Santiniketan has been added to the UNESCO World Heritage List

  • Santiniketan, located in West Bengal’s Birbhum district, has been added to the UNESCO World Heritage List.
  • This is where Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore lived the majority of his life.

Santiniketan Information

  • Santiniketan, located in the Birbhum District of West Bengal, India, is a well-known cultural and heritage site with a long history.
  • Its fame stems from its affiliation with Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore.

The Importance of Santiniketan

  • Rabindranath Tagore’s Home: Rabindranath Tagore’s home in Santiniketan served as his domicile, where he not only lived but also composed several literary works, including songs, poems, and novels.
  • Sculptures, frescoes, murals, and paintings by prominent painters such as Rabindranath Tagore, Nandalal Bose, Ramkinkar, Binodbehari Mukhopadhyay, and others adorn the Santiniketan campus.
  • Cultural Festivals: The Birbhum District, in which Santiniketan is located, is well-known for its lively fairs and festivals. Poush Mela (December), Joydev Mela (January), Basanta Utsav (Holi) in March, and the renowned mystic Baul Singers are among the notable festivals.
  • Santiniketan conducts exceptional cultural activities during Bengali New Year and Rabindra Janmotsav (Rabindranath Tagore’s birth anniversary) in the Bengali month of Boisakh, both of which are celebrated with tremendous zeal.
  • Distinctive Festivals: On the 22nd and 23rd days of Sravana (August), the region conducts separate festivals such as Briksharopan (festival of Planting Saplings) and Halakarshan (festival of Ploughing the Fields). In addition, Varshamangal, the rain festival, is held in August/September.
  • Santiniketan hosts the annual Poush Mela, which begins on the 7th day of the Poush month. While the event is technically three days long, vendors are welcome to stay for the entire month. The event is well-known for its live performances of Bengali folk music, particularly by bauls (traditional travelling minstrels), as well as tribal dances such as Santali.

The Inclusion of West Bengal on the World Heritage List

  • Santiniketan is West Bengal’s second cultural symbol to be included on the prestigious UNESCO list.
  • UNESCO placed ‘Durga Puja in Kolkata’ on its list of Intangible Cultural legacy of Humanity in 2021, emphasising West Bengal’s rich cultural legacy.
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