Tagore Hill of Ranchi and its Connection with Tagore Family

Tagore Hill of Ranchi and its Connection with Tagore Family

Jharkhand is a state of India known for its lush greenery, rich tribal culture, and scenic beauty to witness all around. It is also surrounded by waterfalls, dams, and hills often bringing peace to the mind and soothing the eyes. Did you know that Jharkhand and its capital Ranchi were once connected to Rabindranath Tagore and his family? Being a Ranchite, most of us know that it’s through a famous tourist spot called Tagore Hill, situated in Ranchi but what is its history?

Demystifying the name ‘Tagore Hill’

Tagore Hill finds its name as it was associated with the Tagore family but not with Rabindranath Tagore. Rather the place which now is a popular tourist spot in Jharkhand is associated with his elder brother Jyotirindranath Tagore. The land was once bought by Jyotirindranath and he stayed there for several years. Since Tagore Hill is situated near Morabadi in Ranchi, it is also popularly known as ‘Morabadi Hill’.

The story of Jyotirindranath Tagore and his wife Kadambari Devi

Tagore Family
An old photo of the Tagore Family. (Left to Right) Jnananandini Devi, Satyendranath Tagore, Jyotindranath Tagore and Kadambari Devi.

Jyotirindranath Tagore was the elder brother of Rabindra Nath Tagore, a well-known author, poet, essayist, painter, composer and playwright. Tagore’s elder brother is often credited with helping him with his budding talent and it was because of Jyotirindranath Tagore that Rabindranath Tagore became the first non-European to win the Nobel Prize in Literature. But how is Jyotindranath Tagore related to the Tagore Hill of Ranchi? Here’s the full story you need to know.

Jyotindranath from a quite younger age was attracted to theatre and played various roles in many plays like Krishnakumari where he played the role of Ahalya Devi. His success continued as he became one of the finest playwrights of his time.  Moreover much like his younger brother he too was a man of many talents and had a keen interest in music, art and sketching. 

Jyotindranath was married to Kadambari Devi in 1868 when he was 19 years old and his bride was nine years younger to him. But even after the marriage, he upheld Kadambari’s education. Rabindranath Tagore was just two years younger to his sister-in-law and being contemporaries they both were close and used to play together. It is said that most of Rabindranath’s early poems are inspired by his sister-in-law who used to nurture his mind with her creative thoughts and comments on his works. They both were playmates and some call their relationship somewhat controversial in the setting of the 18th century Bengal. 

But this relationship saw an element of tragedy when Rabindranath Tagore married Mrinalini Devi in 1883 and just four months later Kadambari Devi committed suicide. Though the Tagore family kept mum on the reasons for her suicide, it is believed that it happened because of family issues. The 2015 Bengali movie ‘Kadambari’ based on the life of Kadambari Devi sheds light upon the same which stars Konkona Sen Sharma in the central role. The tragedy fell harshly on Rabindranath Tagore, many of whose songs and poems are dedicated to his sister-in-law. 

The death of Kadambari Devi was a huge tragedy in Jyotindranath Tagore’s life too who started spending a secluded life. Since the couple didn’t have any children of their own, Jyotindranath used to enjoy the company of the children of his brother Satyendranath Tagore. 

The connection of Tagore Hill with the Tagore Family

Tagore Hill
Tagore Hill today at Morabadi in Ranchi.

The later years of Jyotindranath Tagore were spent in somewhat solace especially after the death of his wife. He settled in Ranchi, then in Bihar in 1912 and bought a piece of land in Morabadi and built a house there and named it Shanti Dham, called Tagore Hill today. He was often visited by his brothers Rabindranath Tagore and Satyendranath Tagore at Shanti Dham. It is said that Rabindranath Tagore composed a few of his songs and poems at Tagore Hill of Ranchi. 

Leading a secluded life, Jyotindranath Tagore took his last breath at Shanti Dham which is now a popular tourist attraction in Ranchi and goes by the name of Tagore Hill or Morabadi Hill. Being a Nobel Prize winner, Rabindranath Tagore is often more associated with Tagore Hill of Ranchi and the sad story of his brother and his association with the place is known lesser. 

So did you know about the history of the famous Tagore Hill of Ranchi and its connection with the Tagore family? Share your thoughts in the comments section.

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