|City||Birbhum, West Bengal, India|
|Phone||(03463) 262751 to 262756 (6 lines)|
|Fax||091 (3463) 262672|
A study of the evolution of Visva-Bharati during the lifetime of its founder, Rabindranath Tagore, offers an insight into what this institution was intended to achieve. Rabindranath founded a school for children at Santiniketan and it was around this nucleus that the structure of an unconventional university developed through careful planning. In 1863, on a seven-acre plot at the site of the present institution, Debendranath Tagore, the poet's father, had built a small retreat for meditation, and in 1888 he dedicated, the land and buildings, towards establishment of a Brahmavidyalaya and a library. Rabindranath's school Brahmacharyasrama which started functioning formally from December 22, 1901 with no more than five students on the roll, was, in part, a fulfilment of the wishes of his father who was a considerable figure of his time in the field of educational reforms. From 1925 this school came to be known as Patha-Bhavana. The school was a conscious repudiation of the system introduced in India by the British rulers and Rabindranath initially sought to realize the intrinsic values of the ancient education in India. The school and its curriculum, therefore, signified a departure from the way the rest of the country viewed education and teaching. Simplicity was a cardinal principle. Classes were held in open air in the shade of trees where man and nature entered into an immediate harmonious relationship. Teachers and students shared the single integral socio-cultural life. The curriculum had music, painting, dramatic performances and other performative practices. Beyond the accepted limits of intellectual and academic pursuits, opportunities were created for invigorating and sustaining the manifold faculties of the human personality.
After Rabindranath was awarded the Noble Prize in 1913, he was invited to numerous visits all over the world and he came closely to know a large part of the world and its people. By 1917 the range of his experience and the restlessness of his exploration led to his own self-clarification regarding the idea of a centre of Indian culture at Santiniketan.The centre as conceived by him was to provide "for the coordinated study of the different cultures". As "music and the fine arts are among the highest means of national self expression… in the proposed centre of our culture, music and art must have prominent seats of honour". This centre should not only be a centre of the intellectual life of India but the centre of the economic life as well. Participating thus in all the major spheres of Indian life, the institution would attain a representative character and enter into an encounter with the rest of the world.
The institution chose for its motto the Vedic text "Yatra visvam bhavtyekanidam" (where the world makes a home in a single nest). On 23 December 1921 Visva-Bharati became a registered public body which adopted a constitution of its own. The aims and object as set forth on the occasion have since then remained the objectives of Visva-Bharati.
Vidya-Bhavana or the Institution of Higher Studies and Research was the manifestation of the ideal of the proposed centre of comprehensive studies in the cultures of the East and the West. The centre was viewed principally as a community of scholars, Indian as well as foreign, who would be engaged in creation & dissemination of systematised and philanthropic reasoning. The concern was epistemological.Those who followed included Mortiz Winternitz, V.Lesny of Prague, Carlo Formici and Giuseppe Tucci of Rome, Sten Know of Oslo. They added a new dimension to the work that was being carried on by a remarkable group of Indian scholars and creative artists of rare dedication, the services of some of whom Rabindranath had secured even from the days of the Brahmacharyasrama.
In 1937 Cheena-Bhavana, the department of Sino-Indian studies was established, and even today it remains, by any standard, a remarkable symbol of cultural collaboration. In 1939, the Hindi-Bhavana with certain distinct projects of studies was founded. Kala-Bhavana which was originally the institute for both Fine Arts and Music came into existence in 1921 but in 1934 it branched off into two independent institutions, Kala-Bhavana and Sangit-Bhavana each with its own distinct discipline. In generating more informed and cultured interest and more ample educational components, these two institutions played pioneering role in our country.
PO : Santiniketan
Dist. : Birbhum,
India - Pin 731235
Telephone : Visva-Bharati PBX
(03463) 262751 to 262756 (6 lines)
Fax: 091 (3463) 262672
Visva Bharati offers various graduate courses as well as Post Graduate courses.
List of facilities available at Visva Bharati for students.