimentary English breakfast and comes with a fully equipped kitchen and a well-stocked pantry. You are free to cook and the housekeeper is always around to help if need be. However, if you are in no mood cook then you can order Bengali, Santhali and regular meals from places around the homestay.

Ideal for

Couples, families and pet-owners looking to disconnect and enjoy the simpler pleasures of life in a green oasis.

Cost

₹4,000 for doubles.

Best time to go

Mid-November to March is the best time to go given the temperature ranges from 15 to 30 Celsius and there is little rainfall.

What to do around the property

You can explore Tagore's university town of Shantiniketan which is walking distance away; learn more about him by visiting Tagore's House and Museum; visit the various craft shops around the homestay; buy souvenirs at the Saturday Flea Market, and take a day-trip to see the magnificent Terracotta Temple of Bishnupur.

Getting there

The nearest metro city is Kolkata, some 139km away.

By air: Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose International Airport (CCU), Kolkata, 139km away, is the nearest airport.

By road: You can hire private taxis from Kolkata to reach the homestay.

By train: Bolpur Railway Station, 3km away has good connectivity with Kolkata.

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