Kolkata: West Bengal Thursday paid homage to Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore on his 152nd birth anniversary through the versatile bard`s ever popular songs, poems and other compositions.
The poet-philosopher`s contributions were also remembered at international events in the city to commemorate the centenary celebrations of Tagore`s Nobel prize.
Exhibitions, book releases and cultural programmes were held across the state to mark the occasion.
A testimony to the literary genius`s undying appeal even 72 years after his death was evident from the multitude of people who paid a visit to Tagore`s ancestral home and place of birth, Jorasanko Thakurbari here.
The room in which he was born at the Thakurbari in north Kolkata was thronged by visitors from all walks of life since early morning as a variety of cultural programmes like dances, recitals and elocution kept the audience enthralled.
The day heralded a plethora of festivities for the fortnight in memory of the poet-philosopher.
Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee garlanded Tagore`s portrait and sat through a three-hour programme at Rabindra Sadan, the city`s premier auditorium named after the poet and built as part of his centenary celebrations 52 years back.
School and college-goers paid their respects to Tagore through readings of his famous works, renditions of Rabindra Sangeet and recitation competitions.
The evening saw singers from Bosnia and Herzegovina perform their traditional Sevdah songs at the Uttam Manch here for the centenary celebrations titled `Shatabarsho Pore` marking 100 years of the poet`s reception of the Nobel prize
In Birbhim district`s Shantiniketan, where Tagore wrote many of his literary classics in the sylvan surroundings of the university set up by him, Rabindra Bhavana (the museum dedicated to Tagore studies) hosted an exhibition themed on the history of Tagore`s publications.
It included first editions of his books and letters he wrote to publishers and important persons who were instrumental in publishing his books.
A book titled "Robindro Borsho Borone ebong Jonmodine" was released which narrates how Tagore used to welcome the new year and his birthday. With Tagore songs played at traffic signals, as on other days, people enjoyed a holiday declared by the state government under the Negotiable Instruments Act.
Born on this day, Vaisakha 25 (according to the Bengali calendar/May 7, 1861 according to English calendar), Tagore in 1913 became the first Asian Nobel laureate and the first non-European to win the Nobel Prize for literature.
He also holds the distinction of having authored the national anthems of two sovereign nations -- India and Bangladesh -- and the bard`s rich, diverse and vast literary ouvre is virtually unmatched in the world. He was also a painter and a composer par excellence.