August 30, 2016 2 min to read

Modern Gurukuls in India

Category : Guides

Sometimes you arrive at a place and you close your eyes…so as to only behold it, by daylight. You create your school far away from the contamination of towns. You discover and give form to supreme nature. So give in to this discovery. Give in to the winds of knowledge at these places in India which have emerged in their truest form as modern gurukuls.



Amidst the meandering Kopai River and red soil lies Shantiniketan, the abode of peace. A small town near Bolpur in the Birbhum district of West Bengal, this village was founded by Nobel laureate, poet and artist Rabindranath Tagore. This place was created to offer authentic education, which he believed was more true to the needs of children growing up in rural India than conventional, didactic schooling. Created as early as in 1901, it later on developed into the Visva Bharati University, with an emphasis on the study of liberal arts as well as humanity’s relationship with nature. A relaxed place, it attracts students from all across India and overseas. Spread throughout the leafy university grounds are eclectic statues, the celebrated Shantiniketan murals and the Belgian glass-panelled university prayer hall. The Museum & Art Gallery within the Uttarayan complex (Tagore’s former home) are worth a peek if you are a Tagore aficionado. Around Shantiniketan, several practitioners of painting, classical dance, music and pottery offer casual short-term courses to visiting students.



Situated near Hesaraghatta Lake at a distance of approximately 30 km from the city of Bangalore, is Nrityagram. Literally translated, it means “dance village”. The residential school for Indian classical dances and an intentional community in the form of a dance village, it was set up by Odissi dancer Protima Gauri in 1990. The residential school offers training in Indian classical dance forms, Odissi, Mohiniattam, Kathak, Bharatnatyam, Kuchipudi, Kathakali and Manipuri following the ancient Guru-shishya tradition. Nrityagram Dance Village is also known for its Vasantha Habba (the festival of spring), held every year in the first week of February. Today, the Nrityagram Dance Ensemble has performed across India and in many countries abroad. Apart from various courses in classical dance, it also offers courses in allied subjects like music, philosophy, painting, choreography, etc.



Kalakshetra, as the name suggests, is a centre for artistic endeavour. By the seashore in Chennai, the Kalakshetra Foundation, as it is known today, is a vital centre for the study and performance of fine arts, envisioned and designed with the style and proportion of Indian aesthetics. The academy was founded in January 1936 by Rukmini Devi Arundale. Under Arundale’s guidance, the institution achieved national and international recognition for its unique style and perfectionism. Spread over 100 acres of land, this place is known for its vital performance.

Megha Paul
Megha is a hoarder of books and indie magazines. She is either on a trip or planning one. And in between, she becomes a storyteller and writes travel stories, too. You will find her exploring the city for new coffee shops. She prides herself with awesome taste in music and dreams everyday of receiving her Hogwarts letter.