ABOUT Rabindranath Tagore (help·info)α[›] (Bengali:
রবীন্দ্রনাথ ঠাকুর,β[›] IPA:
article source: wapedia.mobi/en/Rabindranth_Tagore

(help·info)) (7 May 1861 – 7 August 1941) as per Bengali Calendar, (২৫শে বৈশাখ, ১২৬৮ - ২২শে শ্রাবণ, ১৩৪৮ বঙ্গাব্দ), also known by the sobriquet Gurudev,δ was a Bengali polymath. He was a poet, visual artist, playwright, novelist, educationist, social reformer, nationalist, business-manager and composer whose works reshaped Bengali literature and music in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. He became Asia's first Nobel laureate[1] when he won the 1913 Nobel Prize in Literature.

A Pirali Brahmin from Calcutta, Bengal, Tagore first wrote poems at the age of eight. At the age of sixteen, he published his first substantial poetry under the pseudonym Bhanushingho ("Sun Lion") and wrote his first short stories and dramas in 1877. In later life Tagore protested strongly against the British Raj and gave his support to the Indian Independence Movement. Tagore's life work endures, in the form of his poetry and the institution he founded, Visva-Bharati University.

Tagore wrote novels, short stories, songs, dance-dramas, and essays on political and personal topics. Gitanjali (Song Offerings), Gora (Fair-Faced), and Ghare-Baire (The Home and the World) are among his best-known works. His verse, short stories, and novels, which often exhibited rhythmic lyricism, colloquial language, meditative naturalism, and philosophical contemplation, received worldwide acclaim. Tagore was also a cultural reformer and polymath who modernised Bengali art by rejecting strictures binding it to classical Indian forms. Two songs from his canon are now the national anthems of Bangladesh and India: the Amar Shonar Bangla and the Jana Gana Mana respectively.

Early life (1861–1901)

Main article: Life of Rabindranath Tagore (1861–1901)

Tagore in 1879, when he was studying in England.Tagore (nicknamed "Rabi") was born the youngest of thirteen surviving children in the Jorasanko mansion in Calcutta (now Kolkata, India) of parents Debendranath Tagore (1817-1905) and Sarada Devi(1830-1875).ε[›][5] The Tagore family were the Brahmo founding fathers of the Adi Dharm faith. After undergoing his upanayan at age eleven, Tagore and his father left Calcutta on 14 February 1873 to tour India for several months, visiting his father's Santiniketan estate and Amritsar before reaching the Himalayan hill station of Dalhousie. There, Tagore read biographies, studied history, astronomy, modern science, and Sanskrit, and examined the classical poetry of Kālidāsa.[6][7] In 1877, he rose to notability when he composed several works, including a long poem set in the Maithili style pioneered by Vidyapati. As a joke, he maintained that these were the lost works of Bhānusiṃha, a newly discovered 17th-century Vaiṣṇava poet.[8] He also wrote "Bhikharini" (1877; "The Beggar Woman"—the Bengali language's first short story)[9][10] and Sandhya Sangit (1882) —including the famous poem "Nirjharer Swapnabhanga" ("The Rousing of the Waterfall").

Tagore and his wife Mrinalini Devi in 1883.Seeking to become a barrister, Tagore enrolled at a public school in Brighton, England in 1878. He studied law at University College London, but returned to Bengal in 1880 without a degree. On 9 December 1883 he married Mrinalini Devi (born Bhabatarini, 1873–1900); they had five children, two of whom later died before reaching adulthood. In 1890, Tagore began managing his family's estates in Shilaidaha, a region now in Bangladesh; he was joined by his wife and children in 1898. Known as "Zamindar Babu", Tagore traveled across the vast estate while living out of the family's luxurious barge, the Padma, to collect (mostly token) rents and bless villagers; in return, appreciative villagers held feasts in his honour. These years, which composed Tagore's Sadhana period (1891–1895; named for one of Tagore’s magazines), were among his most fecund. During this period, more than half the stories of the three-volume and eighty-four-story Galpaguchchha were written. With irony and emotional weight, they depicted a wide range of Bengali lifestyles, particularly village life.

Tagore, photographed in Hampstead, England in 1912 by John Rothenstein.In 1901, Tagore left Shilaidaha and moved to Santiniketan (West Bengal) to found an ashram, which would grow to include a marble-floored prayer hall ("The Mandir"), an experimental school, groves of trees, gardens, and a library.[14] There, Tagore's wife and two of his children died. His father died on 19 January 1905, and he began receiving monthly payments as part of his inheritance. He received additional income from the Maharaja of Tripura, sales of his family's jewellery, his seaside bungalow in Puri, and mediocre royalties (Rs. 2,000) from his works.[15] By now, his work was gaining him a large following among Bengali and foreign readers alike, and he published such works as Naivedya (1901) and Kheya (1906) while translating his poems into free verse. On 14 November 1913, Tagore learned that he had won the 1913 Nobel Prize in Literature. According to the Swedish Academy, it was given due to the idealistic and—for Western readers—accessible nature of a small body of his translated material, including the 1912 Gitanjali: Song Offerings.[16] In 1915, Tagore received the knighthood from the British Crown. But as a mark of rebuke to the rulers, post the Jallianwala Bagh massacre in 1919, he renounced the title.

In 1921, Tagore and agricultural economist Leonard Knight Elmhirst set up the Institute for Rural Reconstruction (which Tagore later renamed Shriniketan—"Abode of Wealth") in Surul, a village near the ashram at Santiniketan. Through it, Tagore sought to provide an alternative to Gandhi's symbol- and protest-based Swaraj movement, which he denounced. He recruited scholars, donors, and officials from many countries to help the Institute use schooling to "free village[s] from the shackles of helplessness and ignorance" by "vitaliz[ing] knowledge". In the early 1930s, he also grew more concerned about India's "abnormal caste consciousness" and untouchability, lecturing on its evils, writing poems and dramas with untouchable protagonists, and appealing to authorities at the Guruvayoor Temple to admit Dalits.
source -http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rabindranath_Tagore
Rabindra Sangeet -Santiniketan Travel Guide
article source: ezinearticles.com/?Rabindra-Sangeet---Part-1&id=366213

Rabindra Sangeet – heritage

In the world of Indian classical music Bengal had always a prime place. Again among the Bengali classics, Rabindra Sangeet occupies one of the top positions. Not only in West Bengal in India but also in Bangladesh, this type of music is a part of the state’s and the country’s cultural treasure. Varieties of theme, rich quality and a link to the heart of Bengali people all over the world, Tagore and his works may perhaps be comparable only to Shakespeare and his plays in English literature. Over two thousand songs composed by the great poet and Nobel Prize winner Rabindranath Tagore, owes its origin to five centuries of literary and cultural heritage of Bengali community.

World wide popularity

One should not think that the fans of Rabindra Sangeet are confined to Bengali families only. It is liked and adored all over the world by people belonging to different ethnic and cultural background. The themes of the songs are so wide and broad in range that it covers the mundane to aesthetic and are able to represent the true feelings of every possible sector of the human society. A wealthy business man might be as charmed with a Rabindra Sangeet to his liking as the boatman sailing his boat on river Ganges.

Learn more at: Rabindra Sangeet

A school of music with distinct identity

Over the years, this school of music has also evolved into a school of music having its own distinct identity. Conservative and traditional followers of Rabindra Sangeet grudgingly oppose any innovative changes to the traditional music or modes of playing it. Not long ago, the great singer late Debabrata Biswas, also known as George Biswas was prohibited from singing Rabindra Sangeet since it was considered that he was breaking the traditions. The true requirement for appreciating Rabindra Sangeet in its best perception however rests in an educated and cultured audience.

Santiniketan is a small town near Bolpur in the Birbhum district of West Bengal, India, approximately 180 kilometres north of Kolkata (formerly Calcutta). It was made famous by Nobel Laureate Rabindranath Tagore, whose vision became what is now a university town (Visva-Bharati University) that attracts thousands of visitors each year. Santiniketan is also a tourist attraction because Rabindranath wrote many of his literary classics here, and his house is a place of historical importance.

Santiniketan was previously called Bhubandanga (named after Bhuban Dakat, a local dacoit), and owned by the Tagore family. Rabindranath's father, Maharshi Debendranath Tagore, found it very peaceful and renamed it Santiniketan, which means abode (niketan) of peace (shanti). It was here that Rabindranath Tagore started Patha Bhavana, the school of his ideals, whose central premise was that learning in a natural environment would be more enjoyable and fruitful. After he received the Nobel Prize(1913), the school was expanded into a university. Many world famous teachers have become associated with it. Indira Gandhi, Satyajit Ray, and Amartya Sen are among its more illustrious students.

There are several institutions under the Visva Bharati-Patha Bhavan, Uttar Shiksha Sadana, Siksha Bhavan, Vidya Bhavan, Vinay Bhavan, Kala Bhavan, Sangeet Bhavan, and Rabindra Bhavan, China Bhavan, Hindi Bhavan, etc. There is a museum called Vichittra and art gallery by the name of Nandan. Within the Uttarayana complex, there are five abodes of Tagore-Udayana, Konarka, Shamali, Punassha, and Udichi. Besides, Chhatimala, Upasana Mandir, and Santiniketan Bari are some of the oldest sanctums. In the year 1922, Rabindranath started a rural reconstruction center at Sriniketan, 3 km from Santiniketan. Later, some other institutions have come up here-Siksha Satra, Silpa Sadana, Palli Siksha Bhavana, and Santosh Pathshala, etc.

Just 9 km away from Santiniketan, on the bank of the river Kopai is Kankalitala considered one of the sacred Saktipithas. In the Ballavpur Forest, 4 km away from Santiniketan, is the Deer Park. Nearby is Nonoor famous for its Bakranath Shiva Temple and the sulfurous hot springs. Other places nearby are Tarapith, Lavpur-Fullara, Saintha-Nandesawari, Nalhati, and Massanjore.

Rabindra Janmotsav is celebrated in mid-April to mark the Bengali New Year and as well Tagore's anniversary. Briksharopan, the festival of planting saplings, and Halakarshan, the festival of plowing the fields, are celebrated on 22nd and 23rd day of Sravana (August). Varshamangal, the festival of rains, is celebrated during August/September. Poush Utsav, a fair held at Santiniketan and Visva Bharati from 7th to 9th Poush (December), is observed to mark its foundation day. Tribal sports, dances, and folk songs, including songs by Bauls-the wandering minstrels of Bengal-are a part of the fair and festivities. Maghotsav is celebrated on the 11th of Magha (January) to mark the anniversary of Brahmo Samaj. Vasanta Utsav is held to mark Holi. The students dance and sing their ways through Amrakunja, followed by open-air variety programs.


BY ROAD - Regular buses ply regularly on the Calcutta-Santiniketan route covering a distance of 211 km.

BY RAIL - The nearest railway station to Santiniketan is Bolpur, which is connected to Calcutta. From Bolpur, one can simply take a cycle rickshaw to cover the 2 km distance to Santiniketan.

BY AIR - The nearest airport is at Calcutta.

There are tourist lodges and tourist cottages run by the West Bengal Tourism Development Corporation. Visva Bharati runs a guesthouse. There are youth hostels at Bolpur and Bakeswar. There are also private hotels at Bolpur.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Rabindra Sangeet - Songs of Rabindranath Tagore

Rabindra Sangeet (Bengali: রবীন্দ্র সংগীত, IPA: robindrooŋgit), also known as Tagore Songs in English, is a form of music composed by Rabindranath Tagore who added a new dimension to the musical concept of India in general and Bengal in specific.
These songs are regarded as cultural treasures of Bengal in both Bangladesh and West Bengal (India).
The Rabindrasangeet, which deal with varied themes are immensely popular and form a foundation for the Bengali ethos that is comparable to, perhaps even greater than, that which Shakespeare has on the English-speaking world. It is said that his songs are the outcome of 500 years of literary & cultural churning that the Bengali community has gone through.
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In his book Caste and Outcaste, Dhan Gopal Mukerji has said that these songs transcend the mundane to the aesthetic and express all ranges and categories of human emotion. The poet had given a voice to all—big or small, rich or poor. The poorest boatman on the Ganges as well as the rich landlord find expression for their emotional trials and tribulations in Tagore's songs.
Rabindrasangeet has evolved into a distinctive school of music. Practitioners of this genre are known to be fiercely protective of tradionalist practice. Novel interpretations and variations have drawn severe censure in both West Bengal and Bangladesh. And like Beethoven's symphonies or Vilayat Khan's sitar, Rabindrasangeet demands an educated, intelligent & cultured audience to appreciate the lyrical beauty of his compositions.
He was among the first to recognize that cinema should have its own language. In 1929 he wrote, “The beauty and grandeur of this form in motion has to be developed in such a way that it becomes self-sufficient without the use of words.” The inherent beauty & depth of tagore's songs have persuaded a number of filmmakers to use Tagore’s songs in their films including Satyajit Ray, Ritwik Ghatak, Mrinal Sen, Nitin Bose, Tapan Sinha and Kumar Shahani.His songs were also used in British, European & Australian movies just to capture the mood of a cinematic situation & to reveal a delicate interplay of relationships.
Ritwik Ghatak said of Tagore, “That man has culled all my feelings from long before my birth…I read him and find that...I have nothing new to say.” In his Meghe Dhaka Tara (The Cloud-capped Star) and Subarnarekha, Ghatak uses Rabindrasangeet to express the poignancy of post-Partition Bengal.
Two of the songs written by Tagore are the national anthems of India and Bangladesh. These are:Bangladesh: "Amar Shonar Bangla"India: "Jana Gana Mana"

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