offbeat places in Shantiniketan


Shantiniketan, the abode of peace, is a place brimming with artistic, cultural, and natural charm. While Rabindranath Tagore’s abode and the university are prominent attractions, there are several lesser-known and offbeat places that offer a unique perspective of this quaint town in West Bengal, India.

Kankalitala Temple

Tucked away in a tranquil corner of Shantiniketan lies the Kankalitala Temple, an embodiment of ancient Indian architecture and spirituality. Dedicated to Goddess Kali, this temple holds immense religious significance. The name ‘Kankalitala’ is derived from the legend of the goddess’s bone (kankal) falling at this very spot. The temple’s serene ambiance and the spiritual aura surrounding it make for a peaceful and introspective visit.

Ballabhpur Wildlife Sanctuary

Nature enthusiasts will find solace in the lesser-explored Ballabhpur Wildlife Sanctuary. Located a short drive away from Shantiniketan, this sanctuary is a haven for biodiversity. The sanctuary boasts a variety of flora and fauna, offering opportunities for avid birdwatchers and wildlife photographers. A walk amidst the verdant surroundings can be a refreshing experience, providing a closer connection with nature.


Khowai, a hidden gem near Shantiniketan, offers a serene and unspoiled environment. This lesser-visited area boasts picturesque landscapes and undulating fields. It’s an ideal spot for cycling enthusiasts or those seeking a peaceful picnic amidst the natural beauty. The tranquil ambiance and the rustic charm of Khowai provide a perfect escape from the bustling city life.

Prakriti Bhavan

Prakriti Bhavan, a lesser-known museum in Shantiniketan, is a treat for nature lovers. The museum showcases an impressive collection of specimens related to natural history, providing insights into the rich biodiversity of the region. The exhibits offer a unique learning experience, making it a must-visit for those interested in the natural world.

Sonajhuri Forest

The Sonajhuri Forest is a hidden paradise for nature enthusiasts and adventure seekers. This offbeat destination is characterized by dense forests, meandering streams, and a soothing atmosphere. Exploring the forest on foot allows visitors to witness diverse flora and fauna in their natural habitat. The whispering woods and the melodious chirping of birds create a magical ambiance that is truly enchanting.


For a glimpse into the cultural and spiritual heritage of the region, a visit to Joydev-Kenduli is highly recommended. This quaint village is renowned for being the birthplace of the 12th-century saint poet Joydev, author of the Gita Govinda. The annual Kenduli Mela, a traditional fair held in January, is a vibrant celebration of music, poetry, and spirituality, attracting devotees and artists from far and wide.

Dipshikha School of Arts

Art aficionados and those keen on exploring local art should not miss the Dipshikha School of Arts. This lesser-known art school offers insights into traditional and contemporary art forms. Visitors can engage in art workshops, observe artists at work, and appreciate the creative process that thrives within this cultural haven.


Sriniketan, an extension of Shantiniketan, is renowned for its cottage industries and handicrafts. Venture into this less-trodden path to witness skilled artisans creating intricate handicrafts. The rustic charm of Sriniketan provides an authentic experience, allowing visitors to purchase unique souvenirs and support local artisans.

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