Shantiniketan is a small town near Kolkata in West Bengal. The name of the city literally translates to ‘abode of peace’. It became famous when Rabindranath Tagore used the money he received from the Nobel Prize for Literature to develop the school he started into the Vishwa Bharati University. It went on to become one of India’s most respected centres for higher learning with an illustrious list of world renowned alumni. Shantiniketan is also the place where Tagore lived and wrote many of his classics. As a result, it is a popular tourist destination.
Places to Stay
Nisha Hotel (Tariff – Rs. 500) and Basudhara Hotel (Tariff – Rs. 1000) are reliable stay options while in Shantiniketan.
Bengali and English are both given the stature of official languages.
Poush Mela takes place in the last week of December. It is a celebration of creative forms involving folk dancers, traditional dancers and artisans.
Places of Interest
Upasana Griha (Prayer Hall), Dehali (Tagore’s home), Kala Bhavan (a museum exhibiting murals, frescoes and sculptures and a library of art books), Visve-Bharti Central Library and Bichitra (an exhibition of Tagore’s paintings, other works and personal belongings) are all popular destinations.
How to Get There
The closest airport to Shantiniketan is Kolkata airport, located about 212 kms away.
The nearest railway station is Bolpur, about 4 kms away. There are multiple express trains between Kolkata and Bolpur.
Shree Ashtavinayak Travels, Jai Ambe Travels, Intercity Travels are good private services that operate out of Shantiniketan’s Moldanga Bus Stand, about 4 kms away from town centre. Today Volvo bus service has become very popular amongst travellers across India.