Source: The post is based on the article “For Santiniketan, Unesco World Heritage status has been a decade-long wait” published in Business Standard on 13th May 2023
What is the News?
The International Council on Monuments and Sites, a UNESCO advisory body, has recommended that Santiniketan be included in the list of World Heritage Sites.
If selected, Santiniketan would be the second cultural symbol from West Bengal to be included in the UNESCO list.
In 2021, UNESCO included ‘Durga Puja in Kolkata’ in its list of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.
What is Santiniketan?
Santiniketan is a renowned cultural and heritage place located in Birbhum District, West Bengal.
It holds historical significance as it was the home of Rabindranath Tagore, where he lived and composed many of his literary works, including songs, poems, and novels.
It was originally an ashram built by Debendranath Tagore (father of Rabindranath Tagore) where anyone, irrespective of caste and creed, could come and spend time meditating on the one Supreme God.
Santiniketan includes the entire Visva-Bharati University Campus, the core ashram area and the Uttarayan complex.
The core ashram area includes Patha Bhavana (the first school set up by Tagore in 1901), Upasana Griha (prayer hall, locally known as the glass temple), Kala Bhavana (institute of fine arts), Sangit Bhavana (institute of music) and Santiniketan Griha (the first house bought by Tagore’s father Debendranath).
The Uttarayan complex includes five houses of Tagore and a museum.
Santiniketan is also adorned with splendid sculptures, frescoes, murals, and paintings created by renowned artists such as Rabindranath Tagore, Nandalal Bose (one of the pioneers of modern Indian art) and Ramkinkar Baij (master sculptor and painter) among others.