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About Shantiniketan

from: Johnny B

Santiniketan (Bangla:শান্তিনিকেতন) is a small town near Bolpur in the Birbhum district of West Bengal, India, and approximately 180 kilometres north of Kolkata (formerly Calcutta). It was made famous by Nobel Laureate Rabindranath Tagore, whose vision became what is now a university town (Visva-Bharati University) that attracts thousands of visitors each year.

Santiniketan is a tourist attraction also because Rabindranath lived here and penned many of his literary classics, and his home is a place of historical importance.

Santiniketan was earlier called Bhubandanga (named after Bhuban Dakat, a local dacoit), and was owned by the Tagore family. Rabindranath's father Maharshi Debendranath Tagore found it very peaceful and renamed it Santiniketan, meaning abode (niketan) of peace (shanti).

Gurudev started Patha Bhavana, the school of his ideals, the central premise being that learning in a natural environment would be more enjoyable and fruitful rather than a chore. After he received the Nobel Prize the school was expanded into a university. Many world famous teachers were associated with it.

Indira Gandhi was one of its more illustrious students.

Kala Bhavana, the art college of Santiniketan is still considered as one of the best art colleges of in the world. Other institutions of post-secondary institution include Vidya Bhavana; the Institute of Humanities, Shiksha Bhavana; the Institue of Science, Sangit Bhavana; Institute of Dance, Drama and Music, Vinaya Bhavana; Institute of Education, Rabindra Bhavana, Institute of Tagore Studies and Research, Palli-Samgathana Vibhaga; Institute of Rural Reconstruction, and Palli Shiksha Bhavana; Institute of Agricultural Sciences. There are also other centres, affiliated to major institution such as Nippon Bhavana, Indira Gandhi Centre for National Integration, Rural Extension Centre, Silpa Sadana; Centre for Rural Craft, Technology and Design, Palli-Charcha Kendra; Centre for Social Studies and Rural Development, Centre for Biotechnology, Centre for Mathematics Education and Centre for Environmental Studies. Other than Patha-Bhavana, there are two schools for kindergarten level education; Mrinalini Ananda Pathsala, Santosh Pathsala; another school of primary and secondary education known as Shiksha Satra and lastly a school of higher secondary education known as Uttar-Shiksha Sadana.


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