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Humble events mark Tagore's b'day in his favourite Hill hamlet

Humble events mark Tagores bday in his favourite Hill hamlet
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DARJEELING: Owing to the pandemic, Rabindra Jayanti celebrations at Mongpu, the bard's favourite destination in the Hills, remained a low-key affair this year. The Information and Culture department, Government of West Bengal had organised a programme maintaining COVID-19 protocols, to observe the day.

"The Government of West Bengal has sanctioned Rs 16 lakh for electric work. Around Rs 40 lakh has been sanctioned for beautification of the Rabindra Museum. Work is on," stated Jagdish Chandra Roy, District Information and Cultural Officer, Darjeeling.

Mongpu, 33 km from Darjeeling town, was Tagore's much-loved summer retreat in the Hills. He visited Mongpu in 1938 on May 21 and stayed till June. In 1939, he stayed here from May 14 till June 17 to return again on September 12 to stay till the first week of November. In 1940, he arrived on April 21 and his birthday was also celebrated here, that year. This was his last visit as he fell ill and had to return to Kolkata.

During his stay at Mongpu, he composed some of his works, including Chelebela, Nobojatok, Sesh Kotha, Bangla Bhashar Porichoy, Mongpu, Giribas, Sanai, Akash Prodip and Jonmodin.

In Mongpu, Tagore used to stay in the house of Manmohan Sen (Husband of Maitreyi Devi) who was the chief chemist of the cinchona plantation. In 1944, this house was converted into a "Rabindra Smrity-Bhavan." Later in 2009, the building was renovated, converted into a "Rabindra Museum."

It houses artefacts used by Tagore, his paintings and numerous manuscripts. Interestingly Homeopathic medicines used by the Bard are also displayed here. A cultural programme was organised there on Sunday. Government officials and local residents also offered floral tributes to Tagore's bust in Mongpu.

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