Shantiniketan, West Bengal: Synonymous with Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore’s University, is Shantiniketan (also spelt Santiniketan) – a small town in Birbhum District in the central part of West Bengal. Birbhum District is the northernmost District of the Burdwan Division – one of the three administrative divisions of West Bengal State and shares its western border with Jharkhand State in India. Located 180 kilometres north of the State Capital – Kolkata, Shantiniketan is positioned at 23.68°N 87.68°E, and is at an elevation of about 200 feet above sea level.
This land was popularly known as ‘Bhubandanga’ after the Zamindar (landlord) of Raipur in Birbhum – Bhuban Mohan Sinha who owned this site. It was given on lease to Rabindranath Tagore’s father – Debendranath Tagore who rechristened it ‘Shantiniketan’ meaning ‘abode of peace’ owing to the beautiful and serene surroundings of this site.
One of the biggest tourist destinations and on the most highly visited little town is Shantiniketan owing to the popularity it gained since 1863 when Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore founded and established the ‘Visva Bharati University – a Central University meant for research and teaching in Shantiniketan. Thousands of tourists throng to Shantiniketan each year to visit the Visva Bharati Campus which is what Shantiniketan is synonymous with.
Bengali Nobel Laureate for Literature - Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore penned down many of his classics at Shantiniketan where his house is still kept intact for the world to visit. This put the little town of Shantiniketan on the map of tourism and became popular worldwide.
Almost all People who stay at Shantiniketan are either directly or indirectly involved with the Visva Bharati in its operations and hence their lives and lifestyles revolve around Visva Bharati’s traditions and culture. Holi – the festival of colours is the top favourite here among others.
Nanoor (22 kms), Nalhati (80 kms), Kolkata (180 kms).