Tagore House is the ancestral home of an important figure in the history of India, Rabindranath Tagore. It was his family’s mansion, and today it is located within the Rabindra Bharati University grounds at Dwarakanath Tagore Lane Jorasanka, Kolkata. But who exactly was Rabindranath Tagore?
Tagore is India’s most highly respected writer. He was an Indian Bengali genius who reshaped the country’s music and literature. In 1913, He became the first non-Westerner to win the Nobel Prize in Literature for his work, “Gitanjanli”. Other than his writing, his own persona was inspirational since he walked about in what might be considered odd clothes and flowing hair as though he were a messianic prophet.
His poetry has been described as “spiritual and mercurial”, among other things, although surprisingly relatively unknown to the rest of the world. His verses were said to have a wonderful sensitivity and freshness to them.
Tagore began writing poetry when he was only 8 years old. At 16, he wrote his first significant poem under the pseudonym Bhanusimha or “Sun Lion”. At 18, he finally decided to use his real name and started writing his first short stories and dramas.
This extremely talented writer was also an artist, painter and music composer. He was also a humanist, universalist and openly spoke for independence from Britain. He produced thousands of songs, stories, novels, dance-dramas, and essays that talked about political and personal issues. His writings were known for their naturalism, lyricism, colloquialism, and unnatural contemplation.
Tagore is so popular in South Asia that the India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka national anthems were based on his works. He also founded the Visva-Bharati University.
Tagore was a friend of Albert Einstein and just like the world-famous physicist, the Indian poet was not a fan of formal schooling. He avoided classroom schooling and decided to learn about life by roaming around. He was tutored by his brother and trained in gymnastics, judo and wrestling. He learned geography, anatomy, history, geography, literature, mathematics, English and Sanskrit outside formal education, which he loathed. He went to the local Presidency College but only spent a day in school.
Rabindranath was born in 1861 in the home now called Tagore House. The house was built by his grandfather, Prince Dwarkanath Tagore in the 18th century and it now serves as a shrine-like museum dedicated to India’s greatest poet; a true Renaissance Man. He was born, grew up and died in this house.
Restored to look as it did when the poet lived here, the famous house-museum features the poet’s works, personal effects, and details about the Tagore family. The family was largely involved in the Bengal Renaissance and quest for national independence. Those who love the poet will definitely enjoy a visit to the museum, and those who may not know him very well will have their eyes opened to how amazing this Indian polymath truly was. The house also displays a gallery of paintings and photos.
On August 7, 1941, the Nobel Prize in Literature winner died at the Tagore House at 80. Before he died, he had begun exploring scientific laws and his poetry was largely influenced by biology, physics and astronomy. He wrote three stories that talked about science and scientists.