Shantiniketan is a small town near Bolpur in the Birbhum district of West Bengal, India. It was made famous by Nobel Laureate Rabindranath Tagore. Santiniketan is also a tourist attraction because Rabindranath Tagore wrote many of his literary classics here, and his house is a place of historical importance. Shantiniketan was previously called Bhubandanga (named after Bhuban Sinha). This area was gifted from the Sinha family (family of Lord Satyendra Prasanno Sinha) to the Tagore family. Rabindranath’s father, Maharshi Debendranath Tagore, found it very peaceful and renamed it Santiniketan, which means abode (niketan) of peace (shanti).
After he received the Nobel Prize (1913), the school was expanded into a university in 1921. By 1951, it had become one of India’s central universities. Many world famous teachers came to be associated with it, including C.F. Andrews. Shantiniketan is also home to Amartya Sen, the 1998 Nobel Prize winner in Economics.
Shantiniketan is located at 23.68°N 87.68°E. It has an average elevation of 56 metres (187 feet).
Rabindranath Tagore with Mahatma Gandhi and Kasturba Gandhi at Santiniketan in 1940 Kala Bhavana, the art college of Santiniketan, is still considered one of the best art colleges in the world.
Temperature (deg C) : Summer- Max.39.4, Min.34.3; Winter- Max.15.7, Min.12.1. Rainfall : 125 cms ( June to September ). Heavy in July August. The weather in Shantiniketan is usually a pleasant one although you will come across the normal weather changes during summer, winter and Monsoon. Nonetheless Spring has its own charm in Santiniketan not only because of its natural beauty blooming to its fullest amidst.
Numerous social and cultural events taking place throughout the year, have become part and parcel of Shantiniketan. These include – Basanta Utsav,
Barsha Mangal, Sharodutsav, Nandan Mela, Poush Mela, Magh Mela, Rabindra Jayanti to name a few. Of these, the Poush Mela deserves special mention, this being a major tourist attraction.It is a 3-day fair (Bengali, mela means a fair ), starting on the seventh day of the Bengali month Poush(usually, last week of December).