Saturday, August 21, 2010

Rabindranath Tagore's Abode In Shillong

(The above picture is of the house in Shillong where Rabindranath Tagore lived in the year 1923 )
At the time when country is celebrating Nobel Laureate Kabiguru Rabindranath Tagore's 150th Birth Anniversary ,the news of demolition of Sidhli house(click here) shocked many.It was his abode during his last visit to Shillong in 1927 where he penned two of his most important work(novel Yogayug and the poems Susamay and Debrdau). It was surprising and very upsetting that our Govt had failed to identify and preserve the site of this historical importance.This was the only house which i had not seen in my past visits to Shillong.This time i made it a point to revisit the other two houses where he stayed and penned many dramas,songs and poems.I would like to share few pictures and few facts about Kabiguru's stay in Shillong.Shillong was a place very close to Guruji's hear-it showed in his master peace novel Shesher Kobita.He visited this beautiful hill station thrice in his life time.

Kabiguru visited Shillong first in the year 1919.He stayed in Brookside Complex a house near Rilbong area. He began writing his famous novel Shesher Kobita here. The poet had written a few short write-ups — Ekti Chauni and Ekti Din — and made a few English translations. during this period.The poet came here with eldest son Rathindranath Tagore, daughter-in-law Pratima Devi, singer Debendranath Tagore, his wife Kamala Devi, the poet’s biographer Provat Kumar Mukhopadhya and the poet’s personal assistant Sadhu Charan..This house has been declared as Rabinranath Art Gallery .The landscape surrounding the structure will be protected with technical assistance from Victoria Memorial Hall, Kolkata. .Jeet Bhoomi was his next abode during his second visit to Shillong in 1923.This house is a private property and is very well maintained.We had a brief chat with the landlady and with her kind permission i clicked the first two pictures you see in this post.He stayed here for a month and penned his famous drama Raktakorobi(Red Oleander) and the poem Shillonger-Chithi (The Letter From Shillong). The natural beauty of this pristine hill station finds an expression in this poem.(The placard below is about Kabiguru's stay in Brookside Complex in 1919 ).
The Sidhil House was Kabiguruji's third abode in Shillong during his last visit in 1927.It was demolished by the owner recently.A delegate visited and interacted with the owner of the house .The stone plaque at the demolished will be preserved by the owner. 'Here lived Rabindranath Tagore in May and June 1927.His novel Yogayug and the poems Susamay and Debdaru were written here'....the plaque read.I will try to visit this site hopefully in my next visit to Shillong.


  1. it is interesting how some buildings are preserved and restored that are centuries old and other newer ones are demolished...sad.

  2. It is very important to maintain such houses of historical is very simple to do that by using blogging and inform local travel agents the importance of each house....but if local travel agents are not interested initially they will eventually know about it through visitors asking about the place...if i visit shillong i would love to visit this place


  3. its very nicely maintained...and great person like Rabindranath Tagore
    has left a rich heritage which generations will enjoy!

  4. Your post reminds me of President Obama's childhood home in Hawaii. It is an apartment in a large building on a busy street. I wonder if the apartment will be preserved as a historical monument.

  5. I'm sorry I haven't heard of this writer-poet. I'm glad they tried to preserve most of his important places.

  6. Very interesting post and you are right about some homes being declared historical and maintained for future generations to come.

  7. Thank you as always for teaching me, this time, about history and poetry...

  8. the ambiance is so beautiful!
    good thing you have photographed the place before it is demolished too! i really wish to extensively visit the northeasetern states..

  9. Do we Indians value and preserve what that has been passed down to us?
    Look at the neglect of many such monuments around.
    A pity state of mind we have!!

  10. such a lovely place to live na!! I wish I could live in a place like this..maybe it would enthuse me to start writing poetry!

  11. Well-researched and supported by good photographs. It is a pity that we are not able to preserve the heritage.

  12. kavitaaa..what a good post ya...really...thanks for highlighting the "where the mind is without fear" hero...satya says right-It is very important to maintain such houses of historical significance.

  13. ohh this one reminds me of anand bhavan at allahabad...

  14. The place looks the tranquil setting must have inspired him to write...a pity that it's demolished...

  15. That's a terrible shame. Can never be replaced.

  16. as usual beautiful pics and what a info..
    but i will point out the role of our GOVT its pathetic, they do nothing to preserve our heritage..
    Here i remember going to a castle from 17th century, it had a chapel in it and beleive me IT still stand as it STOOD THEN.. they have even preserved the pieces of CLOTH used at that time ..

    Can we imagine that happening in our country ..

    You bring such things out and i ma impressed really THANK YOU for that, i would have never known about this house.. cause when i want to come on holiday here NONE of the travel agents EVEN the indian ones DONT ahve any such details ... Pity

    this one is nicely maintained glad about that

    We have to maintain these for the next generations of our people...

  17. Sigh! I feel so bad to know it has been destroyed :( How I wish I was lucky enough to see that house. Must visit the remaining ones sometime soon :)

    Thanks so much Kavita for consistently sharing interesting information with us :)

  18. its a very peaceful place... have been there and loved it :)
    lovely sharing.

  19. baapre..yr son..did he say that? i wil come n give him a pinch..hehe

  20. Such a nice place to live ... poetry might start flowing from even from me .. lol
    But truely Bishwabhariti need to step in and stop destruction of such places. One place that is in ruins is the Malancha niwas in Agartala... where Kabi Guru penned quite a few pieces of history..
    Great post!

  21. Very nice and informative post. Beautifully maintained.
    Wish you a Happy Rakshabandhan.

  22. well maintained
    thanks for the pic
    its national treasure should not be demolished,

  23. Beautiful place. I would definitely love t see this in person.

  24. Our people or our government do not give importance to heritage/history. Tagore is a great poet and a nobel laureate, still he is treated as an ordinary man.

    I am still planning to visit these places, Kavita. Hopefully, next we should plan for next Sept. Oct. to be there and see these places.

    Thanks for the information, Kavita. You are so passionate about writing about your place and everything is new to us.

  25. very infomative and interesting space u have...lovely visit my site at your convenience..following you..

  26. Sad but its true that aintenance of old structures demands both time and money. At least the plaque will be retained:)
    And Rabindranath Tagore will live on in our minds as a great poet, writer and visionary. They can't destroy that:)

  27. great to see that u are from shillong..Iam deepa and i write on indian crafts and home decor from all over India.have a look at the blog and connect..

    I wanted to write about shillong crafts.good i saw ur blog..i think some good reputed carft are there in some bazaar . If u visit those shops, please click some pics and send it to me. i would write that in my blog..

  28. Hey it is very interesting and informative post! Hope the govt draws some inspiration from Tagore's poems and do the needful!

  29. Thanks ya too taking comfort in fact that daughter was not harmed..

  30. i loved ur blog ...i too was born n brought up at NE ..though i stay at kolkata now ...
    went 2 shillong but never heard of this place ..

    great to have stumbled here

  31. Wow, what lovely pics and Rabindra Nath lived there? It looks like an ideal place for a writer and philosopher like him.
    Good post:-)

  32. Hi,

    Proud to be an indian!!!Great to see so much info on your blog!!!keep the good thing going!!!


  33. This is some very interesting information, Kavita. You really put a lot of thought into this post, it’s realy very good.

    Just wanted to stop by to see how you are doing and wish you a happy week! (((((Hugs)))))

  34. So good you got to visit the place and share the experience & priceless history with us.

  35. K shukriya Dr ji..u r such a gr8 friend:)

  36. What a pretty house! It will be sad if it is destroyed. Hope the government steps in.

  37. interesting post n gud blog too...

  38. @Lin Floyd
    -specially at a time when our new generation really needs to know the legacy left behind by such great people,we do need to take care of these matters.Thanks.

    You are right !Educating and motivating people through different channels is what we need-a brilliant idea.Thanks.

    both the houses are very beautiful.One is a private property hence is very well maintained.Thanks.

    i truly admire Prez Obama.I think it would be inspirational for the people if the said apartment is preserved.It certainly is one of the starting point of his journey.Thanks.

    he wrote and scored the National Anthem of our country.He was the first Non-European to win Noble Prize In Literature for his work 'Gitanjali'.Thanks.

    Margaret Cloud.
    thanks a lot .

    167 DAD-
    Thanks a lot.

    @Magic eye
    -please do visit,you will not regret it.Thanks.

    we Indians do need some 'soul-searching'.Thanks.

    -with your writing skills and a beautiful place like this ,you will do wonders .Thanks.

    -true,what a pity !Thanks.

    'where the mind is without fear',beautiful !Thanks.

  39. @Deeps
    - i would love to visit Anand Bhawan someday.Thanks.


    -i had a chance to look at certain pictures of the place where Mirza Ghalib lived.Its condition brought tears to my eyes.Govt is never going to do anything,i know it for sure.I hope some private organizations take care of such things.Thanks.

    @Destiny's Child
    he started writing some of his masterpieces right here.,this place was special to him.Thanks.

    you are right,things like this are not replaceable .Thanks.

    -i am happy that you like the things i love to share with you all.

    -thanks a lot dear !

    -hope our govt wakes up,though i really doubt this will ever happen.Thanks .

    thanks and a very Happy Raksha Banhan to you all.




    -may your dream of visiting NE comes true very soon.Thanks.

  40. @Srividya Ravikumar
    -thanks a lot.

    @Holy Lama
    the owner finally decided to retain the plaque.Thanks.

    @Deepa Raman...
    thanks,actually i dont live in Shillong.

    @Karan Agrawal

    ..a warm welcome and thanks.


    thanks and hugs to you too:)

    thanks a lot.

    me too.Thanks.


  41. Awesome picture. First blogger from Assam I met. I will keep visiting to get an idea of Assam.

  42. Read again. Very informative too

  43. I am very pleased you said that post :)

    -Fondest Regards,

  44. @A....A very warm welcome to you.I visited your blog and loved your writings a lot.I am glad that we met each other.

    @A... oh,that's very nice of you.Thanks for liking and enjoying the post.

    @Gregory....thanks for stopping buy.I am glad that you found the post useful.Feedback like this is always very encouraging.My regards !

  45. Great writing! I want to see a follow up on this topic?!?

  46. Possibly the greatest paper I read all day!!!


  47. Great writing! Maybe you could do a follow up to this topic?!

  48. hii
    wow! nice info and very beautiful house :)

  49. It took me a long time to search online, only your site explain the fully details, bookmarked and thanks again.

    - Laura

  50. Helpful blog, bookmarked the website with hopes to read more!