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Monday, 15 June 2015

The ancestral home of the Tagores ......JORASANKO

     We walked from one room to another , in quick succession,eager to see more of the bits and pieces that made up the life of the great renaissance man ,who needs no introduction. We were at the Rabindra Bharati Museum in Kolkata,better known to the common man as the home of Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore, a place which saw him grow from a daydreaming child to the unparalleled stature he attained at a very early age.




                Photography is strictly prohibited inside the mansion ,but I must say that the look of it from outside was enough to keep me mesmerised.This mansion was made in the typical Bengali architectural style of the 19th century,and undoubtedly had an old world charm to it.







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   The house was known as the Thakur Bari...Thakur , as the surname Tagore goes in Bengali and Bari in Bengali means house.This place had been the nerve centre of the cultural renaissance of Bengal for over  a century and was frequented by the likes of Raja Ram Mohan Roy,Madan Mohan Malviya and many more. It was in 1961 that  the government of West Bengal converted this mansion  into a museum housing the memories of the great men of this family,and opened it to the public. 

Once inside, one gets to see  galleries where the works of Rabindranath Tagore,and articles associated with his life which has been preserved very well.  His works on art and literature,along with pieces of furniture and even clothing are all very well exhibited.I found it rather interesting to see an old fashioned kitchen used by Mrinalini Devi( Rabindranath Tagore's wife) at one end of the huge corridors.One can also get a glimpse of the rooms where Rabindranath Tagore was born and where he breathed his last, in this building.

      Walking down the airy ,pillared verandah or should I call them corridors ,I could not but feel privileged at the thought that it was somewhere here resting in those huge wooden chairs, the first Asian Nobel Laureate had penned down works like Dak Ghar or Chokher Bali ! One can see Lalbari,which in Bengali means the red house ,which is an auditorium where the plays written by members of the family were enacted and very often had famous dignitaries of those times as the audience.   

          Rabindranath Tagore  shared a lineage of very well learned men,scholars ,philosophers ,artists and even buisnessmen.His grandfather Dwarkanath Tagore was  a zamindar ,(a person who owns many estates),and was the first prominent resident of this mansion.His son Debendranath Tagore (Rabindranath Tagore's Father) was a very prominent religious and social reformer.who was instrumental in reviving the Brahmo Samaj after the death of Raja Ram Mohan Roy.He was one of the very first people to open the doors of higher education for women.This house therefore remained the centre for many important activities for a period of over three hundred years .Hence an entire  gallery is dedicated to Dwarkanath Tagore ,Debendranath Tagore,Abanindranath Tagore
( Rabindranath Tagore's nephew) and to other members of the Tagore family.


A separate gallery is dedicated to many other people who brought about the renaissance in Bengal during that period.

Rabindranath Tagore , is a name with which every child in Bengal grows up,and his works are synonymous to culture in the state ,even a century later   .A family which  gave birth to  such great men in every generation, only makes one wonder what made it happen.Though I do not know the answer,  I left this place with  deep admiration and reverence...for it was here that many reforming thoughts were first shaped.  Of the many ,women were encouraged to take up higher education,           all round development  with the help of co-curricular activities was stressed on in education,   and the method of rote learning was regarded with contempt for the first time. !!!!


   

OH!   Almost missed it ...the car used by  the family members,parked in a locked garage right beside the main entrance ,  seemingly in good condition  .(can anyone help me with the name of this
 model ?)


How to reach and other information
Jorasanko is about 2 kilometres from the Girish Park metro station of Kolkata ,and lies in the Dwarkanath Tagore Lane,M.G.Road Kolkata. Entry tickets are very nominally priced,and it is open on all days except Mondays(from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.) A minimum of 3 to 4 hours should be set aside for a proper detailed visit to the place


4 comments:

  1. Beautiful place! Would love to visit on my next trip to Kolkata...

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  2. Right Siddhartha,hope you get to visit it soon.

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  3. I had an emotional breakdown when i visited the place....His room, his presence ...as if i could feel him around.

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    Replies
    1. Very true,and the place is so well maintained that it adds to it

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