Nobel Laureate Rabindranath Tagore's dream became reality here: a university dedicated to the liberal arts. Over the years the art and music schools at Vishva-Bharati University, part of the Shantiniketan university complex, may have suffered due to government apathy, but it still draws students from around the world. 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.
Within the university is the Rabindra Bhavan, a museum full of photographs, Tagore's personal belongings (the poet's Nobel Prize and other items were stolen in 2004, however). 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.