What are the best places to visit in Santiniketan at less cost? I can assume that these might be your primary concern about your Bolpur Santiniketan tour plan. This is the proper guidance about a day trip or a 3-day plan from Kolkata to Shantiniketan Bolpur in West Bengal.
3 days Santiniketan tour Itinerary
- Day 1: Gitanjali Rail Museum, Kankalitala, Biswabangla hath, Prakitibhavan, Amar kutir, Kopai River.
- Day 2: Kalikapur Rajbari, Ghursia, Fossil Park, Raipur Rajbari, Surul Rajbari.
- Day 3: Kalikapur Rajbari, Ghursia, Fossil Park, Raipur Rajbari, Surul Rajbari.
Table of Contents
- Bolpur Santiniketan tour plan guide from Kolkata
20 places to visit in Shantiniketan B0lpur
- 1) Gitanjali Rail Museum
- 2) Kankalitala Temple travel guide
- 3) Biswa Bangla hat
- 4) Prakriti Bhavan Nature Art museum
- 5) Amar Kutir
- 6) Amar Kutir ECO-Tourism Park
- 7) Srijani Shilpagram Shantiniketan Bolpur
- 8) Ballavpur wildlife sanctuary Bolpur Shantiniketan
- 9) Kopai river
- 10) Visva Bharati Santiniketan
- 11) Visva Bharati Kala Bhavan
- 12) Rabindra Bhaban Museum
- 13) Sonibarer hat / Khoai boner haat
- 14) Kalikapur Rajbari
- 15) Ghurisha Terracota temple
- 16) Wood fossil park Birbhum
- 17) Raipur Rajbari Birbhum
- 18) Surul Raj Bari
- 19) Santiniketan Poush Mela
- 20) Basanta Utsab
- 21) Joydev Kenduli Mela (Bonus tip)
- 22 ) Magh Mela Sriniketan (Bonus tip)
- Festivals of Santiniketan
Bolpur Santiniketan tour plan guide 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.
My total tour cost is 5120 rupees for two days, two people and one child. This article helps you to save your hard-earned money.
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
Kolkata to Bolpur distance is 163 km. Kolkata to Bolpur bus service is available from Esplanade to Bolpur bus stand.
- 1st option is to take a bus for Durgapur and reach Panagarh Darjeeling more, from there you will get a bus for 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 and reach Bardhaman bus stand(5 km from station) and get a bus for esplanade. It’s a 2 hour 15 minutes journey.
Santiniketan tour Cost
|First day Toto fare||350|
|2nd day Toto fare||470|
|3rd day Toto fare||1000|
|Food cost at Amar Hensel (First day)||580|
|Food cost the Second Day||600|
|Guide for Biswabharati and Kala Bhaban||300|
|Food cost 3rd day||350|
|Total (for two people, shopping extra)||Rupees 5120|
How to reach Kolkata from Bolpur?
The departure time of Rampurhat Sealdah passenger from Bolpur STN 14:24 around 18:35 the train arrived in Sealdah railway station. It’s a good train from Bolpur Santiniketan to Kolkata. Or you can avail the Maa Tara Express, Kanchanjunga Express (PT), Viswabharati Fast Passenger. All trains reach Kolkata in around 3 hours.
- Chaiti Lodge – Santiniketan Bolpur
- Rangamati Garden Resort
- Kristi Guest House Shantiniketan
- Prokriti Bon Bungalow
Our Holiday story – The Ultimate Shantiniketan travel guide
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 visit 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 Gitanjali Rail Museum. In this way, we first visit Kankalitala temple, then Biswa Bangla Haat, Prakriti Bhavan, and reach Amar Kutir, where we stay the 1st day in Bolpur.
After that, we have taken lunch and rest at our hotel, and in the evening, we visit Amar Kutir premises, Kopai River, and went shopping there. Last, we came back and took 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, Ballavpur Deer Park, and reached the hotel. The Toto cost is 300 rupees.
We kept our luggage in our new room and went to Biswabharati Santiniketan ashram, Kala Bhavan, Biswa Bharati museum, etc.
Next, we take our lunch in the hotel Ayojon. Then we went to the Khoai boner hat, as it’s held on every Saturday. We shopped local handmade items like the saree, dress, clay ornament, metal jewellery, a wide variety of Kantha stitch work on the garment, etc. The ‘Sonibarer haat’ is very popular. In the evening, we came back to the hotel as we almost completed the Bolpur Santiniketan tour.
Last day we visited some unique places near Bolpur, usually tourist does not visit there. 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, we keep our first Toto in Ilambazar and take another one for Ghurisha. As we suspect that there may be a millage problem in our first Toto car.
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 Kanchanjanga express and return to Sealdah. Train Kanchanjanga expresses timing is 4.11 pm, but it reached at 4.30 pm. And in Sealdah, the time is 7.25 pm but reached 9.25 pm. 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.
Travel hacks / Tips for Bolpur
- You can skip the 3rd-day Toto car fare; it will reduce your tour cost up to 1000 rupees, but I suggest visiting there while you are in Bolpur.
- Several Toto car is available in Santiniketan so no need to book a single Toto for your entire tour 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.
20 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
1) Gitanjali Rail Museum
Gitanjali Rail Museum is about 3 kilometres from Viswa-Bharati premises and just 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 has full of unknown information and images of Rabindranath. Like other museums, you don’t get to see Rabindranath’s used anything here, except just a single armchair and a table. But we can 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 the 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 and holy places in West Bengal. It’s the 51st “SATI PITH.” As per Hindu mythology. Sati maa’s waist was fell here. On 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 product, which all are unique in style. The product or art is like jute bag, painted umbrella, hand-painted saree, other lots of tribal painting, wooden and clay sculpture, etc., is mind-blowing.
4) Prakriti Bhavan Nature Art museum
Prakriti Bhavan Nature Art museum is situated 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 Susen Mukhopadhyay in early 1923 with objectives as 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 of the district and now supports more than a thousand artisans with marketing, technical Improvement, and design development.
6) Amar Kutir ECO-Tourism Park
While I am in Amar Kutir, we visit Amar Kutir ECO-park, a walkable distance from Amar Kutir premises. You can have a beautiful evening here. It’s a wide area. The timing is from 8 am to 5 pm. The entry fee is 10 rupees. You can do boat riding in the surrounding pond for 20 rupees for spending 2 hours.
7) Srijani Shilpagram Shantiniketan Bolpur
Srijani Shilpagram is a place that displays the homes, lifestyle, and handicrafts in the eastern and northeastern states of India. Spread across a wide range of grounds, this place has been designed as a hub for rural artists to sell their clothes, handicrafts. A government initiative, Srijani Shilpagram, started in 2008. West Bengal, Orissa, Bihar, Sikkim, seven sisters in the northeast, and the 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 whole Ballavpur deer park, you can see lots of deer are walking here and there.
There you can see a watchtower you can climb to see almost the total area of the park. It is a large area for walking. You can take a long walk and enjoy the peaceful atmosphere.
9) Kopai river
Kopai River, also known as Sal River. It is the tributary of Mayurakshi, which 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 it’s an overflow in the monsoon season. Rabindranath Tagore, sitting on the bank of the Kopai River and wrote,
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 The 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 status of the Central University of India.
Biswa Bharati divide into tow parts Sriniketan and Santiniketan. Both places having 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
In Santiniketan, The Kala Bhavana compound is an extensive area full of sculptures and other art objects. Many of these are in the open air, created by the renowned sculpture artist Ramkinkar Baij. I visit and walk in 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 happened every year on 3rd 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, Shyamoli. These are the names of his literature, and by these names, his houses have been named. 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 the most exciting and must-visitable places in Santiniketan. Keep in mind; photography is not allowed here.
13) Sonibarer hat / Khoai boner haat
Khoai boner hat, local people, also called it Sonibarer hat. In this hat, Tribal people performing their unique traditional Santali dance with the bits of Madol. Many people are selling handmade products like saree, dresses, clay ornaments, metal jewellery, a wide variety of Kantha stitch work on the garment, etc. Khoai boner Haat is usually held every Saturday (now Sunday also), and the hat starts from 2 pm onwards and 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 there is a terracotta Shiva temple next to 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 kilometers away from Ilambazar. Here you can see two old terracotta temples: 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 are built in the middle of the eighteen century. You should add this place when you tourism to Bolpur.
16) Wood fossil park Birbhum
In 2015, archaeologists found some plants because of digging soil in small villages Amkhoi, which is in the Chawpahari jungle of Ilambazar, Bolpur. The woods are parts of the plants of thousands of years ago. This park was created after recovering many more wood fossils. It is open now.
17) Raipur Rajbari Birbhum
Raipur zamindar bari is near Bolpur, about 7 km away 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 was buying land from the Raipur zamindar for the construction of 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 Visva-Bharati University Sriniketan campus. In Surul village, a large number of Bagdis, Bauris, Haris and Doms, are live. The Sarkar’s 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) Santiniketan Poush Mela
In the year 1250 Bengali year 7th poush Debendranath, take Brahma dharma with his 20 followers. Debendranath had thought about the Bolpur Poush Mela on that day. To fulfill his father’s desire, in 1302 Bengali year or 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, the fair was held in the East Palli ground. This fair was known as Bhuban Danga Mela. Not only the memories of Robi Thakur, but the importance of festivals in the cultural life of Bengal felt in the Poush festival. It started in December every year. Add this with your Santiniketan tour plan.
20) 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 dressed in yellow colour. University students and teachers jointly organize cultural events on the Mela ground. Keep in mind that hotel rates are very high this time, so make a proper budget for your Santiniketan tour plan.
21) Joydev Kenduli Mela (Bonus tip)
You can visit Joydev Kenduli mela, which is 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.
22 ) Magh Mela Sriniketan (Bonus tip)
The famous Magh Mela started in Bolpur Sriniketan. It’s now 97 years old. The date is 6th to 8 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 in the Mela ground. The speciality is there is no advertisement shown in the entire Mela ground.
Festivals of Santiniketan
Following are the festivals of Santiniketan
- Santiniketan Poush Mela
- Basanta Utsab
- Joydev Kenduli mela
- Magh Mela Sriniketan
- Nandan Mela
- Briksharopan and Halkarshan
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 Shantiniketan is 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 the monsoon and winter season between July to February. The famous events are Basanta Utsav and Poush Mela.