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160kms from Kolkata, Santiniketan is the brainchild of Indiaís most illustrious poet, philosopher, painter, philanthropist, Rabindranath Tagore. With an emphasis on manís relation with nature, Tagore introduced the open-air classrooms. Santinikatan has emerged as the universal centre of excellence. The various complexes on the campus offer Tagore memorabilia, sculpture, frescoes, murals by great masters as Nandalal Bose, Jamini Roy, Ramkinkar and Benod Behari. The Visva Bharati University there is now a center of international studies and culture.
Uttarayan, a complex where Rabindranath lived, has a museum and art gallery. The University is also open to visitors. The charm of Santiniketan lies in its very special ethos.
Only 3km away from Santinikatan is Sriniketan, the rural reconstruction centre, founded by the poet. Fine batik prints on textiles and leather bags are famous products of Sriniketan.
Excursions to Bakreswar Hot Spring complex (58km); a number of pilgrim centres like Kankalitala (8km); Tarapith (80km); Nalhati (104km); Nanoor (23km) and Kenduli (42km), the birthplaces of poets Chandidas and Jaidev; Massanjore (78km) is famous for a massive dam over the Mayurakshi.
Where to stay in Shantiniketan
Santiniketan Tourist Lodge. Phone : 03463-252398 Mobile : 09732100920 Single and double bedrooms with A/C available.
Planning a visit to West Bengal read through travelogues to plan your trip
The best time to visit West Bengal is October to March
October-March is relatively less humid and is the time of the 10 day Durga puja festival. Sunderbans is also opened at this time for visitors. In summers the temp goes to 38 degrees, and the humidity levels are very high. In winters the temperatures may fall to 10 degrees. Teesta Tea and Tourism Festival is held in November.
The hilly areas of Darjeeling and Kalimpong is best visited from March to June. June to August is the rainy season here.