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Rabindranath Tagore: Here’s Some Unknown Facts about This Great Poet & Writer

Shivam Dwivedi
Shivam Dwivedi
Rabindranath Tagore
Rabindranath Tagore

Rabindranath Tagore is well- known as a poet and prolific writer with works ranging from poetry to short stories and plays.  He was also the first Indian to win a Nobel for literature and on the other, a novelist who wrote and composed an entire genre of songs. His contribution to Literature, music, art and politics is brilliant.

A brief history:

  • Rabindranath Tagore was born on 7th May 1861. At the age of 8, he started writing poetry and published his first collection at the age of 16. At 42 years of age, he married Mrinalini Devi and at the age of 60, Rabindranath Tagore took up drawing and painting and held many successful exhibitions of his works.

  • This year, we will celebrates the 160th birth anniversary of Tagore. Every year, his birth anniversary is observed as Rabindranath Tagore Jayanti across the country. Bengali community celebrates his birth anniversary on Pachishe Baishakh.

Some lesser-known facts about Rabindranath Tagore:

Rabindranath Tagore is one of India’s most renowned renaissance figures, who has put us on the literary map of the world. Here is a list of some interesting but lesser known things about Tagore that you must know:

  • People often prefer to use the word Gurudev for him. Rabindranath Tagore is also known as Kabiguru and Biswakabi.

  • He won the Nobel Prize in 1913 for literature and is the only Indian to have received the honour in this category. This prestigious award received by him for his collections of poems titled Gitanjali.

  • As per a statement by Nobel committee, Tagore was selected to receive the prestigious prize "because of his profoundly sensitive, fresh and beautiful verse, by which, with consummate skill, he has made his poetic thought, expressed in his own English words, a part of the literature of the West."

  • Tagore used to write down songs, stories, and dramas including the portrayals of lives of common people, literary criticism, philosophy and social issues.

  • He was awarded a knighthood in 1915, but he renounced it on 31 May 1919 as a protest against the Jallianwalla Bagh Massacre in Amritsar, Punjab. 

  • Tagore founded Visva-Bharati University in Santiniketan, West Bengal, just to challenge the conventional methods of classroom education. Many classes in the university are still continuing under trees in open fields. Visva Bharati University was declared a central university in 1951.

  • A bronze statue of Tagore was unveiled in Gordon Square, London on his 150th birth anniversary in 2011. This statue was unveiled by Prince Charles who said the inscriptions will "shine out as a beacon of tolerance".

  • Very few people know that Tagore shared a good bond with Albert Einstein. After his maiden meeting with Einstein, Tagore wrote, “There was nothing stiff about him- there was no intellectual aloofness. He seemed to be a man who valued human relationship and he showed me a real interest and understanding.”

Rabindranath Tagore also composed the National Anthem, was a multitalented personality in every sense. He was one of those great people, ahead of his time, and that is exactly why his meeting with Albert Einstein is considered as a clash between science and spirituality.

Tagore once said:  The one who Plants Trees, knowing that he will never sit in their shade, has at least started to understand the Meaning of Life!

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