Santiniketan tour from Kolkata, West Bengal, is filled with rich cultural history and knowledge. This place is highly associated with the Tagore family. His idea of a harmonious fusion of education, art, and nature is the town’s focal point. Santiniketan’s rich cultural tapestry is showcased in museums and galleries on the university’s campus.
There are many attractions inside the Viswa Bharati campus, like the Rabindra Bhavan Museum, which explores Tagore’s life and work. You will explore many regional artists who produce handcrafted goods in Sonajhuri haat. Multiple melas and temples are also here, which lights up the mood of every visitor. It’s the realm where nature, spirituality, and art all come together to leave a lasting impression on everyone’s heart.
Santiniketan, the home of Rabindranath Tagore, now is in UNESCO World Heritage list.
3 Days Santiniketan Tour itinerary
- Day 1: Gitanjali Rail Museum, Kankalitala Temple West Bengal, Sayar Bithi Park, Biswa Bangla Haat, Prakriti Bhavan Nature Art Museum,34 ft Buddha statue Bolpur, Amar Kutir, Kopai River, Amar Kutir Eco park, Srijani Shilpagram, Ballavpur wildlife sanctuary/Bolpur Deer park, Palashboni Salboni forest, Khoai Sonajhuri Bolpur or Sonibarer haat.
- Day 2: Surul Jamidarbari/Rajbari, Sriniketan, Pratichi shantiniketan, Visva Bharati Kala Bhavan, Visva Bharati Museum,Visva Bharati Santiniketan ashram, Raipur Rajbari.
- Day 3: Kalikapur Rajbari, Ghursia, Fossil Park.
Bolpur Santiniketan Tour Plan & Guide from Kolkata
Bolpur Santiniketan tour Cost from Kolkata
Santiniketan is famous for Rabindranath Thakur. The prime attraction is Biswa Bharati Campus. There are many other places of interest in Shantiniketan, like Kankalitala temple, Amar Kutir, Khoai boner hat, etc.
Shantiniketan Travel Plan from Kolkata
We started our tour from Sealdah with Kanchanjanga Express at 6:35 am. We reach the Bolpur station around 9:30 am.
In my Santiniketan tour plan list, first, we visited the Gitanjali Rail Museum opposite the Bolpur railway station. It’s my first visiting place for Shantiniketan Bolpur sightseeing.
Next, we booked a Toto to reach Amar Kutir from the Gitanjali Rail Museum. In this way, we visit Kankalitala temple, then Biswa Bangla Haat, Prakriti Bhavan, and go Amar Kutir, where we stay for the 1st day in Bolpur.
After that, we had lunch and rested at our hotel, and in the evening, we visited Amar Kutir premises, Kopai River, and went shopping there. Last, we came back and had dinner at Amar Kutir Hensel again.
The next day, we left Amar Kutir and visited Santiniketan, where we booked another budget hotel. While on this journey, we visited Srijani Shilpagram and Ballavpur Deer Park and reached the hotel.
We kept our luggage in our new room and went to Biswabharati Santiniketan Ashram, Kala Bhavan, Biswa Bharati Museum, etc.
Next, we had our lunch in the Hotel Ayojon. Then we went to the Khoai boner hat, held every Saturday.
We shopped for locally handmade items like sarees, dresses, clay ornament, metal jewellery, various Kantha stitch work on the garment, etc. The ‘Sonibarer haat’ is very popular. We returned to the hotel in the evening after almost completing the Bolpur Santiniketan tourist spots.
On the last day, we visited some unique places near Bolpur. First, we saw Kalikapur Rajbari, which is 60 km approx from Bolpur. Next, we visit Ghurisha, where you can find two terracotta temples, the oldest temple in the Birbhum district. Please note that we keep our first Toto in Ilambazar and take another for Ghurisha.
After, we visit Wood Fossil Park. It is a newly created tourist destination. While returning, we saw Raipur Rajbati and Surul Rajbari. This day the Toto cost is 1000 rupees.
In the evening, we took the Kanchanjanga Express and returned to Sealdah. Our Shantiniketan from Kolkata completes here.
We miss some tourist spots in Shantiniketan like Hetampur Rajbari, SABUJ BAN or Plant Museum, Joydeb Kenduli, Itonda, Fullora Temple, etc.
23 Places to Visit in Shantiniketan B0lpur
- Gitanjali Rail Museum
- Kankalitala Temple travel guide
- Biswa Bangla hat
- Prakriti Bhavan Nature Art museum
- Amar Kutir
- Amar Kutir ECO-Tourism Park
- Srijani Shilpagram Shantiniketan Bolpur
- Ballavpur Wildlife Sanctuary Bolpur Shantiniketan
- Kopai river
- Visva Bharati Santiniketan
- Visva Bharati Kala Bhavan
- Rabindra Bhaban Museum
- Sonibarer hat / Khoai boner haat
- Kalikapur Rajbari
- Ghurisha Terracota temple
- Wood Fossil Park Birbhum
- Raipur Rajbari Birbhum
- Surul Raj Bari
- Santiniketan Poush Mela
- Basanta Utsab
- Jaydev Kenduli Mela
- Magh Mela
1. Gitanjali Rail Museum
Gitanjali Rail Museum is about 3 kilometres from Viswa-Bharati premises and right next to Bolpur Station. It is the Indian Railways’ famous museum. This museum has very enriched information about Rabindranath Tagore and Viswa-Bharati.
This museum is full of unknown information and images of Rabindranath. You can see Rabindranath’s armchair and a table and find many histories of Rabindranath and Santiniketan on this large museum’s first floor.
Inside the walls are beautiful craftsmanship and fresco of Plaster of Paris. Here is the special Saloon Coach of the railways, by which Rabindranath left Santiniketan forever in July 1941.
2. Kankalitala Temple travel guide
Kankalitala is situated on the bank of the Kopai River of Birbhum. This place is one of the holy places in West Bengal. It’s the 51st “SATI PITH.” As per Hindu mythology. Sati maa’s waist fell here. Every Saturday, a huge crowd gathers for Kankali Maa’s puja.
3. Biswa Bangla hat
Biswa Bangla hat in Santiniketan is a new travel destination for tourists and shopping lovers. It is near PRANTIK station. Here, you get a wide range of handmade art and craft products, all unique in style. The product or art, like jute bags, painted umbrellas, hand-painted sarees, other tribal paintings, wooden and clay sculptures, etc., is mind-blowing.
4. Prakriti Bhavan Nature Art museum
Prakriti Bhavan Nature Art Museum is situated in the Ballavpur area and is the way to Amar Kutir. Here, you can see a fascinating collection of natural art and craft, all created naturally in a different place in India.
This museum is made with this natural craft. The craft is made of wood, metal, stone, etc.
5. Amar Kutir
Amar Kutir was founded by the freedom fighter Late Mr. Susen Mukhopadhyay in early 1923 with objectives envisaged by Rabindranath Tagore in his experiments in rural reconstruction at Sriniketan. It’s the must-visit place in my Santiniketan tour plan.
After, Amar Kutir Society for Rural Development (AKSRD) in 1978 as a self-supported voluntary organization for rural development. The society has been organizing training and production of traditional handicrafts in the district and now supports more than a thousand artisans with marketing, technical Improvement, and design development.
6. Amar Kutir ECO-Tourism Park
While in Amar Kutir, we visited Amar Kutir ECO-park, a walkable distance from Amar Kutir premises. You can have a beautiful evening in this wide area. The time is from 8 am to 5 pm, and the entry fee is 10 rupees. You can do boat riding in the surrounding pond for 20 rupees for 2 hours.
7. Srijani Shilpagram Shantiniketan Bolpur
Srijani Shilpagram is a place that displays the homes, lifestyles, and handicrafts in the eastern and northeastern states of India. This place has been designed as a hub for rural artists to sell their clothes and handicrafts. A government initiative, Srijani Shilpagram, started in 2008. West Bengal, Orissa, Bihar, Sikkim, seven sisters in the northeast, and the Port Blair and Andaman Nicobar Islands are also represented.
8. Ballavpur Wildlife Sanctuary Bolpur Shantiniketan
Ballavpur Wildlife Sanctuary is locally known as the Bolpur deer park. Here you can see lots of deer. The entry ticket is just 10 rupees. Inside the Ballavpur deer park, you can see many deer walking here and there.
There, you can see a watchtower and climb to see almost the park’s total area. It is a large area for walking. You can take a long walk and enjoy the peaceful atmosphere.
9. Kopai River
Kopai River is also known as the Sal River. The tributary of Mayurakshi flows among cities like Santiniketan, Bolpur, Kankalitila, and Labpur in the Birbhum district of West Bengal state of India. It is a small river in the dry season but an overflow in the monsoon season. Rabindranath Tagore sat on the bank of the Kopai River and wrote Amader Choto Nadi.
10. Visva Bharati Santiniketan
In 1863, Debendra Nath Tagore, the father of Rabindranath Tagore, founded this ashram in the northern part of Bolpur city for God-oriented and ritualistic worship. In 1901, Rabindranath established Brahma Vidyalaya in Santiniketan, which gradually became the University of Viswa Bharati University.
Rabindranath spent most of his life in the second half at Santiniketan Ashram. In the Shantiniketan premises, Rabindranath built many architectural buildings for the residence of himself and other Co-operators.
Later, this building became an important tourist spot by decorating various artists and sculptors of the ashram. In 1951, Viswa Bharati University got the Central University of India status.
Biswa Bharati is divided into two parts: Sriniketan and Santiniketan. Both places have many historical houses. They are:-
- Singha Sadan
- Dwarik Bithika
- Notun-Bari (New House)
- Satish Kuthir
- Satya Kuthir
- Gour Prangan
- Patha Bhavan Office (Old Library)
11. Visva Bharati Kala Bhavan
The Kala Bhavana compound is an extensive area of sculptures and other art objects in Santiniketan. Many of these are in the open air, created by the renowned sculpture artist Ramkinkar Baij.
I visited the Kala Bhavana compound for about 45 minutes to see these. Don’t miss “Kalo Bari” or “The Black House.” It looks like a primary school in a village.
The fair happens every year on the 3rd of December in Kala Bhavan Santiniketan before Poush Mela. The student celebrates the birth anniversary of Mr. Nandalal Bose with drama, Painting, and various cultural programs.
12. Rabindra Bhaban Museum
The Rabindra Bhaban Museum is made up of 5 houses. The five houses’ name is Pratichi, Konark, Punocho, Raktakorobi, and Shyamoli. These are the names of his literature, which have named his houses. Rabindranath Tagore has spent a significant part of his life, and not only that, a lot of his great work has been produced here.
Rabindra Bhaban Museum has 40,000 books and 12,000 journals, and they also preserved the poet’s photographs, memories, images, and objects. It is one of Santiniketan’s most exciting and must-visitable places, and photography is prohibited here.
13. Sonibarer hat / Khoai boner haat/ Sonajhuri haat
Khoai boner hat, local people also called it Sonibarer hat. In this hat, Tribal people perform their unique traditional Santali dance with bits of Madol. Many people sell handmade products like sarees, dresses, clay ornaments, metal jewellery, various Kantha stitch work on the garment, etc.
Khoai boner Haat is usually held every Saturday (now Sunday), and the hat starts from 2 pm onwards and goes up to sunset.
14. Kalikapur Rajbari
Kalikapur rajbari was a very famous rajbari in Kalikapur village. It is 25 km from Bolpur and 5 km from Ilambazar. This rajbari has a Durga corridor and a terracotta Shiva temple beside the palace.
Today, this rajbari is tottering. These family members live in a part of the house. In the history of West Bengal, this house has a historical value. Include it on your Santiniketan tour plan.
15. Ghurisha Terracota temple
Ghurisha village is located less than 7 kilometres away from Ilambazar. Here, two old terracotta temples are the Charchala temple of Raghunathjee and the Nabaratna Gopal – Lakshmi-Janardan Temple. The ‘
Charchala temple’ of Raghunathjee is the oldest temple in Birbhum. Both temples were built in the middle of the eighteenth century. You should add this place when you travel to Bolpur.
16. Wood Fossil Park Birbhum
In 2015, archaeologists found some plants by digging soil in the small village of Amkhoi, which is in the Chawpahari jungle of Ilambazar, Bolpur. The woods are parts of the plants of thousands of years ago. After recovering many more wood fossils, the government created the park. It is open now.
17. Raipur Rajbari Birbhum
Raipur Zamindar Bari is near Bolpur, about 7 km from the Bolpur station. This house is 150 years old. Now, the house is almost ruined. Rabindranath’s family had a close relationship with the zamindar of Raipur. Rabindranath Tagore’s father bought land from the Raipur Zamindar to construct Biswa Bharati Ashram.
Read Bakkhali Tour Guide
18. Surul Raj Bari
The Rajbari at Surul, Shantiniketan. The Surul rajbari is 275 years old. Surul village is near the Visva-Bharati University Sriniketan campus.
In the Surul village, a large number of Bagdis, Bauris, Haris and Doms, are live. The Sarkar family, who were Zamindars of Birbhum District, brought a group of Brahmins and other upper castes.
Surul, the Sarkar family, played an important role in the socio-economic development of the entire area and the establishment of a global organization of national importance. Durga Puja is very famous in the family of Surul Zamindar.
19. Sriniketan Bolpur
Sriniketan is another Biswa Bharati University campus situated on another site of Bolpur railway station. It has many schools and hostels inside the premises.
20. Santiniketan Poush Mela
In the year 1250, Bengali year 7th poush Debendranath took Brahma dharma with his 20 followers. Debendranath had thought about the Bolpur Poush Mela on that day. To fulfil his father’s desire, in 1302 Bengali year 1895, Rabindranath started the Paush festival. Initially, the fair was held on the grounds of Braha mandir or the Northern Kanchmadir area.
Later, when the fair area increased, it was held in the East Palli ground and known as Bhuban Danga Mela. It is not only the memories of Robi Thakur but it felt the importance of festivals in the cultural life of Bengal during the Poush festival. It started in December every year. Add this to your Santiniketan tour plan.
21. Basanta Utsab
Rabindranath Tagore introduced Basant Utsav, or the spring festival in Shantiniketan, to restore the joy of the Holi festival. Now, it is one of the prime festivals of Bengali culture.
Occasionally, the students of this university dress in yellow colour. University students and teachers jointly organize cultural events on the Mela ground. Remember that hotel rates are very high this time, so make a proper budget for your Santiniketan tour plan.
22. Joydev Kenduli Mela
You can visit Joydev Kenduli Mela, famous for Baul and Kirtan Mela in West Bengal. It happens in the Birbhum district. You can reach Bolpur and Durgapur both ways. See the video; you will get the complete guide.
23. Magh Mela Sriniketan
The famous Magh Mela started in Bolpur Sriniketan and is now 97 years old. The date is the 6th to the 8th of February. The 7th of February is the fireworks day.
The fair is mainly for agricultural products, Santiniketan’s handmade products, and artists. This year, 125 stalls on the Mela ground. The speciality is there is no advertisement shown in the entire Mela ground.
Tips for Bolpur
- You can skip the 3rd-day Toto car fare; it will reduce your tour cost by up to 1000 rupees, but I suggest visiting there while you are in Bolpur.
- Several Toto car is available in Santiniketan, so there is no need to book a single Toto for your entire tour, which will cost almost double.
- Train fair 80 rupees per person. Whenever you book your e-ticket, always do IRCTC travel insurance. It will help you in the future.
How can I go to Shantiniketan?
The best way to reach Shantiniketan is by train. The nearest station is Bolpur. The train is available from Howrah/ Sealdah station. Many buses reach Bolpur from Asansol/ Suri/Kolkata etc.
On which day is Shantiniketan closed?
Viswa Bharati Campus and Shantiniketan Museum remain closed on Wednesday.
What is the best time to visit Shantiniketan?
People visit Shantiniketan every Saturday/ Sunday throughout the year. But the best time to visit Shantiniketan is between July and February during the monsoon and winter seasons. The famous events are Basanta Utsav and Poush Mela.
How to reach Shantiniketan from Kolkata by train
Several trains from Sealdah and Howrah reach Bolpur station every day. Local trains are also available. Reach approx 3 hours from Kolkata. Bardhaman to Sealdah and Bardhaman to Bolpur frequent local train is available.
How to reach Santiniketan Bolpur from Kolkata by bus
1st option is to take a bus to Durgapur and reach the Panagarh Darjeeling crossing. From there, you will get a bus to Bolpur. (Durgapur to Bolpur direct buses are also available).
2nd option is to take a bus for Suri to get down to Ilambazar and reach Bolpur by Toto car or bus.
3rd option is suitable for a return to Kolkata. Come to Bardhaman by rail, reach the Bardhaman bus stand(5 km from the station), and get a bus for the esplanade. It’s a 2 hour 15 minutes journey.
How to reach Kolkata from Bolpur?
The departure time of Rampurhat Sealdah passengers from Bolpur Station was 14:24. Around 18:35, the train arrived at Sealdah railway station.
It’s a good train from Bolpur Santiniketan to Kolkata. Or you can avail of the Maa Tara Express, Kanchanjunga Express (PT), Viswabharati Fast Passenger, etc. All reach Kolkata in around 3 hours.
Festivals of Santiniketan
Santiniketan Poush Mela
Joydev Kenduli mela
Magh Mela Sriniketan
Briksharopan and Halkarshan