Nestled in the heart of Ranchi, Jharkhand, Tagore Hill stands as an exquisite testament to the rich history and cultural heritage of the region. Formerly known as “Morahabadi Hill,” this picturesque hilltop was once home to Jyotindranath Tagore, the elder brother of Rabindranath Tagore. Let’s delve into the captivating narrative of Tagore Hill and its significance in the legacy of the Tagore family.
Before becoming the captivating location it is today, Tagore Hill held a unique charm as the abode of Jyotindranath Tagore, the older brother of Rabindranath Tagore. Originally a resting place for the Tagore family, this hill underwent a transformation that was inspired by Guru Dev Rabindranath Tagore’s vision. The hill was originally referred to as “Morahabadi Hill,” a name that was later changed to “Tagore Hill” in honor of Jyotindranath Tagore.
In 1908, Jyotindranath Tagore acquired the hill from local landlord Harihar Singh. This marked the beginning of a journey that would shape the hill’s destiny. Drawn by the serene ambiance and tranquility of the hill, Jyotindranath established a spiritual retreat for himself and his family. The hill’s land, spanning 15 acres and 80 decimal points, was obtained from Harihar Singh on October 23, 1908. A resthouse already stood on the hill’s peak, serving as a precursor to the retreat that would later be developed.
A Resthouse’s Transformation
Interestingly, the story behind the construction of the resthouse on Tagore Hill adds an intriguing layer to its history. The British administrator Lieutenant Colonel J.R. Ousley commissioned the construction of a dwelling atop the hill in 1842. Ousley used to ride up the hill on horseback during his morning strolls. Over time, this abode fell into disuse and was left abandoned.
Jyotindranath Tagore’s journey to Tagore Hill began in 1908, and he was profoundly affected by the hill’s aura. Seeking solace after family losses between 1902 and 1907, he embarked on transforming a portion of the hill into a haven of tranquility. Jyotindranath built the Brahma Mandir and Shantidham, and he also orchestrated the construction of staircases. He frequently practiced meditation beneath the trees on the hill’s premises.
With its close association with Asia’s first Nobel laureate and renowned poet Rabindranath Tagore, Tagore Hill gained international recognition. Within its approximately 300-feet elevation, the hill houses Shantidham, a place of prayer and meditation, and a mausoleum. In 1924, Jyotindranath Tagore translated Gita Rahasya, a Marathi work by Bal Gangadhar Tilak, into Bengali while residing on this hill.
Although Jyotindranath Tagore passed away on March 4, 1925, his legacy continued through generations of his family members who frequented Tagore Hill. Today, this historic site bears the name “Tagore Hill,” symbolizing the enduring impact of the Tagore family on the cultural landscape of India