Bolpur- Shantiniketan is a beautiful tourist spot situated almost 164 kms away from the metropolitan city of Kolkata. It is mainly famous for the Vishwa Bharati University which was founded by Rabindranath Tagore. The famous “Basanta Utsab” (The Holi Festival) has also attracted various tourists by its beautiful cultural programmes-dance, rabindra-sangeet etc. Presently, it has developed into a town with all facilities being available and thus have become one of the favourite tourist attractions for many people from all over the world. The place is quite affordable and perfect for a short vacation. Therefore, we packed our bags and headed towards Shantiniketan.
How to reach Bolpur- Shantiniketan from Kolkata?
Every route of Kolkata has bus services till Howrah Station. One can avail trains from either Howrah Station or Sealdah Station to reach Bolpur-Shantiniketan. We took the Howrah- Suiri Intercity Express from Howrah. It leaves around 8:35 a.m from the Howrah Station and we almost reached Bolpur Station by 12:30 p.m.
The journey was quite smooth and comfortable with the scenic and peaceful view from the train. As we reached the stations near Shantiniketan area, we spotted a baul ( folk singers of Bengal) singing “Milon hobe koto dine…….O amar moner manushero sone ” (A popular bengali song). We couldn’t stop admiring his singing and ran upto him to tell how much we liked his songs. Finally we reached the station by 12:30 p.m. As we got out of the station, a bunch of toto drivers came rushing towards us [Such an amazing welcome ;)] We managed to get a toto driver after bargaining with him and he decided to take us to our lodge with was located at Bhubandanga.(Be aware of the price the toto-drivers charge for the rides.)
Where to stay in Shantiniketan?
There are various lodges where you can stay. The bhubandanga area itself has a lot of lodges and the place is near to all the main attractions of Shantiniketan. We checked into Udayan Lodge( contact number: 9635 513301 ). The lodge provided us with all kinds of facilities. The owners and the staff were very warm-hearted and cordial. One of the staffs even mended my slipper which accidentally got torn. The rooms services were quick and on time. They prepared the rooms before we entered. We took one air-conditioned room for 24 hours which costed us INR 1300 with water services and morning tea. There is a medical shop just behind the lodge for emergency medications.
Where to eat?
We ate at a restaurant named Green Chilli which was a 5 minutes walk from the lodge.The restaurant had all kinds of food but their bengali style dishes were lipsmacking. The quality and quantity of the food was also good.
Main attractions we visited…
SONAJHURI HAAT- The haat takes place on saturday from 4p.m. Shantiniketan is a hub for many local skilled artists who make pots, jewelleries, potraits etc for their livelihood. The haat is a place where they showcase their talent to the people coming from all over the world. There are many baul singers and folk dancers performing in the haat as well. It is one of the attraction for the photographers.
KOPAI RIVER- It is a tributary of the Mayurakshi River that flows through Shantiniketan. It was quite hot when we visited and hence the river was all dried up. We could see the rocks and a thin layer of water flowing.
VISHWA BHARATI UNIVERSITY- Founded by Rabindranath Tagore,the university has a huge campus. We saw small raised mud platforms where it is believed that Rabindranath Tagore used to teach children under the open sky. The poet was not a believer of studying within the corners of four walls. We also spotted the tree under which he wrote the famous poem- ” Kumor parar gorur gari”.
KONKALITALA- It is located on the banks of Kopai River and it is believed to be one of the shakti-peeths where the waist of sati fell. It has several temples situated over there.
We checked out of the hotel and visited the Kopai river. The Prantik Station was nearer to the area. So, we took a toto till the station and without reservation we got a train till Sealdah station. Thus, we bid goodbye to Shantiniketan with our heart full of contentment and mind full of tranquility.
Do visit the place specially during the Holi Festival. If you liked our post, then please follow our blog and do share it with your friends and family.