We went to Shantinikatan for Holi festivals. The Holi festival is famous local festival. The main festival is organised by Rabidra Bishwa Bharati University .
Rabindranath Tagore, the Noble laureate from India, had been so inspired by the spirit of Holi, that he decided to introduce Vasanta Utsav , the festival of spring, in his shantiniketan or Bishwabharati University, where the students and the youths of the institution, attired in colorful dresses like yellow, celebrates Holi in a very special way. A number of cultural programs, which included group choreography, songs, and dance, is staged. After the program is over, the whole university plays Holi with abeer, a colored powder prepared especially for Holi. Students are then engaged in the play of smearing and dying each other with abeer, rejoicing the festival.
In the course of time, Vasanta Utsav has become a milestone of Bengali culture, and has also drawn interests from international tourists.
The small town of Birbhum district, Shantinekatan, the dream of Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore is a place where you must visit to know the richness of Bengal vis-à-vis its culture and intellectual characteristics of the state.
Attracted by the beauty of this place, Rabindranath Tagore’s father Maharshi Debendranath Tagore established Shantiniketan (abode of peace) in 1863. In 1901, Rabindranath Tagore set up a Bramhacharya school here which later came to be known as the Patha Bhavan. With the financial backing of the Maharajah of Tripura, the Visva-bharati Society was established in 1921. Tagore envisioned a center of learning which would have the best of both the east and the west.
Open air education as opposed to being cloistered in the four walls of a classroom became a reality here. At the Kala Bhavan and the Sangeet Bhavan the arts were given their rightful place in the Indian education system. Eminent people from all over the world came to Visva-Bharati during its peak period. Visva-Bharati became a Central University in 1951.
The poet lived in the Uttarayan Complex which is comprised of several buildings – Udayan, Konark, Shyamali, Punascha Udichi. The Bichitra Bhavan was designed by Gurudev’s son Rathindranth Tagore. Also known as the Rabindra Bhavan it houses a research institute and a museum. The other buildings include China Bhavan (Chinese faculty), Kala Bhavan (college of arts and crafts), Patha Bhavan (the school), Sangeet Bhavan (school of dance and music) and the prayer hall. The Kala Bhavan gallery has paintings by Bengal’s renowned artists like Abanindranath Tagore, Gaganendranath Tagore and Nandalal Bose. The sculptures of Ramkinkar Baiz are also amongst the attractions of Shantiniketan. Hundreds and thousands of tourists from all over the world visit this holy place founded by Gurudev Rabindranath.
Chatimtola is the place where the poet’s father used to meditate. Leaves of the Saptaparni trees are given to graduating students at the annual convocation. The Prime Minister of India is the Chancellor of the University. Some of the famous students of Visva-Bharati include India’s former Prime Minister the Ms. Indira Gandhi (1917-1984), world famous film director Mr. Satyajit Ray (1921-1992) and Nobel Laureate Amartya Sen.
Shantiniketan is also famous for its various festivals which mark the changing seasons. The major festivals are Poush Mela (December), Maghotsab (February), Basanta Utsab (March), Varsha Mangal (July-August), Sharodutsab (Oct-Nov).
There are many more places within Shantinekatan worth visiting.