"Sujalang Sufalang Malayaja Sheetalang Shashyashyamalang Mataram, Bande Mataram."
The magical surroundings of our dear motherland India, consisting of the glorious seas and Bays, the desolate deserts, the opulent palaces and marvelous "havelis", the surreal mountains and lakes, is a splendid legendary land with exuberant folk-culture, rich artistry and spectacular festivities adored and admired by the entire globe.
The wanderlust of the Bengalis is phenomenal in nature and speaks volumes of the quest of the eternal Bengali soul for romance, chivalry, and adventure as well as for exploring Mother Nature's marvels and the history and cultural heritage of the diverse parts of the globe. Always teeming with vibrancy, joy and friendliness, we form a very significant part of the globetrotting generation, always ready to soar greater heights and touch the glory of the world.
Our good old Bengal, does, by no means, lag behind in the tourism industry of India. With its enchanting natural beauty, its magnificence of cultural expressions and multi-hued festivities that together work towards blending the marvels of modernity and the rich harvests of tradition, Bengal, along with the entire eastern zone of India is an exquisite destination that tourists all over India will cherish for a lifetime.
In the proverbial "red soil" and sublime ambience of Bolpur, Birbhum District of West Bengal, stands the historic Shantiniketan, Gurudev Tagore's heavenly abode of peace, an immensely rich and culturally stimulating experience for every tourist who would like to bask in the glory and essence of Bengal's creativity and intellectualism.
Places of Tourist attention:
Kalabhavan: The Kalabhavan is the nucleus and cultural essence of Tagore's Shantiniketan. Founded by the fertile hands of this great soul of Bengal, Kalabhavan is a unique institution where traditional art and culture is taught, preached, exhibited and worshipped to the whole of the world.
Exhibits: Murals and frescos of Binod Behari Mukherjee, Somnath Hore's Sculptures and lots of others.
Khoyai-Deer Park- the most exotic forest area of the Shantiniketan, the Khoyai Deer Park is every tourist's delight, with its lush green surroundings and adorable species of deer roaming around with pristine innocence.
Sriniketan: a world-renowned haven of leather and handicraft specialties including "Batik" art that evolved from that particular historical place.
In Bhuvandanga, just adjacent to the much-hyped Shriniketan, another very historically stimulating experience is awaiting to be unfolded by you. It is here that you will get to see the prodigious banyan Tree where Maharshi Debendranath Tagore used to meditate and philosophize-the legendary lush green surroundings is named "Chhatimtala."
Upasana Kakshya: The famous alter of worship that the eternal pride of every Bengali soul Rabindranath Tagore used to reside upon early at dawn at the time of his prayers to the almighty along with all inhabitants of the Ashram of Shantiniketan.
Amrakunja: The surreal vicinity of the heavenly orchards of "Amrakunja"---a very famous tourist attraction for the loners and lovers throughout the world.
Kalor Dokan: It is a typical food-hub running very successfully straight from the times of Tagore as an Asramite.Comprising of several Bengali delicacies, "Kalor dokan", as it is known by (it is proverbial for the typical Bengali fruit "Kalo Jam"), carries the spiritual remnants of Tagore and his times.
The festivities of Shantiniketan:
Poush Mela: The Poush Mela, held amidst the freezing winter of December, is a notable amalgamation of the diverse cultural sects of Bengal. It is this festival that incorporates all the"Bauls"(nomadic singers famous for their bohemianism and philosophical chantings) from numerous parts of the state.
Nandan Mela: Art and sculpture fest celebrated every year immediately after the Poush Mela.It is a gala celebration time for art-lovers from every part of India as well as abroad when legendary as well as contemporary artists and sculptors of India come together under one single platform and showcase their creations to the national and international tourists.
The lovely springs charm the minds of the students of Viswa Bharati University, Shantiniketan, when they cherish the vibrant "Dol Utsav" or "BasantaUtsav", as it is popularly known in Shantiniketan, amidst colours, gaiety, frolic, and, not to forget, its enchanting music. Tourists from all over the globe come to witness that spectacular festivity of spring called Basanta Utsav that has now been a trademark of Shantiniketan and its cultural legacy.
The spectacular birth-anniversary of Gurudev or "Robi Thakur", as he is popularly known in Shantiniketan, is celebrated with remarkable pomp and grandeur in Shantiniketan. Artists, poets, writers, art-connoisseurs and intellectuals from the whole of Bengal assemble in Biswa Bharati to commemorate the auspicious occasion of the birth of the holy poet, writer and philosopher of the globe. With its music, melody, and cultural ambience-Pochishe Basisakh (the 25th date of the first month of the Bengali Calendar) is a rare carnival that the people of the entire Bengal boast of as a rich cultural and spiritual experience.
The death-anniversary of Tagore, Viswa-Bharati's spiritual father, like his birth-anniversary, is celebrated remarkably in the whole of Shantiniketan, though it is observed in apparently somber tones.
With flowers, bouquettes and music, the Ashramites pay their soulful tribute to the deceased soul of their dear Gurudev and pray to the Almighty so that his soul rests in peace forever in the Divine Abode.