Kalimpong Rabindranath Tagore’s 78th birthday celebrated, Gauripur House in ruins

‘Kabi-guru’ Rabindranath Tagore had celebrated his 78th birthday in Gauripur House here in Kalimpong. He had composed a poem titled ‘Janmadin’ on April 25, 1940 and had aired it live via telephone on All India Radio from Gauripur House. That was the day when telephone services had first commenced in town.

Kalimpong Rabindranath Tagore's 78th birthday celebrated in Gauripur House
Gauripur House in Kalimpong.
“Undivided India had heard the bard reciting his poem from Gauripur House here all the way to Delhi and Lahore,” says former principal MN Bhattacharya even as he narrates the Nobel laureate’s intimate connections with Gauripur House, located about 2km from town.

Tagore used to stay at Gauripur House whenever he climbed up the hills during the hot season. He first visited Kalimpong in 1938 and penned several of his classic poems, including ‘Janmadin’, ‘Maya’, ‘Jaska’ and ‘Jaratikhati’. The poet spent two months at Gauripur House in 1938 and was back again two years later. Sitting in the confines of silence and pleasant weather, the legendary poet composed ‘Upaghat’, ‘Namkaran’ and ‘Jalsansar’, among other eminent pieces.

Time’s passage has had its toll on Gauripur House and the structure is now in ruins. It is owned by a Kolkata resident and has been looked after by three generations of a family. The place is now surrounded by an overgrowth of grass and weeds and the structure itself is on the verge of collapsing any time.

Noted educationist and former principal TB Thakuri says, “We did our best to salvage the place but failed. It is necessary to save Gauripur House as it is attached to the legacy of Tagore.”

According to Thakuri, whenever Tagore visited Kalimpong, he used to gather locals around him and render Rabindra Sangeet and recite his poems. The government must take an earnest initiative and save Gauripur House, he added.

Meantime, Bhattacharya said they have appealed to the authorities several times to save the historical site, but all cries for help have fallen on deaf ears. He said Darjeeling district by itself is an underdeveloped region and the state government has no concern regarding its development. Bhattacharya said, “It is the moral responsibility of the state government to save Gauripur House. The structure must be accorded heritage status.”

Source: EOI

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