India’s Santiniketan on Unesco World Heritage List

Visva Bharati a public central university located in Shantiniketan, West Bengal, India. The town of Santiniketan has been added to the Unesco’s World Heritage List. – Visva Bharati University pic, September 18, 2023.

INDIA’S Santiniketan, a town where Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore built the central university Visva Bharati over a century ago, has been added to Unesco’s World Heritage List, officials said.

The world cultural body made the announcement on yesterday.

The decision to include Santiniketan in the list was made during the 45th session of the World Heritage Committee currently underway in Saudi Arabia, Xinhua reported.

The university town was established in 1901 by Maharshi Debendranath Tagore, father of Rabindranath Tagore, in the Birbhum district of West Bengal.

Santiniketan, which means “abode of peace”, was a residential school and centre for art based on ancient Indian traditions and a vision of the unity of humanity transcending religious and cultural boundaries.

“A ‘world university’ was established at Santiniketan in 1921, recognising the unity of humanity or ‘Visva Bharati’. Distinct from the prevailing British colonial architectural orientations of the early 20th century and of European modernism, Santiniketan represents approaches toward a pan-Asian modernity, drawing on ancient, medieval and folk traditions from across the region,” the description provided by Unesco read.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed joy over Shantiniketan becoming part of the Unesco World Heritage List.

“Delighted that Santiniketan, an embodiment of Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore’s vision and India’s rich cultural heritage, has been inscribed on the Unesco World Heritage List. This is a proud moment for all Indians,” Modi said in a statement. – Bernama, September 18, 2023.

Sign up or sign in here to comment.