University


Shantiniketan is situated at a distance of 164 km form Calcutta. Shantiniketan was founded by Maharishi Debendranath Tagore, father of Rabindranath Tagore, who also established an ashram here, later known as the Abode of Peace. In 1901, his son started an experimental place of learning with a classroom under the trees and a group of five pupils. This place later became to be known as Vishva Bharati University in 1921 which attracts students from all over the world and aspires to be a spiritual meeting ground in a serene, culturally rich and artistic environment. Today, Shantiniketan is a great centre for higher studies in arts and known for the famous Vishva Bharati University. The whole place is steeped in the memory of the great poet, Rabindranath Tagore.

"Viswabharati is perhaps the world's first every open-air university founded by Nobel Laureate Rabindranath Tagore. It is located in Santiniketan in West Bengal's Birbhum district, originally the habitat of adivasi tribes who still sell their handicrafts at Santiniketan at the Saturday fair. Santiniketan is a University town and the most common transport used are the bicycle and the cycle rickshaw. The environment within the University complex is not tarnished by skyscrapers and shopping malls that make every Indian city look like the next one. It has an air of freshness about it with muddy roads that kick up dust almost all through the year.Summer is very hot and winter is extremely chilly but the Poush Festival in December warms up the surroundings as thousands of tourists from across the world flood in to take part in the festival filled with song, poetry, flowers and a wonderful country fair where the attraction is mainly the musical duel performed by the Bauls and the Fakirs in the evening.

Climate:

Temperature (deg C):
Summer — max. 42.4, min. 34.3;
Winter — max. 15.7, min. 8.1.
Rainfall: 125 cm (June to September). Heavy in July and August.
Shantiniketan can be visited at any time of the year. The climate is moderately warm, with summer temperatures at around 34-45 °C and winter at 8-15 °C. July and August see heavy rainfall.

Khoai:

Khoai’s red path had inspired the Bard to pen down these famous lines. Narrow, just off the Vishwa Bharati limits in Shantiniketan, this path has remained the same since the days of the poet – unpaved, exposing the red soil, stirring the soul. About 2 kms long, it leads to the Khoai region in Birbhum.

What makes Khoai popular?

With a thick cover of forest on all sides, Khoai draws tourist for its curious canyon-like formation made by wind and the Kopai river. It is not a very large area and certainly not very ‘grand’, but they are canyons none the same. Walk down a 100 meters from the narrow path and you will find Khoai in its natural glory. We went up quite a bit to admire the colour of the soil and the rocks that form this place. Being quite forested, it makes for a good place for a walk. What’s more, you will definitely find a Baul Singer sitting under a tree nearby and crooning his soulful song on love, life, God and death. No place better, then, to reminisce.

Paush Mela :

Paush Mela is the most important fair of Shantiniketan. This fair is held in the month of December and coincides with the Shantiniketan's foundation day. The dance, music and drama programmes are organized in this fair.