Santiniketan: Braving summer heat, tourists from India and abroad gathered to attend Rabindranath Tagore`s 150th birth anniversary celebrations here today.
The day began early with students of Visva-Bharati University dancing in the campuses as they sang Baitalik (meditation prayer with songs).
The ashramites woke up to the recorded rendition of one of Tagore`s famous songs `He more chitto` while special prayers were held at Chhatimtola, the meditation place for Maharshi Debendranath Thakur, Rabindranath`s father, at 5.30 am.
The prayer meeting was presided over by Visva-Bharati Vice-chancellor Rajat Kanto Roy.
A special prayer was also held at Udayan, the house where the ashramites celebrated Tagore`s last birthday in 1941 inside the sprawling Uttarayan complex at 8 am.
An exhibition on Tagore, mainly photographic accounts of his life and work, his foreign trips, his family life and many other facets, drew a large crowd of tourists at Uttarayan.
Tagore`s dance-drama `Bhanusingher Padabali` (a compilation of songs named after Tagore`s adopted name Bhanusingha) was performed by the students at Gour Prangan.
Buildings, associated with the memory of Tagore, were illuminated at Chhatimtola, Kanch Mandir and his residences at Udayan, Udichi, Shyamali and Konark inside Uttarayan.
Tourists regretted they got a raw deal as Rabindra Bhavan, the museum, was opened to visitors only for an hour and the visiting hour was not extended even on a special occasion like the Bard`s 150th birth anniversary.
Tagorean nostalgia will be rekindled tomorrow when his piano will feature in a recital by Jyotisko Dasgupta, grandson of late Maitreyee Devi, noted writer who came close to Tagore during his lifetime, at Udayan.
The piano was gifted to Tagore in 1922 by Maruy Van Egghen, a Dutch lady, who visited Santiniketan to meet the poet.