Kolkata: September 13:Gitanjali Rail Museum, in front of Bolpur (Shantiniketan) station is a humble tribute of Eastern Railway to the great poet and philosopher Kaviguru Rabindranath Tagore. It’s a two-storied state-of-the-art museum having an area of 1830 square meter resembling the UDAYAN building of Uttarayan complex in Shantiniketan Ashram. Gitanjali Rail Museum remains opened for the visitors from 9:00 hrs. to 13:00 hrs. and from 14:30 hrs. to 17:00 hrs. daily excepting Wednesday.
Ground floor of the museum houses the railway Saloon Car in which the ailing Kaviguru had undertaken his last train journey from Bolpur station to Kolkata in July, 1941 leaving his Shantikenation Ashram forever. The poet died on 7th August, 1941 in Kolkata. Eastern Railway has preserved the Saloon Car as it is as a mark of respect to the great poet. The illuminated display on an elevated gallery and up keeping of the coach have been appreciated by the visitors from all parts of the country as well as from abroad.
Besides, the illuminated Saloon Car in the ground floor, there are 35 rare black & white photographs of the poet in various mood along with 48 framed write ups of his prose & poems. There are three facsimiles of the Trust Deed of Bhubandanga of the year 1863 on which land the Vishwabharati set up later are also on display.
On the first floor of the museum, there are 153 rare photographs of the poet and his prime companions in Shantiniketan, the first batch of teachers of Shantiniketan Ashram and various foreign trips of the poet are of immense historical and archival value.
On the occasion of the 150th birth anniversary of Kaviguru Rabindranath Tagore, Ministry of Railways decided to pay its tribute to the great poet and philosopher. Foundation stone of the museum was laid in October, 2010 just outside Bolpur station and it was opened for public viewing in August, 2012. It was named after the poet’s Nobel Prize winning collection of poems GITANJALI which also completed its 100 year in 2010.