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Santiniketan (Santiniketôn) is a small town near Bolpur in the Birbhum district of West Bengal, India, approximately 180 km north of Kolkata (formerly Calcutta). It was established by Maharshi Devendranath Tagore, and later expanded by his son Rabindranath Tagore whose vision became what is now a university town, Visva-Bharati University.[1]

Santiniketan's Annual Poush Mela
Santiniketan's Annual Poush Mela
Santiniketan is located in West Bengal
Coordinates: 23°41′N 87°41′E / 23.68°N 87.68°E / 23.68; 87.68Coordinates: 23°41′N 87°41′E / 23.68°N 87.68°E / 23.68; 87.68
Country India
State West Bengal
District Birbhum
 • Official Bengali, English
Time zone UTC+5:30 (IST)
Lok Sabha constituency Bolpur
Vidhan Sabha constituency Bolpur



Santiniketan was earlier called Bhubandanga (after Bhuban Mohan Sinha, the Zamindar of Raipur in WB), and was owned by the Sinha family. In 1862, Maharshi Debendranath Tagore, while on a visit to Raipur, showed interest in land near Birbhum. There was only one building there namely 'Santiniketan' (which is still there adjacent the upasana mandir known as 'Odisha Bhawan'). Maharshi liked the place and registered it in the name of Maharshi Devendranath against Rupee One as a token value. He called his home Santiniketan (after the name of the house). Santiniketan became a spiritual centre where people from all religions were invited to join for meditation and prayers. He founded an ashram here in 1863 and became the initiator of the Brahmo Samaj.

Here Rabindranath Tagore started Patha Bhavana, the school of his ideals, whose central premise was that learning in a natural environment would be more enjoyable and fruitful. After he received a Nobel Prize in 1913, the school was expanded into a university in 1921. In the year 1924 based on the same ideology and with the intention of educating and training the people belonging to deprived part of the society he founded Siksha Satra with only 7 students. The journey initiated by Kabiguru to kickstart the education system transformation slowly turned into a reality when the institution was recognised as the first university to be recognised in the year 1951 by central government. Over the course of time university has witnessed the growth of talented singers, artists, academicians and scientists contributing to the various domains.The Santiniketan provides the living education for students

Notable peopleEdit


Santiniketan is at 23°41′N 87°41′E / 23.68°N 87.68°E / 23.68; 87.68.[3] It has an average elevation of 56 metres (187 feet).


  • Temperature (deg C): Summer — max. 42.4, min. 34.3; Winter — max. 15.7, min. 6.8.
  • Rainfall: 125 cm (June to September). Heavy in July and August.

Santiniketan can be visited at any time of the year. The climate is moderately warm, with summer temperatures at around 34-45 °C and winter at 6-15 °C. July and August see heavy rainfall.

Major eventsEdit

Social and cultural events take place throughout the year. These include Basanta Utsav, Barsha Mangal, Sharodutsav, Nandan Mela, Anandamela, Poush Mela, Magh Mela, Rabindra Jayanti to name a few.

Of these, the Poush Mela is a major tourist attraction. It is a three-day fair (Bengali, mela means a fair), starting on the seventh day of the Bengali month Poush (usually, last week of December). It fetches tourists, artisans, folk singers, dancers, and the traditional Baul from the neighbourhood.

Gardens and parks at SantiniketanEdit

Santiniketan Garden

There is a Deer Park 3 km from Santiniketan. The entry ticket is 10 rupees. There are lots of deer but nothing else. Originally, the area was a fast eroding 'Khowai'. It is now a large wooded area with herds of deer and makes a natural bird sanctuary.

'sonajhuri' is a tourist place, which is 3.1 km apart from santiniketan. Laal mati(red soil), sonajhuri (earleaf acacia), eucalyptus trees and  erosion of land (khowai) give this place an extraordinary scenic beauty. The place is named after the tree sonajhuri. Here is a great abundance of these trees. This place sonajhuri is largely celebrated for 'Shonibarer Haat' (Saturday's market) which happens to situate here on every Saturday(nowadays also is in Sunday). This market is very remarkable for baul songs, handicrafts, handlooms, home decorating materials etc. People from the nearby villages and many artists from all over Bolpur earn their bread and butter from this market. This is the hub of bolpur crafts with all it's manifestation.This beautiful place bestows its people with the golden dusts of Sonajhuri trees that leaves people with a happy heart and complete bliss.


See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Pearson, WW.: Santiniketan Bolpur School of Rabindranath Tagore, illustrations by Mukul Dey, The Macmillan Company, 1916
  2. ^ Indian Princely States: Tagore Family
  3. ^ Falling Rain Genomics, Inc - Santiniketan

Further readingEdit

External linksEdit