Santiniketan: From Ashram To Tagore’s ‘Visva Bharati’, Know Interesting Facts About UNESCO World Heritage Site

New Delhi: Santiniketan in West Bengal’s Birbhum district, where Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore built Visva-Bharati over a century ago, has been included in the UNESCO World Heritage List.

The world body made the announcement in a post on ‘X’ on Sunday. "New inscription on the @UNESCO #WorldHeritage List: Santiniketan, #India. Congratulations!" it posted.


New inscription on the @UNESCO List: Santiniketan, #India ????????. Congratulations! ????????

➡️ #45WHC

— UNESCO ????️ #Education #Sciences #Culture ???????? (@UNESCO) September 17, 2023

Originally called Bhubandanga, its name was changed to Santiniketan, a combination of the Sanskrit words. "shanti" (meaning peace or tranquility) and "Niketan" (meaning abode or residence), which translates to "abode of peace."

Here Are Some Other Interesting Facts About Rabindranath Tagore’s Santiniketan:

  1. Founded by Rabindranath Tagore’s father : Santiniketan was originally an ashram built by the renowned poet, and Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore’s father Debendranath Tagore in 1863, where anyone, irrespective of caste and creed, could come and meditate on the one Supreme God, according to a description of the landmark on the official website of the UNESCO World Heritage Centre.

  2. Brahmacharya Ashrama: In 1901, Rabindranath started a Brahmacharya ashrama, with no more than five students on the roll, which became known as Patha Bhavana in 1925, according to its official website.
  3. Visva-Bharati University: The university was founded by Rabindranath Tagore in 1921. Known for its emphasis on the holistic development of students and the integration of art, culture, and education, the university is the sole central university of West Bengal and the prime minister is its chancellor. It has attracted students and scholars from all over the world.

  4. Kala Bhavana: Santiniketan is famous for its art school, Kala Bhavana, where students are encouraged to explore various art forms, including painting, sculpture, and crafts.

  5. Sangeet Bhavana: This is the music department of Visva Bharati University and is dedicated to the promotion and preservation of Indian classical music.

  6. Uttarayan Complex: This complex houses several buildings and museums, including the Rabindra Bhavan Museum, showcasing Tagore’s life and works.

  7. Tagore’s Ashram: The original ashram where Tagore stayed is preserved and open to visitors, offering a glimpse into his life and work.
  8. Poush Mela: The Poush Mela is an annual fair held in Santiniketan in December, attracting artists, craftsmen, and visitors from far and wide. It’s a celebration of rural Bengal’s culture and heritage.