Have you ever visited Shantiniketan? Located in West Bengal, Shantiniketan is one of the famous places in India.

The famous university, Viswabhatrati is located here. 

You know Rabindranath Tagore, the greatest poet, author, Nobel laureate, and above all the national poet in India. 

Shantiniketan is famous for the Holi festival. Many people love to visit Shantiniketan in the Holi.   

Another famous festival is Poush Mela, which is celebrated on 23rd December, 7th Poush. 

Not only the above but also you can find many reasons to visit Shantiniketan. 

The famous Viswabharati campus including the Museum, Khopai River, Khowai Haat, Deer Park, and more attract you to visit here. 

Since my young days, I have loved to visit Shantiniketan. 

In today’s Shantiniketan travelogue, I am disclosing my experience exploring Shantiniketan for the first time after Covid-19.

Hungry Tourer’s Day out to Shantiniketan

When I was in Buxa Jayanti, I planned to explore Shantiniketan. Though in the middle I visited Ghatshila.

Being a hungry tourer, I always want to explore any place from my heart. Shantiniketan is one of my favorite places and I always keep Shantiniketan in my bucket list. 

My journey started at 6 o’clock on the 14th of March 2024 from my house. 

It was slightly foggy. The temperature was pleasant.

However, the sky became clear after a few hours. I started my journey by personal cab (not mine, it is one of my co-travelers).

I have three co-tourists including a driver with me. None of my co-tourists have ever visited Shantiniketan before. 

You can enjoy the real beauty of visiting any place for the first time. Though it is not my first time, yet, I face many new things going there. 

I went to Shantiniketan 5 years ago. I have seen many differences with the old Shantiniketan. 

Let’s come to my journey. 

Our first stop was Shaktigarh, famous for Lancha (famous sweet of West Bengal). At about 8.45 we reached Shaktigarh. 

After having breakfast there, we started towards Shantiniketan.

Shantiniketan by Train

Undoubtedly, train the most convenient way to reach any place in India. You can plan your Shantiniketan trip by train as well. 

Many express, super-fast trains are available to reach Shantiniketan from Howrah, Sealdah, and Kolkata stations.  

Bolpur and Pratik are the stations from where you can explore Shantiniketan. 

Here are some popular trains and their timetables. 

NumberNameStart TimeEnd Time
22301Vande Bharat Express05:55 (Howrah)07:37 (Bolpur)
13017Ganadevta Express06:05 (Howrah)08:40 (Bolpur)
13173Kanchanjungha06:50 (Sealdah)09:40 (Bolpur)
13053Kalikata Express08:55 (Howrah)11:35 (Bolpur)
12363KOAA HDB Superfast09:05 (Kolkata)11:23 (Bolpur)
12337Shantiniketan Express10:05 (Howrah)12:15 (Bolpur)
13161KOAA BLGT Express12:55 (Kolkata)15:15 (Bolpur)
12345Saraighat Express16:05 (Howrah)17:58 (Bolpur)
03047Rampurhat Special16:35 (Howrah)19:47 (Bolpur)
13011Malda Intercity15:25 (Howrah)18:16 (Bolpur)

Apart from the above, there are many trains, so you can avail of any other trains to reach Bolpur. 

I prefer to visit Shantiniketan in the morning. 

You can get off at the Prantik station instead of Bolpur to explore the Shantiniketan tour. 

Let’s come to my travelogue. 

Kankalitala – Last Pithas of Saktipithas

As I went there by cab, I started exploring Shantiniketan from Kankalitala, one of the holy places in West Bengal. 

Kankalitala is located near Prantik Railway Station in Birbum District. Every day many people come to this holy place. It is one of the most popular Shantiniketan tourist places.

Generally, Kankalitala is a Hindu pilgrimage. According to mythology, the waist of Sati fell here. After the name of waist (kankhal) this place is named as Kankalitala.  

You can find a holy pond just beside the temple. The water of that pons is holy because it is said that the waist of Sati was there under the water. 

Every day the temple feeds many people in the afternoon. The ambiance is excellent. You can spend a couple of hours there. 

I spent a couple of hours there enjoying the temple compound. 

The Sonajhuri trees add another attraction to the place. 

At the entrance gate, sometimes you’ll see Bauls play their instruments. In a word, the whole place is nostalgic to me. 

After spending some time there, i went to witness the famous Kopai River, just behind the temple. 

Kopai River and Rabindranath

Being a Bengali and a vernacular medium student I am nostalgic with the river Kopai. Kopai River is one of the attractive places in Shantiniketan. 

Not only at Kankalitala, but also you can see the river Kopai just behind Amar Kuthir. 

The famous poem of Rabindranath Tagore around this river depicts the beauty of a small river with turns. 

Surprisingly, at the river side, I saw “Arati Mancha” just like Benaras. So, you can enjoy the beauty of river Kopai at evening. 

Though I didn’t stayed there, I missed that opportunity.

I shall come again and stay there at evening to witness the bauty of Ganga Arati. 

Viswabharati Campus

Before Covid-19, I walked the whole campus by foot, but now it is closed. Even you cann’t enter the campus unless and until you are a student, guardian of student and government employee. 

Though you can visit with special permission from the abuthority. 

After reaching there I was looking around about how to roam around campus, suddenly I saw a Toto came to me. 

As after Covid-19 the campus is closed for common people, the Totos are there to roam you. 

Exploring the Viswabharati Campus from outside is just like visiting a Zoo. You have to enjoy from outside, you can’t reach closer. Though it hurt me, however I had no other options to do!

Though you have a benefit. The toto diver will be your guide. So, if you visit for the first time, it will help you a lot.  

Let’s explore Viswabharati Campus. 

popular tourist destination in Shantiniketan

Viswabharati University

Viswabharati campus without university is meaningless to me. Many departments are scattered around according to their genre. 

The Viswabharti University was founded in 1921 by Rabindranath Tagore. Later in 1951 it became a central university and an institution of national importance. 

Great Rabindranath Tagore understood the root of education. Education is beyond degree. From the beginning, he prioritized cultural development because it is the backbone of a nation. 

Since long, the Viswabharati University has serving its pride and glogy throught the World. Many greats like Nobel Lauriate Amartya Sen, our ex prime minister Indira Gandhi, and many other were the students in this university. 

Literature, creative and performing art, language, ecomonics and many science subjects are taught here. 

Probably commerce stream is missing. 

You may keep this in your bucket list. 


The auditorium is one of the attractive spots when you visit Shantiniketan. There are 7 rooms. Generally new student orientation program is held here. 

The famous drama “Raktakarabi” was performed here. In monsoon, students perform indoors whereas in the other seasons, they perform outside. 

Rabindrabhaban Museum

There are 5 houses in Rabindra Museum. These are “Shyamali”, “Punascho”, “Konar”, “Udichi”, and “Udayan”. 

The Noble Prize was kept here, which was stolen in 2004. Now you can only see the replica of the origins Noble Prize. 

You know, Rabindranath got the Nobel Prize for his immortal “Gitanjali” in 1913.  

Wednesday and Thursday the museum is closed.  


In the year 1886, Maharshi Debendranath Tagore was returning to visit Raja Bhuban Mohan Singh by palanquine (probably via Tarapith). He took a rest here and was impressed by the beauty of this place. 

The name Shantiniketan came from its charming beauty. 

This Chatimtala is open for four days in the whole year for common people. These days are:

  • 25th Baishakh – 7th May
  • 22nd Shraban – 7th August
  • 23rd December
  • Holi Festival. 

To enter here everyone must maintain a dress code. For the boys, the dress code is yellow Punjabi and white trousers. For the girls, the dress code is white shari with saffron par. 

The chatim tree is maintained because there are 7 leaves in a branch. It is called Saptaparni. The relationship among students is brother and sister. 

When a student completes PhD, the student will facilitated by VC here at Chatimtala. The PhD holder will be gifted 7 Chatim leaves with a certificate. 

Old Mela Math

The old Mela Math is another attractive tourist attraction in Shantiniketan. The famous Poush Mela on 23rd December was held here. Though now the place has shifted. 

The date was fixed on 23rd December because Rathindranath Tagore, the son of Rabindranath Tagore initiated 33 people into the religion of Brombho by a cart driven by cows. 

Debendra Neer

In the year 1962, this house was established. The house is as same as Jorasanko Tagore House in Kolkata. 

The architecture of the house is a combination of a temple, mosque, and house. 

Glass House

The Glass House is the prayer hall. It is one of the most attractive tourist destinations in Shantiniketan. 

The tiles are Italian and the glasses are Belgium Glass. The cost was around 33000 at that time. 

Every Wednesday anyone can meditate here for one hour from 6 am to 7 am.

To enter this house you have to maintain a dress code. The dress code is similar to Chatimtala. 

Any religion is allowed. 

An interesting fact about the Glass House is, the famous Bengali Film “Posto” was shot here. In that film the great Soumitra Chatterjee enacted. 


The Taldwaja is one of the most attractive tourist attractions in Shantiniketan. A palm tree in the middle of the house is the main attraction here. 

The famous painter Nandalal Basu painted Rabindranath’s famous poem on this palm tree.  

Every Tuesday and Friday the house is open but not for common people. Here a woman of the age of around 65 works on batik print. 

The Banyan Tree

The banyan tree is over 150 years old. At the age of 12, Rabindranath Tagore planted this banyan tree which he collected from beside the Kopai River.

The banyan tree is named “Tin Pahar” as it has three stairs. Rabindranath Tagore loved to spend time here in this place.  


The ambiance of Pathshala is excellent. Rabindranath Tagore understood the value of education amid nature. So he started teaching people under the tree. Which became a tradition of Shantiniketan. 

Rabindranath Tagore was one of the greatest educationists who understood the root of education that comes naturally.

It is probably known as Deuli. 

Shantiniketan before Holi Festival

Central Library

Around 6 lakh books are there inside the central library. However, only the students and staff of Viswabharati are allowed here to enter. 

You can witness the beautiful igloo which was developed by some students of Kala Bhaban. 

Creations by Ramkinkar Baij

Ramkinkar Baij is one of the all-time great painters in the world. Here in Shantiniketan, you’ll witness many of his creations like Nomads, Koler Banshi, Black House, Incomplete, and many others. 

The black house is one of the attractions here which was an immoral creation of Nandalal Basu. 

Apart from the above, you can see the hostels and the students’ handicrafts.

Srijani Shilpagram

When you visit Shantiniketan in any season, you must add Srijani Shilpagram in your itinerary. 

Shantiniketan is a hub of artists, it may be a parson or nature itself. Srijani Shilpagram is one of the burning examples of the mesmerizing artistry. 

The entryfee is INR 20 for adults and INR 10 for kids. The camera charges are extra depending on what camera you are taking with you.

Srijani Shilpagram is near to Sonajhuri. So you can only visit here while you are planning to explore only Sonajhuri.

The nearest station is Prantik, though you can come from Bolpur station as well. 

The most attractive part here is the presence of art here and there. A combination of traditional and obsolete surprise you. 

You can witness various cultures of various states like Tripura, Assam, West Bengal, Odisha and others. 

You can find the famous cotton dresses, dokra ornaments and various handcrafts here at Srijani Shilpagram. 

I spend a couple of hours here to witness the artistic beauty and enrich my passion and respect. 

If you plan to visit Shantiniketa for 1 day trip, try to visit here for atleast 30 minutes. 

Sonajhuri (Khoai)

The famous Sonajhuri haat (market) is the major attraction in Shantiniketan. Many people come Shantiniketan only to visit Sonajhuri. 

Located beside the Khoai river, the Sonajhuri haat is daily market. Everyday the haat starts at afternoon (2:00 pm onwards) and lasts till the sunset. Though sometime the timing varies according to festivals. 

In (before COVID-19) Basanta Utsav (Holi Festival) the haat opens at 10 am and lasts till evening. 

The mesmerising beauty of Sonajhuri forest is the major attraction here. If you love greeneries, the Sonajhuri will definitely attracts you.

You can take lunch here at Sonajhuri. Some restaurants are here for you. I experienced lunch there. The quality of food was good and price is reasonable. Outside of Sonajhuri, you can find a bus restaurants where you can lunch. The food quality is good as well. 

The major attraction of Sonajhuri haat is the colorful garments, hand crafts, bags, showpieces, and above all the atmosphere and ambiance. 

I spend a couple of hours there. I enjoyed the whole atmosphere, ambiance and the nature of haat, in a word the perfect weekend trip. 

My Final Thought

In a word, the Shantiniketan tour is always memorable to me. Since my childhood, I was a big admirer of Rabindranath Tagore. So Shantiniketan is one of my all-time favorites. I shall visit again to explore the red soil, Palash, the handicrafts, and the ambiance.