This is the land of red soil, with tales of literary excellence in the pastoral air. The veritable nerve centre of Bengal’s art and culture, Shantiniketan was established in rural Bengal in 1901 by the renowned poet and philosopher Rabindranath Tagore as a residential school and centre for art based on ancient Indian traditions. His vision of the unity of humanity transcending religious and cultural boundaries is perhaps even more pertinent today. A ‘world university’ was established at Santiniketan in 1921, attracting some of the most creative minds of the country after Tagore received the Nobel Prize.

The emphasis here is on the study of liberal arts as well as the relation between man and nature. The University grounds are a green delight, with statues, murals and works of art by Rabindranath Tagore on display.

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Our Accommodation Ratings

Opulent: Exceptional, unashamedly the best of sheer luxury. (£££££)

Luxury: Outstanding levels of 5* comfort, hospitality and facilities. (££££)

Premium: Excellent levels of comfort and hospitality and a wide range of facilities. (£££)

Mid-Range: Good levels of comfort and hospitality, with a reasonable range of facilities. (££)

Simple: Clean and simple, no frills. Often in areas of natural beauty or near wildlife reserves. (£)