Updated: Mar 4, 2022
Shantiniketan, the Abode of Peace. Maharshi Debendranath Thakur had envisioned the creation of this magnum opus that will advocate the cause of liberal education in our country.
Shantiniketan which is located in Bolpur was originally founded by Maharshi as he took the land on a lease for lifelong. Shantiniketan is originally the name of the guest house built by him. He developed the place from scratch. He was aided by the notorious dacoits of Bhuvandanga, a place exactly opposite to then Shantiniketan. He laid the foundation of an educational institution with Brahmic influence.
Rabindranath Thakur continued with his father’s traditions and kept forward his father’s dreams of building a legacy for future generations. Shantiniketan is magically created by Rabindranath Thakur. He was not educated according to the conventional educational system. He was thus bent on creating a liberal environment for education where there will be no restrictions.
Shantiniketan is known as the land of Rabindranath Thakur not only because behind its creation, it was majorly his contribution but also because it is his ideologies and principles which are still carried forward in the region. Shantiniketan is often referred to as ‘Kabi Gurur Desh’ or the land of the Poet of Poets – Rabindranath Thakur. The legacy is being carried forward by the people over there.
Rabindranath Thakur, himself did not have any conventional education in his childhood. He changed schools in his earlier years and finally was tutored under the guidance of home tutors. He grew amidst nature, which has a significant role in his life as a poet! His father Maharshi Debendranath Thakur started taking him on tours with him and thus enlightened the little Rabindranath’s vision about the world. He felt free in the lap of nature and felt an unrestrained rush of poetic philosophies inundating his mind.
He wanted the same for every young kid. In Shantiniketan, the students are taught in a friendly ambience, underneath trees, with the air fragrant with the embalming flowers enrobing the ground. Shantiniketan is a unique abode of learning! This is exactly the title that suits this place and this would have not been possible without Rabindranath Thakur’s efforts.
There are multiple notable alumni of the prestigious university built by Rabindranath Thakur. From eminent filmmakers like Satyajit Ray, Academy award-winning novelist Mahasweta Devi, economist Amartya Sen to our former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, the Visva Bharati University founded by Rabindranath Thakur holds a marvellous record of its alumnus.
The vision of Rabindranath Thakur is still opulently visible in the air of the place. A trip to Shantiniketan is all you need to take to behold the glimpses of the reminiscence of the place which was once inhabited by a legend like Rabindranath Thakur. Many green resorts have mushroomed near the region which still somehow respects the vision of Rabindranath Thakur by not respecting the culture of the place.
Rabindranath Thakur had developed the entire place out of his vision and successfully turned a piece of barren land into a city of magic! It is fair enough to call it ‘The Land of Rabindranath Tagore’’!