If you seek a getaway from the cacophony of the city life, then Shantiniketan awaits you in all her glory. The literal meaning of the term ‘Shantiniketan’ is the abode of peace and the place lives up to its name. This beautiful region in West Bengal is around 3 hours from Kolkata and the serenity and beauty of the virgin nature around the area is truly mesmerizing.
Shantiniketan is known for its association with the noble laureate poet, Rabindranath Tagore. He materialized the dreams of his father and set up the open-air institution here in 1901. Previously, his father Devendranath Tagore set up the Shantiniketan Ashram here. The Vishwa Bharati University began its journey from 1921 and the university is hailed as one of the finest seats of learning for art and culture in the world.
Things to do and Major attractions:
There are several places to visit in Shantiniketan and you must plan your trip accordingly. One of the foremost tourist attractions is Tagore’s Ashrama that carries his rich legacy. If you plan your trip to coincide with the 7th Day of Poush (a Bengali month and corresponds with December), then you can be witness to the Poush Mela that brings out the culture and tradition of the region. Every Saturday, the Khoai Mela is held and you can pick up some fine specimens of art-items and handicrafts made by local artists. Kala Bhawan, Upasana Ghar, Deer Park, and China Bhawan are some of the other places that you cannot miss while you are Shantiniketan Sightseeing.
The Rabindra Bhawan Museum is a place that you take you back in time as it still uses the items used by Tagore and also gives you a lot of information on the greatest poet in the world. The Khoai-Kopai irrigation systems offer a peaceful time beside the beautiful rivers. You can pack your picnic basket and spend the day by the river.
People and Culture:
The locals are culturally rich and proud of the rich heritage of Tagore and his works. They celebrate several festivals all through the year and the Paush Mela and Dol Utsav or Holi are among the most grandly celebrated festivals here. Rabindra Jayanti (birthday of Tagore) and Joydev Fair which is a fine example of folk music and Baul music, are also popular.
Local Food and Popular Shopping Items:
You can enjoy the best of Bengali cuisine and since it is a popular tourist destination there are numerous eateries around the place.
The shopping enthusiasts prefer buying handicraft items, books, art-work, and home décor items from this place. The several Melas are a great place to find a great diversity of items to shop.
Best Time to Visit:
Ideally, you should visit Shantiniketan during the winter or the monsoon months. So plan your trip between July and February to experience Shantiniketan at its best.
Availability of Accommodation Type:
The living arrangements here are plentiful and you can pick from various hotels of various price ranges. Sakuntala Village Resort, Aayesh Bed, and Breakfast, Shantiniketan Home Stay are some of the luxury options and you can also pick the likes of Rangamati Garden Resort at a budget.