Rabisarani Rabisarani

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Rabindranath Tagore, the first non-European Nobel Laureate in literature, was born on May 7, 1861. Though known more as a poet, Tagore is much more than that. His genius enriched whatever he touched in the field of literature, painting, education, rural reconstruction, women emancipation, patriotism, universalism, politics, religion, science etc. Tagore reshaped Bengali literature and music through his beautiful verses and tender words. In 1913 he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature for his book of verse, Gitanjali, a collection of poems from the Bengali Gitanjali and some other books, and translated to English by Tagore himself. Highly influenced by the folk songs and Baul culture of Bengal, Tagore introduced new prose and verse forms and the use of colloquial language into Bengali literature. He took key part in 1905 Swadeshi movement during the partition of Bengal and introduced the Rakhi Bandhan Utsav. In 1915, he was awarded Knighthood from the British, but he renounced it in 1919 in protest of the Jallianwala Bagh massacre. Tagore traveled to many countries around the world including England, Germany, USA, France, China, Japan, Argentina etc. Wherever he went, he presented the best of Indian culture. His dream to bring the world under one nest came true through Visva-Bharati, in Santiniketan, which he had founded in 1918. He is also regarded as the first modern painter of India with outstanding creativity in modern art. Two of his compositions Jana Gana Mana Adhinayaka and Amar Sonar Bangla are the National Anthem of India and Bangladesh respectively. After a prolonged illness, Tagore passed away on 7th August, 1941.

The objective of this website is to describe the persona of Tagore in minute detail. For that the Timeline approach has been used here, so that you can select a specific decade, and then a specific year within that decade to browse through the events in Tagore's life in each year. This way you can find great details on his life, his creations, his works, and above all Tagore as a person. The timeline starts from 1861, his birth year, and ends with 1941, when he died. The Before block covers the social and political events with influence on his life, and the After block covers the events reflecting the political and social changes in our life after his death. The Before events start from the birth of Raja Rammohan Roy in 1772, and the After events go up to 1955, when Satyajit Ray filmed Pather Panchali.

For help (user guide) on exploring the website, please click on How to Use link here or in the footer section of each page of this website.

A Brief Chronology

Today (19th November) in Tagore’s Life

Major Events in Tagore’s Life

Events focus Tagore as a poet, novelist, dramatist, educationist, idealist, patriot, world traveler and above all as a person symbolizes humanity. Events include:

  • 1861: Rabindranath is born as the 14th child (8th son) of Maharshi Debendranath Tagore (44) and Sarada Devi (35) at 2:28 am at the ancestral house of Tagores' (now known as Maharshi Bhavan) at 6 Dwarkanath Tagore Lane, Jorasanko, Kolkata.
  • 1873: Upanayana of Rabindranath is performed. Accompanies his father, Debendranath, on an extensive tour of North India. His first visit to Santiniketan. Composes the drama, Prithviraj Parajay.
  • 1875: Recites his poem Hindumelay Upahar at the Hindu Mela. His mother, Sarada Devi, dies. Starts writing note-book, later known as Malati Punthi.
  • 1881: Rabindranath's first musical play, Valmiki-Pratibha, staged at the Jorasanko house. First public lecture at Calcutta Medical College.
  • 1890: Rabindranath is away in Sahajadpur (Pabna district of Bengal in British India) supervising and managing the affairs of the estate. Narrates Mantri Abhisek at Emerald Theatre. Starts writing Chitrangada.
  • 1891: Third child Renuka is born. Writes his first six short stories Dena Paona, Post Master, Ginni, Ramkanaier Nirbuddhita, Byabodhan, Taraprasanner Kirti, Khata.
  • 1894: Fourth child, Mira is born. Writes Ebar Phirao More. Takes over editorial charge of Sadhana.
  • 1901: First daughter Madhurilata's and second daughter Renuka's marriages take place. Rabindranath's nephew, Nitindranath Tagore, dies. Brahmacharyashram, a school at Santiniketan, is established.
  • 1902: Wife Mrinalini Devi dies. Poet composes Smaran (In Memorium), a series of moving poems, to enshrine her memories.
  • 1905: Maharshi Debendranath Tagore dies. Poet becomes editor of the Bhandar magazine.
    British government issues proclamation for the partition of Bengal. Rabindranath writes a number of patriotic songs. On 16th October, Rabindranath initiates Rakhi Bandhan Utsav, a gesture of unity "…by exchange of yellow threads between the people of eastern and western Bengal on that day..." and requests his friends "...to discard British goods and use indigenous things instead as far as possible...". In this connection, writes his universally known song Banglar mati Banglar jal and leads a mammoth crowd on 16th October through the streets of Kolkata singing his songs.
  • 1908: Initiates organized village uplift work in the Patisar region of the Tagore estates with the help of Kalimohan Ghosh and others.
  • 1913: English versions of Gitanjali, The Crescent Moon, The Gardener, and Chitra are published by Macmillan.
    On 13th November, Rabindranath is awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature.
  • 1914: Carmichael hands over the Nobel Prize medal and diploma to Poet. Chokher Bali is being translated into other major Indian languages. Tagore begins an intense association with Nandalal Basu. Inaugural issue of Sabuj Patra gets published. Poet is rather critical about Gandhiji's Phoenix Asram education system.
  • 1915: Receives Knighthood. Meets Gandhi for the first time.
  • 1918: Formal foundation stone of Visva-Bharati is laid.
  • 1919: Renounces Knighthood in protest of Jalianwallah Bagh massacre.
  • 1920: Leaves for England on a lecture tour to raise funds for Visva-Bharati. Travels to France, Holland, and USA.
  • 1921: Visits England, France, Switzerland, Germany, Sweden, Austria, and Czechoslovakia.
  • 1922: Rural Reconstruction Institute at Sriniketan is formally inaugurated with Elmhirst as its first director.
  • 1924: Visits China and Japan, and then sails for South America; stays in Buenos Aires as the guest of Victoria Ocampo.
  • 1930: His paintings are exhibited at the Gallerie Pigalle in Paris. Other exhibitions follow in Birmingham (England), several European capitals, and in the USA. Delivers Hibbert lectures at Oxford (published as The Religion of Man). Writes The Child, his one and only original English poem.
  • 1940: Oxford University holds special Convocation at Santiniketan to confer Doctorate on Rabindranath.
  • 1941: His final speech, Crisis in Civilisation, is read on his eightieth birthday.
    After a prolonged illness, the poet passes away on 7th August at Jorasanko, Kolkata.