“তোমায় হৃদ মাঝারে রাখিব ছেড়ে দেব না।” – রবীন্দ্রনাথ ঠাকুর
When the whole city was engrossed with the Christmas celebration, we took a trip to Santiniketan. Usulaly, the best time to visits Santiniketan is during/ before Christmas at the time of Poush mela and during holi in March. Santiniketan, Bolpur is approximately 170 km away from Kolkata, and it took us about 4 hours to reach by car. With its rich art and culture, Santiniketan is a beacon of pride and love for Bengalis. Santiniketan was initially established by Maharshi Devendranath Tagore and was expanded by Kabiguru Rabindranath Tagore, his son.
Trip: Living in one of the most crowded city in India, I often find myself engaged with the daily chaos hardly finding any time to look around and enjoy the moment. Thus, both I and my family are often in search for an escape from our daily routine. Since Poush Mela has already ended, visiting Santiniketan was not my idea. But, after returning, I was glad the trip happened.
The hardest part for me was leaving for the trip without my camera (that I accidentally broke during our return from Digha Trip). Although I tried to capture a few moments and borrowed some picture from my friend: Arghya.
We stayed at “Hotel Royal Bengal” and spent four days there. Usually two days are enough for visiting the place. But, we decided to extend our indolence after one day stay there 😛 During our first day visit we took a short trip to Viswa Bharati University where still remains the mud houses where Kobiguru used to stay.
Since, we have visited after the festive season, Santiniketan was less crowded. Viswabharati Campus was crowded with various art displays in the form of statues, paintings, and even in the buildings. There was the Kalabhaban, which is one of the famous attractions created by Ramkinkar Baij.
In the next day, we have hired a toto (a local transport) for exploring the area. In the very morning, we have started our day by visiting our day from kankalitala. Kankalitala is one of the Shakti Peeth which is situated on the banks of Kopai River. It is believed that the pelvis bones of goddess Sati has fallen here containing the Ruru Bhairava and Devgarbha Shakti. Since we have visited the place in winter, we were beholden by the long stretch of mustard filed. The colorful play between the clear blue sky and yellow flowers were indeed mesmerizing. After completing our prayer at the temple, we headed towards the sonarjhuri forest while exploring the locality.
Sonarjhuri is flooded with local vendors with hard made and crafted toys, sarees, shawls and many more. In the evening, the locals were performing boul song and traditional dance that made the place lifted with joy. From there we went to Amar Kutir- the local handicraft heaven where most the items are made. I bought some jute bags, diaries made with handmade paper and hand painted clothes.
Later in the evening we headed towards the Ballabhpur Wildlife Sanctuary a.k.a. Deer park. I have never seen so many deer together. The place was like crowded with deer.
We spent the last two days by exploring the locality and visiting the few remains of the Poush mela.
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