In 1901 begins the adventure of Shantiniketan, place of peace. Rabindranath Tagore, convinced of the need to help reform the education system, founded a small school. The means were somewhat precarious and to meet the expenses his wife Mrinalini Devi was forced to sell her jewellery. In the beginning the students were just five and two teachers helped Tagore. Students did not pay any fees and teachers did not receive any salary. The teaching method refers to that of the ashrams in the forest, in ancient India.
Learners and teachers live together in a dormitory, following the disciplined life of brahmacharis those who shall refrain from any sexual activity. The school practices vegetarianism, cooking and cleaning are managed by students, classes are held outdoors, under the canopy of trees sometimes monumental.
During the 1920s the experiment of the Nobel prize-poet which has since taken the name Visva-Bharati and then, in 1925, of Patha Bhavana became a cultural center officially registered. In its field, Shantiniketan College Siksha Bhavana, mainly focused on courses in the humanities, arts and social work, preparatory, starting from 1925, to some degree Arts Intermediate, Intermediate Science, Bachelor of Arts, University of Calcutta, the Vidya Bhavana , a community of scholars who specialize in different areas and two linguistic and humanistic art institutes.
At the same time a project is launched, on land near Shantiniketan , the improvement of rural life in the surrounding areas Sriniketan. They are, therefore, experiment with new and more effective farming techniques and farming and improved hygienic conditions, health and food in the villages. After the death of Tagore on, August 7, 1941, new institutions were integrated in Santiniketan and Sriniketan, where today you can follow a training course from childhood to college in the latter case especially for musical and artistic education.
The spirit of the original, however, the ashram in the forest, it was not completely abandoned. Classes are held still, as far as possible, outdoors and still a healthy relationship with nature is considered crucial in the human and, why not, spiritual learners. Anyone wishing to relax a couple of days at Shantiniketan, visiting the museum of Tagore, the wood of mango trees where he used to meditate, library and walking in the campus, it is set in a beautiful quiet environment.