Visit to a place of love is a real peace of mind and best way to relax fully. From the age 8 to 80 all are busy in their schedule and even have a love for travel in their heart though cannot actually make it out. Me too a travel freak but unfortunately a little chance for travelling I get because of my tight schedule of preparing myself for the future. The dream of travelling the whole world often helps motivates me in my lengthy and boring part of self-preparation. After a hectic schedule of 4 to 5 months. I visited Shantiniketan for a few days. This is not the first time but every time it looks new in my eyes. Shantiniketan is a small town near Bolpur situated in Birbhum district of West Bengal, India. West Bengal has many places to cherish weekends but my favorite is Shantiniketan because of its pocket-friendly nature and peaceful atmosphere. Shantiniketan is mainly famous for education in nature established by Rabindranath Tagore. So many people can feel and relate this place with their heart. If you get bored with your schedule, find yourself lifeless in the pressure of job and desperate to go somewhere and no clue of any place strike your mind, just pack your bags and take the ATM card in your purse and catch a train to Bolpur. It will surely blow your mind.
This place is approximately 145kms far from Kolkata and trains are very frequent from Howrah station. You can also book a car or drive on your own or ride on your bike. From the Bolpur Railway station every step you take there is ‘pipp..pipp’ of e-rickshaws (locally named Toto). Now you have to apply your skill of bargaining and they can help you to reach the destination. There are ac and non-ac lodges as per your pocket can afford. There are such artistic and well maintained houses; you can hire a bunglow or enjoy the cordiality of a homestay. If you are a desk-job person then you can have a long walk through the stony rough roads amidst the tall green trees. It can make you fresh and healthy. This place is suitable for friends, family, couples as a great weekend destination
Shantiniketan has the distinct identity of culture and heritage which makes it unique. you can explore Visva Bharati University founded by Tagore. When you enter in the university campus Kala Bhavana (department of Fine Arts) Sangeet Bhavana (Department of Dance Drama and Music) and obviously Uttarayan Complex where Tagore lived his life. The complete collection of such buildings contain its own valuable architecture and glory. Five houses embrace true architecture named Konarka, Udayana, Shamali, Udichi, Punascha where Tagore usually lived. If you are an admirer of handicrafts you must visit ‘Amar Kutir’ which is a co-operative complex full of handicrafts and leather crafts. Sriniketan is also a place of tribal handicrafts, traditional ways like pottery, batik cloth, leather and silk material. There is a queue of ethnic shops as you enter the proper Shantiniketan. Beautiful scenario near the bank of Kopai river, because of heavy rainfall creates Khoai which attracts you for its own beauty.
Every Saturday evening beside Kopai river there is a blast of ethnic and handicraft things in haat named Sonajhuri Haat, as the place is full of beautiful Sonajhuri trees. You can get handmade clothes, jewellery and what not. The attraction of this haat is the traditional Bengali foods like patishapta (a desert item of winter), Aam-pora sarbot (green mango juice) and even Momo. Although Fuchka is available in India’s every nook and corner but I remember Shantiniketan for its Misti Fuchka also. It makes one’s mouth watery. These kind of delicious food can replace your tongue from pizzas, chicken bucket, chinese or street junk for a while.
Shantiniketan is always-go-like place but best seasons are March because of Basanta Utsav. Holi, a colorful festival for every Indian. Rabindranath Tagore started Dol (Bengali name of Holi) Utsav in the university campus with full of colorful cultural programs. People from India and also from abroad come to visit this festival. Shantiniketan in monsoon and winter is a real piece of beauty, charm and joy.
Shantiniketan is one of the best place to spend a quality time with your loved ones and your family. You can full your bag with different ethnic crafts, clothes and jewellery. Walking on a long road hand in hand with your loved one makes you fall in love again. It is a great relief of horns of vehicles, jam and pollutions of speedy crowded dailies. Take a break and once visit Shantiniketan, a place where you never get bored and a place which never gets old.