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Santiniketan's Annual Poush Mela
Santiniketan's Annual Poush Mela
Santiniketan is located in West Bengal
Coordinates: 23°41′N 87°41′E / 23.68°N 87.68°E / 23.68; 87.68Coordinates: 23°41′N 87°41′E / 23.68°N 87.68°E / 23.68; 87.68
StateWest Bengal
 • OfficialBengali, English
Time zoneUTC+5:30 (IST)
Lok Sabha constituencyBolpur
Vidhan Sabha constituencyBolpur

Shantiniketan or Santiniketan is a small town near Bolpur in the Birbhum district of West Bengal, India, approximately 165 km north of Kolkata (formerly Calcutta). It was established by Maharshi Devendranath Tagore, and later expanded by his son Rabindranath Tagore whose vision became what is now a university town, Visva-Bharati University.[1]


Santiniketan was earlier called Bhubandanga (after Bhuban Mohan Sinha, the Zamindar of Raipur in WB), and was owned by the Sinha family. In 1862, Maharshi Debendranath Tagore, while on a visit to Raipur, showed interest in land near Birbhum. There was only one building there namely 'Santiniketan' (which is still there adjacent the Upasana Mandir known as 'Odisha Bhawan'). Maharshi liked the place and registered it in the name of Maharshi Devendranath against Rupee One as token value. He called his home Santiniketan (after the name of the house). Santiniketan became a spiritual centre where people from all religions were invited to join for meditation and prayers. He founded an ashram here in 1863 and became the initiator of the Brahmo Samaj.

Here Rabindranath Tagore started Patha Bhavana, the school of his ideals, whose central premise was that learning in a natural environment would be more enjoyable and fruitful. After he received a Nobel Prize in 1913, the school was expanded into a university, known as Vishva Bharti University, in 1921. In the year 1924 based on the same ideology and with the intention of educating and training the people belonging to deprived part of the society he founded Siksha Satra with only 7 students.


Santiniketan is at 23°41′N 87°41′E / 23.68°N 87.68°E / 23.68; 87.68.[2] It has an average elevation of 56 metres (187 feet).


  • Temperature (deg C): Summer — max. 42.4, min. 34.3; Winter — max. 15.7, min. 6.8.
  • Rainfall: 125 cm (June to September). Heavy in July and August.

The climate of Santiniketan is moderately warm, with summer temperatures at around 35-45 °C and winter at 6-15 °C. July and August see heavy rainfall.

Major events[edit]

Social and cultural events include Basanta Utsav, Barsha Mangal, Sharodutsav, Nandan Mela, Anandamela, Poush Mela, Magh Mela, and Rabindra Jayanti.

Of these, the Poush Mela is a attraction. It is a three-day fair (Bengali, mela means a fair), starting on the seventh day of the Bengali month Poush (usually, last week of December).

Gardens and parks at Santiniketan[edit]

Santiniketan Garden

There is a deer park 3 km from Santiniketan. Originally, the area was a fast-eroding 'Khowai'. It is now a large wooded area with herds of deer and makes a natural bird sanctuary.


Notable people[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Pearson, WW.: Santiniketan Bolpur School of Rabindranath Tagore, illustrations by Mukul Dey, The Macmillan Company, 1916
  2. ^ Falling Rain Genomics, Inc - Santiniketan
  3. ^ Indian Princely States: Tagore Family
  4. ^ "Anand Yang - Jackson School of International Studies". The Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies. Retrieved 20 May 2019.

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]