Glimpses of Santiniketan

Santiniketan (or ‘Santiniketon’ as the Bengali babu calls it) probably needs no introduction. It is located a few kilometers away from Bolpur and about 180 km from Kolkatta and it is made famous by Rabindranath Tagore and the Visva  Bharati University.

Santiniketan House

The nearest Railway Station is Bolpur-Santiniketan. Bolpur itself is a typical dusty little rural town and hasn’t seen the type of infrastructural development you might associate with any town near such a famous tourist spot. We went up to Santiniketan by cycle rickshaw as there was no other mode of transport and in any case it was off season. The museum itself was closed due to a visit by President Pratibha Patil but the gounds of the university and adjoining areas were open. We managed to find a guide who took us around.


The University itself was started as a school by Tagore before he won his Nobel prize and then was subsequently converted to an University. It now houses a large number of students from all over the country and abroad. The school itself follows the gurukul system, students sit under a tree and are taught by gurus in the open air. The atmoshpere was serene and peaceful. For a full history of santiniketan you may check this link .

Ghanta Tala

The campus has more than 20 hostels, huge playgrounds and several canteens to cater to the thousands of students studying there. Children start right from primary school to college. A stroll around the campus shows you the cultural ethos that the university is steeped in – there are sculptures, paintings and murals everywhere.


The Black House


The main Attraction is the Kalabhavan complex which is the art section of the complex as the name suggests and is dotted with various innovative forms of art. Chances are that as you take a stroll through the campus you will come across someone selling handicrafts and beautiful handmade sculptures. With these photographs I have tried to take you on a cultural journey through the complex. Hope you like it.



Ladies Hostel






Bholpur Hotel Review – Hotel Mark and Meadows, Santiniketan

Hotel Mark and Meadows is located on the outskirts of Bolpur Town but on the main road leading upto the Viswabharathi university and santiniketan. It is a huge property with spacious rooms (very large rooms) and ideal for long walks in the evening. There is a pond at the back of the hotel which the hotel claims guests can use for fishing. However due to Santiniketan’s proximity to Kolkatta there is not much rush but it is ideal for spending a quite weekend away from the hustle and bustle of Kolkatta coupled with the cultural Diversity of Santiniketan to boot. We went in on Sunday and were practically the only ones for the next few days in the Hotel. Service and food were quite good. It also has a conference hall and recreation facilities.


Hotel Mark & Meadows - Reception



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  • Hey Patrick, wondeful. I have also sent out a post, couple of days back on shantiniketan and Bakreshwar.

    I believe it will be posted soon. Have a look into that post too. I travelled to Shantiniketan around 3 years back. Its really very peaceful

    Anupam Mazumdar

  • Nandan Jha says:

    Long time Patrick.

    Hope the new job and new place would mean lot of new stories for us. :-)

    Shantiniketan is a big ticket item and one finds it mention at numerous places. It is the first time that I have seen so many pics of the place. Write more.

  • Vibha says:

    Long time Patrick.

    Nice to know about Shantiniketan. Seems to be a quiet, serene place.

    The post seemed quite short. Wish there was more. :)

    Write more soon.

    • Patrick says:

      Thanks vibha. It was a visit lasting just a few hours so not much to write except what i could glean out of the guide.

  • Asish K Das says:

    Patrick, we are indeed grateful to you for bringing “Santiniketon” to the limelight. It must have been very short visit. I find you have missed out many facets of this great Institution. For example, there is no mention of “Sriniketan” (which is the rural wing of Viswa Bharati University) and quite a few of your attached photographs does not bear any caption. Each and every pics has some kind of historical or cultural background and unless proper caption is given, the readers wouldn’t know what are these for. By the way, what did you actually mean by “Bengali babu”? In fact, bengalees (irrespective whether babu or no-babu) would pronounce “Santiniketon”!

    • Patrick says:

      Thanks ashish Ji. Yes I missed out on sriniketan. Most of the photos are of art work and murals on the walls of the campus especially kalabhavan.

  • D.L.Narayan says:

    Thanks, Patrick, for walking us through the hallowed precincts of Santiniketan. Great pictures too but I wish you had captioned all of them. I also wish that you had included a picture of the house where the Gurudev lived. Eagerly waiting for your next.

  • hi patrick

    Thanks for taking us to virtual tour of Shantiniketan.Beautiful pictures and wonderful description……

    Keep Traavelling and posting…………

  • Roopesh says:

    Very nice. The art inside the campus is beautiful. As you describe, the place has really seem to have retained its moral & cultural ethos. Having been to Kolkata recently West Bengal seem to be last bastion of cultural heritage still not marauded by gaudy modernism.

  • SilentSoul says:

    Rabindra Nath Tagore is one of my most loved persons…. so anything about him… gives me immense pleasure

    tks patrick

  • Mukesh Bhalse says:


  • Patrick says:

    Thanks everyone…

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