Stay In This Lovely Cottage In Shantiniketan For Just INR 5,000 Per Night
The cottage is run by a descendant of one of the families who looked after Shantiniketan under Rabindranath Tagore.
What Makes It Awesome
It’s a fully air-conditioned traditional hut in close proximity to the university campus between Sriniketan and Shatiniketan. What’s interesting is that this cosy place was started by a family very close to Rabindranath Tagore and who were one of nine families to have worked with Rabindranath Tagore to carry out the work of Shantiniketan. We are talking about celebrated Rabindrasangeet singer Kanika Bandhopadhyay who was a disciple of Tagore (who named her ‘Kanika’ — her original name was ‘Anima’), and famous social activist Nabakumar Mukhopadhyay.
Mukhopadhyay’s son Priyam Mukherjee and his wife, Ritapa — another well-known Rabindrasangeet singer — look after the cottage now.
The accommodation consists of one bedroom with five beds (an extra bed can be provided if you are six people). The room has an attached dressing unit and bathroom, as well as a well-stocked library with books on Tagore, music, poetry and arts as well as fiction. The charges are INR 3,500 per day for three people, including breakfast. Extra beds can be provided for INR 500 each.
They serve traditional Bengali fare made with local produce — think chholar dal, begun pora, posto bhapa, mangshor jhol, jhingey posto, ilisher doi ombol, sobjir tok and more. Everything is served as a thali — they have several veg and non-veg options. For instance, the fish thali will have two local fish preparations, two special vegetable dishes, dal, bhaaja and a teto dish, and chaatni/mishti. The fish thali is INR 270, mutton is for INR 350, chicken thali is INR 220, the egg thali is INR 150 and the veg thali is INR 120. If you want mutton, do let them know in advance.
The best way to get there is to take a train. There are many that depart from Howrah station, for instance, the Shantinketan Express. It takes about three hours to get to Bolpur. From there, you can take one of the auto-rickshaws or hire a vehicle.
The family also runs the NGO, Elmhirst Institute of Community Studies. Nabakumar was also a disciple of philanthropist and agronomist, Leonard Knight Elmhirst who worked with Tagore in progressive education and rural reconstruction. Tagore met Elmhirst when he visited America in 1920-21, and Elmhirst spent was largely responsible for setting up the Institute of Rural Reconstruction at Sriniketan.
Call Priyam Mukherjee on 8617887923 to book the cottage.