Rabindranath Tagore’s Kuthibari or family estate is one of the major attractions for his fans and followers. Located in Shilaidaha in Kushtia district of Bangaladesh, the house was built by his father Maharshi Debaendranath Tagore.
In 1890, Rabindranath was given the responsibility of managing the family estate in Shilaidaha for which he, between 1891 to 1901, came and stayed in the house known as Kuthibari.
The greenery, the rivers and simplicity of rural Bengal impressed Tagore deeply and inspired him to write many of his famous poems, short stories and essays. These include Sonar Tori , Kotha o Kahini, Chitra and Chaitali. Most of the poems of Kheya and Naibedya were written here, as were many songs which formed part of Gitanjali and Geetimalya. He started translating Gitanjali in English, here in Shilaidaha in 1912 , which fetched him Nobel Prize literature in 1913, making him the first Asian to receive it.
Now this place is converted into a museum called Tagore Memorial and Museum. Personal objects that he used such as his bed, wardrobe, iron chest, palki lawnmower, number of framed photographs and other paraphernalia are on display. His famous house-boat is moored near the banks of Dighi or the pond.
Kuthibari is situated on the south bank of river Padma. It’s a three storied pyramid shaped terraced bunlow in eleven acres of land with mango orchard, jackfruit, bakul and other big trees and flower garden and two ponds.
Apart from family members, Kuthibari was visited by well known personalities like Acharya Jagadish Chandra Bose, Kazi Nazrul Islam, Dwijendralal Roy to name a few. One of the invitees to the house was Lalon Fakir, the Baul icon whose meaningful simple songs inspired Tagore to pen and set to music some of his own in this style.
Ponchise Boishakh, that is Tagore birthday which generally falls around 7th of May is celebrated here. It is a five day long festival organized by the Bangladesh government, in which artists and spectator from all over the world come to celebrate and pay tribute to Tagore. Rabindra Sangeet, Tagore’s plays, dance-dramas, poem and book reading session, seminars and workshops on Tagore’s works form an integral part of the festival.