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Santiniketan - Abode of Rabindranath Tagore OR abode of peace

Earlier called Bhubandanga (named after Bhuban Dakat, a local bandit), and owned by the renowned and illustrious Tagore clan, the lovely educational and cultural destination of Santiniketan is picturesquely situated near Bolpur, Birbhum District, West Bengal -- nearly 180 kilometres north of Kolkata (earlier called Calcutta).

Shantinektan literally means house (niketan) of peace (shanti). Made world famous by Nobel Laureate Rabindranath Tagore, whose dream became what is currently a university town (Visva-Bharati University) - an International University and a great center of Oriental education and culture that is thronged by thousands of travelers annually -- Santiniketan is also a renowned tourist place.

The reason is not hard to find. The great poet penned some of his best literary works in the sylvan and peaceful surroundings of this very place, and his house is something which commands and gets much historical and cultural significance.

Following his receipt of the Nobel Prize (1913), the school gained strength and pretty soon became a leading temple of learning at the world stage. Several renowned teachers went on to become a part of it. And some of the students of the university gave a distinct shape to the society and country. Satyajit Ray, Indira Gandhi, Amartya Sen… these are just some of the many such well-known students from this excellent center of learning.

Tourist Places

Under the Visva Bharati-Patha Bhavan numerous centres of learning such as Siksha Bhavan, Vidya Bhavan, Rabindra Bhavan exist. There is also a wonderful museum known as Vichittra and art gallery called Nandan. In addition, Chhatimala, Upasana Mandir, besides Santiniketan Bari are some of the oldest sanctums. Way back in 1922, Rabindranath began a rural reconstruction center at Sriniketan – three kilometers away from Santiniketan. Afterwards, some other institutions have come up at the place.

Bolpur-Santineketan is another tourist attraction of the region and one of the best destinations for those who are somewhat footloose and wish to spend their holidays in picture-perfect surroundings, away from the usual hustle and bustle of the crowded cities.

Bolpur-Santineketan is indeed a pleasant relief of sorts from Kolkata’s feverish pace, noise and pollution. Located 145km away from Kolkata, this tourist place is best known for its proximity to Visva Bharati. Thanks to its closeness to Santiniketan and Sriniketan, Bolpur-Santineketan, over the years, has emerged as one of the key centers of culture and education in the state.
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