Holi Is Almost Here! Go Hatke This Time & Celebrate The Festival With Your Tribe In Santiniketan

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Santiniketan

SantiniketanBolpur

Bolpur, West Bengal

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    What Makes It Awesome

    Being hatke has always been our mojo when it comes to being a Kolkatan. So while the rest of India celebrates Holi, we celebrate doljatra and Basanta Utsav in our own unique way. And what better to be in than in the heartland where Basanta Utsav was first started. Here's our guide for your Dol essential trip to Bolpur's culture-high town of Santiniketan to celebrate spring.

    Head to Santiniketan's little town of laal maati lined with chhatim trees and date palms to celebrate Basanta Utsav that was started years back by this university town’s patron, Rabindranath Tagore. Tagore's Basanta Utsav has none of the religious underpinnings of Radha, Krishna and Holika; instead it celebrates the vibrancy, melody and colours of springtime nature.

    Get lost in a riot of colours as the red and the orange of palash and krishnachura flowers and the lush green foliage of new leaves paint Shantiniketan vibrant. It’s no difficulty to be infected by the joyous cheer that fills the air or to hum along the Rabindra Sangeet that overflows the university town. To keep up with the style drape yourself in yellow (basanti colour, to be precise) cotton sari or don the traditional kurta and pajama. And instead of your jewellery switch to Palash to adorn you. 

    Join the university students in their celebrations from Amra Kunja to Mukto Mancha as they as they sing, dance, recite and act out Tagore's works. Follow it up with sweets and phag (abir made of flowers) and play Dol with all and sundry in the town.

    Save your evening for a cultural programme of Tagore's dance dramas that the university students put up in chhatimtala under the full moon sky.

    What Could Be Better

    Getting a place to stay could be a tricky affair given the rush that this little town faces at this time of the year. The government tourist lodge (Shantiniketan Tourist Lodge) is a basic, but decent place to stay in. Alternatively, you could also check out Mitali, a beautiful homestay or the Mark and Meadows resort in Shantiniketan. 

    Pro-Tip

    Shantiniketan can be reached well within 4 hours by road from Kolkata. A more smoother mode of travelling would be the train (several of them plying between Howrah and Bolpur) that can take you to Shantiniketan in just two hours time.

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    Santiniketan

    SantiniketanBolpur

    Bolpur, West Bengal

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