Birbhum (West Bengal) [India]: There was an air of celebration and unbridled joy around Visva Bharati University in the Birbhum district of West Bengal after Santiniketan, where Rabindranath Tagore spent a significant part of his life, was inscribed in UNESCO’s World Heritage List.
The iconic university building and compound were lit up with decorative lights and the faculty, staff and hostellers, dressed in traditional attire, were seen breaking into Rabindrasangeet (Tagore songs) as word of the prestigious UNESCO tag reached them.
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, too, expressed her delight at Santiniketan being accorded UNESCO’s world heritage tag.
On her official page or handle on social media platform X, Banerjee posted, “Glad and proud that our Santiniketan, the town of Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore, is now finally included in UNESCO’s World Heritage List. Biswa Bangla’s pride, Santiniketan was nurtured by the poet and has been supported by (the) people of Bengal over the generations.”
She added that her government had “significantly added” to the infrastructure” at Santiniketan over its last 12 years in power.
“We from the Government of West Bengal have significantly added to its infrastructure in last 12 years and the world now recognizes the glory of the heritage place. Kudos to all who love Bengal, Tagore, and his messages of fraternity. Jai Bangla, Pranam to Gurudev,” Mamata added in her tweet.
“#Santiniketan, West Bengal now inscribed on the #WorldHeritage List!! Established in rural West Bengal in 1901, Santiniketan was founded by Rabindranath Tagore, a renowned poet and philosopher. It is now India’s 41st #WorldHeritageSite,” UNESCO India posted on X earlier, officially confirming that it had bestowed the World Heritage tag on Tagore’s abode.
Also rejoicing the heritage tag for Santiniketan, West Bengal Minister and Trinamool Congress leader Shashi Panja said, “Today is a proud moment for Bengal. It’s a proud moment for India.”
Santiniketan is an ensemble of historic buildings, landscapes and gardens, pavilions, artworks, and continuing educational and cultural traditions that together express its Outstanding Universal Value, UNESCO said in a release.