Kolkata (Calcutta) Sights

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Vishva-bharati University

Vishva-bharati University Review

Nobel Laureate Rabindranath Tagore's dream became reality here: a university dedicated to the liberal arts. Today the art and music schools at Vishva-bharati University, part of the Shantiniketan university complex, are some of the best in the country. Designed in 1901 as a group of cottages in a green, idyllic setting, Shantiniketan embodies the Bengali artistic heritage. In accordance with Tagore's vision, some classes are still held outside, under the shade of huge trees, and stunning abstract sculptures reach toward the sky. A weekend retreat for many, Shantiniketan is almost a pilgrimage to Bengalis.

Within the university is the Rabindra Bhavan, a museum full of photographs, Tagore's personal belongings, and the poet's much-coveted Nobel Prize. The art school, Kala Bhavan, is decorated with frescoes and murals outside, and you can watch students at work inside. Sangeet Bhavan is the music school. Uttarayan, where Tagore lived, is a charming complex of five houses, ranging from mud hut to mansion, in a variety of architectural styles.

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