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Santiniketan inscribed on UNESCO World Heritage List

Published: 22nd Sep, 2023


Santiniketan, founded in 1901 by the iconic poet and philosopher Rabindranath Tagore, has earned a coveted spot on the UNESCO World Heritage List.


  • Santiniketan Ashram was originally founded by Maharshi Devendranath Tagore (Rabindranath’s father) in 1863.

This is India’s 41st World Heritage site and India stands 6th on the World Heritage List. 

  • Later on Rabindranath himself founded the Brahmo Vidyalaya school and later on in the year 1901 he established Santiniketan.
  • Shantiniketan was founded on the principles of the ancient Indian Gurukul system, where education was provided in a natural setting, fostering a strong connection between students and their environment.
  • In 1913, Rabindranath Tagore won the Nobel Prize in Literature.
  • In 1921, Rabindranath Tagore founded Visva Bharati.
    • Visva-Bharati Universitywas later expanded to include a wide range of disciplines, including arts, sciences, and humanities.
    • It became a Central University and an Institution of National Importance in 1951, and is now one of the most prestigious universities in India.

About Rabindranath Tagore (1861-1941)

  • Rabindranath Tagore was the youngest son of Debendranath Tagore.

  • He was a leader of the Brahmo Samaj, which was a new religious sect in nineteenth-century Bengal and which attempted a revival of the ultimate monistic basis of Hinduism as laid down in the Upanishads.

  • From time to time he participated in the Indian nationalist movement, though in his own non-sentimental and visionary way; and Gandhi, the political father of modern India, was his devoted friend.

  • He was the first non-European to receive the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1913.

  •  Rabindranath Tagore was Knighted by King George V in 1915. However, Tagore gave it up after the Jallianwala Bagh massacre in 1919.

  • Highly prolific, Tagore was also a composer – he wrote the national anthems for both India and Bangladesh – as well as an educator, social reformer, philosopher and painter.

  • Although Tagore wrote successfully in all literary genres, he was first of all a poet.

    • Among his fifty and odd volumes of poetry are Manasi (1890), Sonar Tari (1894), Gitanjali (1910), Gitimalya (1914) and Balaka (1916).

    • English Poetry: The English renderings of his poetry, which include The Gardener (1913), Fruit-Gathering (1916), and The Fugitive (1921), do not generally correspond to particular volumes in the original Bengali; and in spite of its title, Gitanjali: Song Offerings (1912), the most acclaimed of them, contains poems from other works besides its namesake.

    • Major Plays: Raja (1910), Dakghar (1912), Achalayatan (1912), Muktadhara (1922) and Raktakaravi (1926).

    • Novels and Stories: He is the author of several volumes of short stories and a number of novels, among them Gora (1910), Ghare-Baire (1916), and Yogayog (1929)

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