5 things to do in Tagore's Santiniketan
Located in West Bengal's Birbhum district, Santiniketan must be on your travel bucket list if you love culture and music blended with peace and tranquility. Pioneered by Rabindranath Tagore, this place celebrates art, education, and literature in the best way. It also brings local musicians together and encourages local artisans. Santiniketan houses the world-famous Viswa Bharati University that was founded in 1921 by Tagore.
Built by Tagore's father Maharshi Debendranath Tagore, Chattimtala is the place where he used to practice meditation and propagate the importance of the art of meditation. When here, you can practice meditation amidst the peaceful surrounding that will bring you inner peace. Every graduate of Viswa Bharati University is felicitated with a branch of the Saptaparni tree that is found in Chattimtala.
Constructed in 1983, Upasana Griha, or prayer hall is one of the most beautiful buildings in Santiniketan. Located on the Vishwa Bharati University campus, the entire building is made using Belgian glass. It's also known as Kanch Mandir because of the stunning glass-laden walls and marble steps. The hall is lit with candles every evening and prayers are held here every week on Wednesday.
If you visit Santiniketan during December, you just cannot miss the Poush Mela. The month of Poush marks the first winter of the Bengali calendar and the event is organized on the seventh day of Poush. The fair displays a wide variety of items like hand-printed clothes, jewelry, bags, and home decor. You can also enjoy some folk dance, music and food when here.
Sonajhurir Haat is one of the most visited tourist spots in Santiniketan. Haat or bazaar is the place where local artisans come together to sell their handicrafts and other unique creations. From stunning handmade bangles and sarees to paintings, pottery, and delicious food, you can find everything here. Here you can also enjoy Santhal dance performances and melodious local music by famous Baul singers.
If you are an art lover, then Amar Kutir must be on your travel list. The place was earlier used as a refugee center for activists of the Indian Independence Movement in 1922. Established in 1927, the place is now a cooperative society promoting local art. You can buy leather goods, Kantha stitched sarees, batik print items and bamboo crafts when here.