Jamai Sasthi

Jorasanko Thakurbari: The Home of Rabindranath Tagore

Jorasanko Thakurbari images

Known as Jorasanko Thakur Bari, we are in the ancestral home of the Tagore family in Jorasanko in north Kolkata. It is located on the campus of Rabindra Bharati University and it is a place with a great history behind it. In this house was born Rabindranath Tagore, the poet and first non-European winner of the nobel prize.

Jorasanko is the place where Tagore spent most of his childhood, and where he died on 7 August 1941. Its construction dates from the eighteenth century on the orders of Prince Dwarkanath Tagore, the grandfather of Rabindranath Tagore.

At present the house has been restored to reflect the way the house was when the Tagore family lived in it and serves as the Tagore museum in Kolkata. This museum offers details on the history of the Tagore family, including its link with the Bengal renaissance and Brahmo Samaj. Jorasanko was the thriving centre for upper middle class Bengalis during the nineteenth and first half of the twentieth century, and was the heart of the Bengali socio-cultural renaissance.

The area lies along the ancient communication road which descended from Murshidabad to the temple of Kalighat and which today crosses the city of Calcutta from north to south under various names like the Barrackpore Trunk Road, Chitpur Road or Rabindra Sarani, Bentinck Street, Chowringhee Road and Ashutosh Mukherjee Road, to arrive at Kalighat.

In 1785, Jorasanko took over from Machuabazar and was mentioned in the first list of the administration of the city of Calcutta. It took off in the 19th century and became the neighborhood of opulent orthodox Bengali families, in contrast to the European neighborhood of Chowringhee and Park Street.

Jorasanko is the cradle of the socio-cultural renaissance of Bengalia, to which these families contributed in large measure, by funding important associations and institutions such as the Adi Brahmo Samaj, the Minerva library, the Haribhakti Pradayini Sabha, all of which were set up there. Some have survived for the pleasure of tourists, such as the Thakurbari and the marble palace of the Mullicks.

Like the Thakurbari of Tagore, other great palatial houses had their theater stage. The composition of plays in the Bengali language was encouraged by literary prizes. Literary works of Shakespeare were translated from English. As much as the dramatic sessions the declamation of poems was a highly valued form of literary activity. The Rabindra Bharati University of Fine Arts, founded in 1962 in the ancestral home of Tagore is located in Jorasanko.

Visitors have the opportunity to enjoy cultural programs on important days, such as the poet's birthday or the anniversary of his death. At times like this are held celebrations that are worth to enjoy if you have the time. All this makes the museum highly recommended to be visited.