Shantiniketan

Published: 21.05.2017
Updated: 23.05.2017

Shantiniketan, West Bengal, India

Shantiniketan

Shantiniketan (Bengali) শান্তিনিকেতন Shantiniketôn) is a small town near Bolpur in the Birbhum district of West Bengal, India, approximately 160 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.

History

Shantiniketan was earlier called Bhubandanga (named after Bhuban Dakat, a local dacoit), and was owned by the Tagore family. In 1862, Maharshi Devendranath Tagore, while on a visit to Raipur, he met with his earlier friend who happened to be the zamindar of Raipur. Earlier, on request from his zamindar friend, Maharshi use to teach his son English occasionally. They had been good friends. On this occasion Maharshi Devendranath expressed his desire to open up an ASHRAM and an educational institution and was in search of a suitable land in Birbhum. Then his friend told Maharshi Devendranath about a big barren land near Bolpur. Maharshi showed his interest to see the place himself. Then he took Maharshi one day to the barren land. There was only one building there namely 'Santiniketan'(which is still there adjacent the UPASANA mandir known as 'ODISHA Bhawan'). Maharshi liked the place very much and expressed it to his friend. His friend readily agreed to give the entire barren land to Maharshi Devendranath and registered it in the name of Maharshi Devendranath against Rupee One as a token value. He called his home Shantiniketan (after the name of the house). Shantiniketan 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 the Nobel Prize (1913), the school was expanded into a university in 1921. By 1951, it had become one of India's central universities.

References

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Some texts contain  footnotes  and  glossary  entries. To distinguish between them, the links have different colors.
  1. Bhavana
  2. Bolpur
  3. Calcutta
  4. Environment
  5. Kolkata
  6. Mandir
  7. Meditation
  8. Rabindranath Tagore
  9. Raipur
  10. Tagore
  11. Upasana
  12. Visva-Bharati University
  13. West Bengal
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