Located about 213 kms from Kolkata, Shantiniketan is popular for its Visva Bharati University. It is one of the most prestigious centers for higher education in India. Major tourist attractions in and around Shantiniketan are Rabindra Bhavan, Nanoor, Tarapith, Deer Park, Uttarayan Gardens, Massanjore, etc. This town is also famous for some of the interesting fairs and festivals such as Poush Mela, Maghotsav, Vasanta Utsav and Varshamangal. Plenty of tourists from all over the world are attracted towards Shantiniketan to explore these tourist attractions and festivals.
Visva Bharati University is one of the most significant tourist attractions in and around Shantiniketan. Founded by Rabindranath Tagore on 22nd December, 1901, it is a center of international culture and studies. It has two campuses, one at Shantiniketan and another at Sriniketan. The campus consists of murals, paintings, frescoes, sculptures and artistic tributes to Rabindranath Tagore, Ramkinkar, Nandlal Bose, etc. Following the Gurukul traditions, the classes are conducted outdoors.
Sriniketan is located at Surul at a distance of about 3 kms from Shantiniketan. It was established as a rural reconstruction center in the year 1922. It was formally inaugurated on 6th February, 1922. It main purpose is to promote the rural development and to help the villagers.
The Uttarayan Complex is another place of interest in Shantiniketan. It is the abode of Tagore family. Rabindranath Tagore created many of his literary works at this place. It comprises of many buildings such as Shyamali, Udyana, Konark, Udichi and Punascha. The Vichitra Museum and Art Gallery in the same campus displays the writings, paintings and sketches of Rabindranath Tagore. One of the interesting tourist attractions near Shantiniketan is the Deer Park or Ballavpur Wildlife Sanctuary. Located about 3 kms away from Shantiniketan, it is famous for herds of spotted deer, black buck, fox, jackals and a large variety of water birds. Situated at a distance of about 30 kms from Shantiniketan, Kenduli is another spot of tourist interest. It is the birthplace of Bengal's first popular poet, Jaydev who composed the world famous Geet Govinda. Kenduli is popular for its folk song festival, Kenduli Mela, which is conducted at the time of Makar Sankranti in mid January.
The campus of Shantiniketan is famous for some of the holy temples. About 88 kms away from Shantiniketan, Tarapith is popular among the devotees for its Tara Devi Temple. Lavpur-Fullara is another pilgrimage center. It is situated at a distance of about 30 kms from Shantiniketan.
Held in the Bengali month of Poush, Poush Utsav becomes one of the major festivals celebrated in the district of Birbhum. It is characterized by live performances of Bengali folk music, especially the Baul music. It includes folk songs, dances and tribal sports. Vasanta Utsav, the festival of spring, is another interesting festival celebrated in the Visva Bharati University. During this festival, several cultural programs such as songs, group choreography and dances are held at Shantiniketan. When the program is over, all the students and staff in the university enjoy Holi using gulal and abeer.
Last Updated On: 2011/09/02