Santiniketan Tourism

Santiniketan Tourism

Rank 5
Ranked 5 of 74
West Bengal Tourism Destinations
Destination Rating
5.8 / 7
2225 Ratings & 1361 Reviews

Santiniketan Info

  • State: West Bengal
  • Famous for/as: Heritage
  • Altitude: 187 m
  • District: Birbhum

History of Shantiniketan

The university town of Shantiniketan is known for its association with Nobel Laureate Rabindranath Tagore. The entire area was once owned by the Tagore family and known as Bhubandanga. An Ashram was first founded here by Maharshi Debendranath Tagore, the father of the noted poet. In 1901, Rabindranath Tagore started a school here named Brahmacharya Ashram that followed the Gurukul system of education. Today, this has grown in stature and is known as Visva Bharati University.

People and Culture of Shantiniketan

The locals lead an idyllic life which is reminiscent of the village scene that is sure to have prevailed during the lifetime of Rabindranath Tagore. Not surprisingly, the literacy rate in the region stands at over 86 percent. Many festivals such as ‘Pous Utsav’, ‘Basant Utsav’, ‘Rabindra Paksha’, and ‘Naba Barsha’ are celebrated here. The Bondangar Haat is held every Saturday where visitors on Shantiniketan getaways can relish the music of wandering Baul singers.

Things To Do in Shantiniketan

Without a doubt, the first and foremost of all Shantiniketan attractions is the Visva Bharati University. Offering education right from the nursery level to post graduation degrees, classes here are still held outdoors under the shade of huge mango trees. Not far away is the Kala Bhavan, a centre for study and research in the visual arts. Sculptures, paintings, and murals by students and noted artists are found here. The prayer hall or Upasana Griha is another of the places to see in Shantiniketan with its multi-hued Belgian glass windows.

Sriniketan is also one of the popular Shantiniketan tourist places. It focuses on rural empowerment and concentrates on education in matters related to agriculture, handicrafts, village welfare, and cottage industries. Tagore’s Ashram, Ballavpur Wildlife Sanctuary, and Sangeet Bhavana are some of the other Shantiniketan places to visit.

Food and Shopping in Shantiniketan

Being a university town, you are sure to see many cafes dot the landscape when sightseeing at Shantiniketan. Bengali cuisine is available at affordable prices as also a few North Indian options such as ‘Aloo Parathas’. Try the ‘Aloo Chap’ with a cup of hot tea when taking a break in between places to visit in Shantiniketan.

Amar Kutir is the place to be if handicrafts and souvenirs are what you are looking for to take home from your Shantiniketan tour. Started as a co-operative society by Rabindranath Tagore, it offers bamboo and Batik crafts, Kantha saris, and Dokra jewellery to name a few. There are also numerous other small shops selling pottery, jute handbags, and home décor products and browsing through these is one of the things to do in Shantiniketan.

Accommodation in Shantiniketan

When the question of how to reach Shantiniketan arises, the best available options are by road and by train. The closest railway station is at Bolpur which is about 2 km from Shantiniketan. The nearest airport is Kolkata which is around 212 km away. Buses and cabs offer good connectivity to various cities in the state for tourists wanting to undertake Shantiniketan sightseeing. The hotels in Shantiniketan are comfortable and reasonably priced. Resorts and home stays are also available in the vicinity for those on a trip to Shantiniketan.

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Santiniketan Traveller Reviews

Read 62 destination reviews
with average rating of 5.8/7,
out of 1361 Santiniketan reviews
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Pritvi Kanchi

  • Expert
  • Pritvi Kanchi
  • Lives in Bangalore
  • 232 Reviews
  •  510 helpful votes
  •  573926 readers

"A Trip to Shantiniketan"

  • 7.0/7
  • Posted Sep 11, 2016
I had been to Shantiniketan by train in the month of May 2016. Bolpur is a must-visit in the tourism circuit of West Bengal. The journey time taken from the Howrah Railway station to Bolpur is approximately 2. 30 hours by an express train. The must-visit attractions around Bolpur include Shantiniketan, Vishwabharat university and Bakreshwar. Shantiniketan is a place specially dedicated to the life and time of Rabindranath Tagore. In Shantiniketan, the must-visit places include the Amar Kutir, Rabindra Bhavan, Sriniketan and Ballavpur wildlife sanctuary. Amar Kutir is located around 7 kilometers from the city centre and was established in 1923. Amar Kutir is a centre for rural development and has over 1300 handicraft products. The Rabindra Bhavan was set up in 1942 and promotes the work of Rabindranath Tagore. Sriniketan is a centre for rural reconstruction set up in 1922 and is located only 3 kilometers from Shantiniketan. The Ballavpur wildlife sanctuary was established in 1977 and has among its population deer, fox and many species of water birds.
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Argha Paul

  • Tourist
  • Argha Paul
  • 1 Review
  •  1 helpful vote
  •  2303 readers

"Exploring the colours"

  • 7.0/7
  • Posted Apr 4, 2016
A cultural holi, yes it's a cultural holi you can say, Santiniketan is famous for its Holi celebration, not only for the use of dry colours, but also for the cultural programs it holds on this occasion, it's a true exposure of the bengali tradition, with music of Tagore and dressed up in Kurta or Bengali sari, the environment becomes truly traditional and colourful, it's once in a lifetime experience for visiting this place at Holi.
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  • 1 vote

Sanam Chopra

  • Connoisseur
  • Sanam Chopra
  • 14 Reviews
  •  1 helpful vote
  •  8445 readers

"A touch of Tagore !"

  • 5.0/7
  • Posted Jan 27, 2016
Ideally, a trip to this beautiful knowledge haven should be for at least 2 days, a day for exploration and a day for relaxation. But if you plan to cover it in one day itself, it's not very difficult either. Start with locking down the place you want to stay in. Having settled that, move outdoors and start walking around. If you go on a Saturday, start the morning with a trip to Khaoi Mela. Otherwise, start with Tagore's family settings, probably with the Prayer Hall. The beautiful glass building will startle you. Then explore other places like Nippon Bhavan, China Bhavan, Sangeet Bhavan. Do not miss the buildings in the Kala Bhavan block. Each of them has a unique built. Then you can venture out. See the deer park in Bhallavgarh around late noon. Spend a few hours in the jungle basking in the clear pollution free air, with animals all around. Once you come back, visit Chattimtala to offer prayers. Before retiring for the day, pay another visit to the prayer hall. The place will be illuminated with hundreds of candles. Those extra steps you cover will be well worth your time.
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Uma Vasudevan

  • Scout
  • Uma Vasudevan
  • Lives in Thiruvananthapuram
  • 2 Reviews
  •  2604 readers

"Nice place to visit"

  • 7.0/7
  • Posted Jan 18, 2016
If you are a person who appreciate Indian literature and culture, you should visit Shantiniketan atleast once in your life. The university, Viswabharati still holds her head high being the lamp of Indian education. I was mesmerized seeing the aamrakunj, the mango tree garden, where classes are taken, in open air. The music classes, fine arts, drama etc are delight to watch. Hire a cycle rickshaw nearby and he can serve as a local guide. To see fully, you need atleast a day. And don't forget to visit the tribal artefacts place nearby. You can buy handicrafts products etc.
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Chinmay Mandal

  • Scout
  • Chinmay Mandal
  • Lives in Kolkata
  • 2 photos
  • 2 Reviews
  •  1 helpful vote
  •  4003 readers

"Nice place for 2 days trip"

  • 6.0/7
  • Posted Dec 27, 2015
Bolpur Santiniketan is a famous place of tourists for a short trip because here we saw some Tagore's memory that's are alive till now. Bolpur Santiniketan is in the Birbhum District, West Bengal. It is 145 km from Kolkata. It is well known for Visva Bharati University. The university was set up by the Nobel laureate poet Rabindranath Tagore. It was a very beautiful place. We are stayed two days in Santiniketan and saw the entire place related to santiniketan. We were enjoyed mostly. We were visited Tagore's ashram, Chhatimtala, Brahma Mandir, Rabindra Bhaban Museum, Kopai river, Visva Bharati and some others places. Very nice place to go.
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Samit Nandi

  • Scout
  • Samit Nandi
  • Lives in Kolkata
  • 5 photos
  • 4 Reviews
  •  3 helpful votes
  •  13747 readers

"A best place to go"

  • 6.5/7
  • Posted Dec 27, 2015
Bolpur Santiniketan is in the Birbhum District, West Bengal. It is 145 km from Kolkata and is best known for its proximity to Visva Bharati, the university set up by the Nobel laureate poet Rabindranath Tagore. It was a very beautiful place, in Santiniketan, the memory of Rabindranath is attached now. We visited various place in one day by hiring a car. We were enjoyed a lot. We were spend two days here.
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  • 2 votes

Sumanta Chatterjee

  • Explorer
  • Sumanta Chatterjee
  • Lives in Durgapur
  • 36 photos
  • 10 Reviews
  •  17 helpful votes
  •  14719 readers

"Pous mela, a must go mela!"

  • 6.0/7
  • Posted Dec 20, 2015
Santinikaytan is the land of red soil rediscover by Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore. During his stay at Santinikaytan Gurudev started the ritual of poush mela. Poush is the Bengali month & mela means fair. So usual pous mela start on every 7th day of month poush. In English calendar it will be on 24th December. The fair which treat as cultural fair, the fair of handicraft, the fair if traditional baul song.

Now a days this fair also got touch of corporate culture but you still got the essence of rural Bengal. But during these fair the ashram i, e Visva Bharati remain closed so you have no option to visit museum of Visva Bharati. But you may visit railway museum at Bolpur station. So many good accommodation is available but rush is there during poush mela, my advice to you for prior booking. When you finish the mela visit then next morning don't loose the chance to visit Kankalitala which is is only 4km or 5km from there. Take this trip as a bonus to poush mela.
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  • 2 votes

Ami Kothari

  • Scout
  • Ami Kothari
  • Lives in Kolkata
  • 9 photos
  • 12 Reviews
  •  9 helpful votes
  •  20967 readers

"Lovely place, Santiniketan!"

  • 7.0/7
  • Posted Dec 10, 2015
Lovely fresh vacation with lots of natural beauty, Lal Mati- Red Soil, Forests and Deers, Amazing locals and awesome Peaceful place. The train was on time but very crowded as Local Passengers also aboard. The journey was 3 hours long. We then went by auto to Hotel, which took 45 mins. Had lunch, Took bath and off we went to check out local sightseeing. Next day we went to viswa Bharti, Amar Kutir, Lal mati and Jungles, Third day was Massanjor Dam. I loved it.
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  • 2 votes

Kisor nadhani

  • Scout
  • Kisor nadhani
  • Lives in Kolkata
  • 14 Reviews
  •  6783 readers

"A different world altogether"

  • 6.0/7
  • Posted Nov 6, 2015
If you are an Urban animal, then you must go to Shantiniketan and spend at least 2 days (if not more).

If you are an art lover, you will simply fall in love. even the walls of rural homes are crafted with beautiful murals. You can say art in the air. There are many artists creating what they love to do and share. Better be there on a Saturday to attend the 'Khoai' mela on the red soil road (Ranga matir path) where artists themselves display and sell their own creations. You can interact with them to understand their passion for creativity. There are so many points where you can buy, 'Amar Kutir' is one of them. Then close to Viswa Bharti, there is another market where you get a lot of handicrafts. If you are apparel lover, you will be spoilt for choice, particularly hand print boutique. My lady simply went mad on shopping and she was shopping till drop. We were just 2 with a sedan and while returning there it was fully loaded with wares we bought (a lot of fabrics and apparel that are so reasonably priced). So many artefacts are there who intend to buy

And no doubt Viswa Bharti museum is the star attraction. Even a day spent at the museum will fall short as it's huge collection around 'Kabi Guru'. Then take a round in the Shantiniketan in the battery operated 'Toto', even the drivers (the one who took us at least) are so passionate about the place, when showing the place, narrate the history, recite poem that Kavi guru wrote on it so that you are taken to that period and feel it.

Shantiniketan on the whole a nice serene place and worth visit in week end. If you wish to experience the rush, then better go during 'Poush Mela' or 'Vasant Utsav' on the occasion of Holi when all inmates of Viswa Bharti wearing yellow apparel will sing the song 'Khol Kho Dwar Khol, sthala jale bana tale laglo je dol'.

I relished the place, I enjoyed hospitality and co-operative attitude of people and look forward to go again whenever I can make. We went a week before Puja, the lush green rice fields were a treat for eye as if Korean grass carpets have been laid all along the path. And lastly don't forget to try 'Langcha' as Saktigarh (60 kms from Shantiniketan and 15 kms from Bardhaman on NH) if you are going by road. Buy as much as you can carry, people at home will ask for more as its too good for the price.
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Dr d s sinha

  • Connoisseur
  • Dr d s sinha
  • Lives in Kolkata
  • 15 Reviews
  •  2 helpful votes
  •  10598 readers

"A perfect weekend destination-Santiniketan"

  • 6.0/7
  • Posted Oct 18, 2015
A world famous destination, designed by a Nobel laureate - Kaviguru Rabindranath Tagore. As expected, it reflects his tastes. A break from your daily life, that infuses sufficient oxygen to your lungs for the coming normal daily life. When you experience something different, it guides your mind to some unknown lanes and you are diverted to a new world for the time being - this refreshes your life. This is needed to find out a better 'you' for the rest of the year.
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Toushid Sharmila Sanjay Debasish Toushid, Sharmila, Sanjay and 2160 other people have been to Santiniketan.
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