So I was just trying to find the quickest way to reach Serampore from Kolkata and I was plotting the route on the map when I noticed the map showing my route via a heritage site. On zooming in I could see that the words “Abanindranath Tagore” were written and upon close inspection, it read “Garden House of Abanindranath Tagore”. Since this place was on the way to my ultimate destination so I planned for a short stopover at Konnagar to check this place out.
History of Garden House of Abanindranath Tagore
This is the house where Abanindranath Tagore spent considerable time during his childhood. And a glimpse of this can be seen from the book Jorasankor Dhare written by him. Here he mentions the house being surrounded by dogs, horses, monkeys, deer, etc. How he used to spend time swimming, boating amongst innumerous servants.
Out here had the fantastic opportunity to get to see the rural life, he saw the evening prayers at the temples. Sometimes he was mesmerized by the village performers or times when his father would practice shooting a rifle next to him.
Over the years this building was passed on from the Tagore family and changed hands several times before landing in the hands of a builder eager to build a riverfront multistoried property.
Luckily with some resistance from a few citizen groups and locals, an understanding was reached wherein the house and some portion of the property were to remain untouched while the new owner could develop the rest of the vacant plot.
After the West Bengal heritage commission declared this property as a heritage site on the 28th of May 2007 and the Konnagar Municipality did the restoration of the property and that is what we get to see now.
A Few Lines About Abanindranath Tagore
Abanindranath Tagore was the nephew of Rabindranath Tagore. He was an artist as well as a writer. He is considered the one who influenced the development of modern Indian painting.
He was born on the 7th of August 1871 at Jorasanko and dies at the age of 80 on the 5th of December 1951.
I am not going in-depth about Abanindranath Tagore since there are enough resources online about him.
Garden House of Abanindranath Tagore Now
There are no entry tickets and one can just walk in. Keep in mind that this place has no parking facility thus you need to keep your car on the main road and walk around 30 meters.
Once you enter the gate on your right you will see a small building that has been converted into a library, office section, storage room, etc. This place has been beautifully and esthetically renovated and decorated.
The rest of the property is greenery with lots of trees and beautiful well-maintained landscaping.
On taking the narrow stone path you will see the burst of Abanindranath Tagore which I guess has been donated by Rabindra Bharati University.
Then comes the main building which has been extensively restored. There is a plan for a museum to be set up here dedicated to the painter and writer but at the moment you only get to see paintings by students most probably from Rabindra Bharati University.
From the property, you are just a stone throw from the Hooghly River and from the banks you get a fantastic view of Panihati Ferry Ghat.
Once there was a swimming pool on this property but that now has been converted into a lotus pond.
The area surrounding the main building is lush greenery with lots of trees and plants.
Surprising there is a Mazhar also near the lotus pond. A word of caution would be to remain careful of venomous snakes. Stay on the main walkways and avoid bushy areas.
Overall, this place is a nice stopover and you can relax here for around thirty minutes which should be enough to go around the property.