Rabindranath Tagore’s Santiniketan becomes UNESCO World Heritage Site

After years of being on the tentative list, UNESCO finally approved Santiniketan in the list of its World Heritage Sites.

It was in 2010 that the Government of India had first tried to get the World Heritage tag for Santiniketan. It mounted its campaign again in 2021, exactly a hundred years after a ‘world university’ was established by Rabindranath Tagore.

The large tract of uninhabited land was bought by his father Maharshi Debendranath Tagore when it was known as Bhubandanga, named after a local dacoit Bhuban. Its name was changed to Santiniketan, literally meaning the ‘abode of peace’.

KnowALLedge Plus:

Visva-Bharati becomes the first living university (which is functioning), to get the heritage tag from UNESCO.

It is the only central university in Bengal. PM Narendra Modi is the current Chancellor of this Institute of National Importance.

In 1940, when Mahatma Gandhi came to Shantiniketan to visit Rabindranath Tagore, the latter, then critically ill, urged him to take charge of Visva-Bharati after he was gone. Tagore passed away in 1941. Until Gandhiji was assassinated in 1948, he acted as a guardian of the institution.

Jawaharlal Nehru was urged by Gandhi to look after Visva-Bharati. It was under him in 1951, Visva-Bharati became a Centrally funded university. Nehru once said how attending the convocation ceremony of the institution was like an annual pilgrimage to him.

Shantiniketan has an illustrious list of people as its alumni/alumnae. Some of the most prominent names include Indira Gandhi, Amartya Sen, Satyajit Ray, Maharani Gayatri Devi.

Ariana Huffington, the co-founder of the famous media outlet The Huffington Post, was a student of comparative religion at Visva-Bharati.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Search in all quizzes > Live