Getty Images


Shantiniketan ('abode of peace') is one of the outstanding creations of Rabindranath Tagore (1861–1941), the great writer, artist, songwriter, educationalist, 1913 Nobel literature laureate and central figure of the Bengali Renaissance. It was here in 1901 that Tagore founded a school, and in 1921 a university, the Visva-Bharati, that became a nerve centre of Bengali culture with a focus on the arts, humanities and contact with nature and a revolutionary philosophy of breaking barriers between cultures, religions, castes, the sexes, teachers and students, city and country, east and west. University and school continue largely to follow Tagore's principles today, with around 10,000 Indian and international students, a healthily coeducational atmosphere, and classes still held in the open air under the campus trees.

Beyond the university, Shantiniketan, located 99 miles (160km) northwest of Kolkata, is a relaxed small town of leafy lanes, with a cultural/artistic ambience and some charming small-scale lodgings.

Explore Shantiniketan

Top attractions

These are our favorite local haunts, touristy spots, and hidden gems throughout Shantiniketan.


Learn more about Shantiniketan

Uncover the heart of travel and be inspired to see new sights with one of Lonely Planet’s in-depth, award-winning guidebooks.