UNESCO Grants World Heritage Status to Santiniketan, Celebrations Erupt In Bengal
18 September, 2023 | Anupam Shrivastava
Santiniketan, a source of pride for the entire Bengali community, was nurtured by the Rabindranath Tagore and has received unwavering support from the people of Bengal for generations.
Visva-Bharati University in West Bengal’s Birbhum district, particularly Santiniketan, where Rabindranath Tagore spent a significant portion of his life, is basking in an atmosphere of jubilation and unrestrained happiness. This elation follows the inscription of Santiniketan on UNESCO’s World Heritage List.
The iconic university premises, including its historic buildings and gardens, were adorned with decorative lights, and the faculty, staff, and residents, donned in traditional attire and joyfully engaged in singing Rabindrasangeet (Tagore songs) as news of the prestigious UNESCO recognition reached them.
West Bengal’s Chief Minister, Mamata Banerjee, also shared her joy at Santiniketan attaining UNESCO’s world heritage status. Through her official social media platform, she expressed, “I am delighted and proud that our Santiniketan, the abode of Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore, has been officially included in UNESCO’s World Heritage List. Santiniketan, a source of pride for the entire Bengali community, was nurtured by the poet and has received unwavering support from the people of Bengal for generations.”
Banerjee highlighted her government’s substantial contributions to Santiniketan’s infrastructure over the past 12 years, underlining that the world is now acknowledging the splendor of this heritage site. She commended all those who hold Bengal, Tagore, and his messages of unity in high regard.
UNESCO India also officially confirmed the inclusion of Santiniketan in the World Heritage List, describing it as India’s 41st World Heritage Site. In its post, UNESCO India wrote, “#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.”
Shashi Panja, West Bengal Minister and Trinamool Congress leader joined in the celebration, describing the moment as a source of pride for Bengal and India.
UNESCO further elaborated on Santiniketan’s significance, defining it as a collection of historical structures, landscapes, gardens, pavilions, artworks, and enduring educational and cultural traditions that collectively embody its Exceptional Universal Value.
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