9 - 17 November 2019 | 6 spaces available

A creative expedition in Santiniketan, West Bengal

A town that has music, art, poetry, nature flowing through its' arteries.

Santiniketan at a glance

A quaint little town, dusty and raw from a distance, but the closer you get the louder the sounds of Baul folk songs get. 

Santiniketan is an arts hub in the East of India. Musicians, artisans, poets, writers, bird watchers and everyone else seeking a refuge flock to this land founded by the Poet Laureate Rabindranath Tagore over a century ago. 

Home to the second largest arts university and a UNESCO world heritage site, you’ll spot students taking classes under Banyan trees with a few langurs (black-faced monkeys) lingering in the background.

Our magic potion

At Soulscape, we want to do everything we can to cut out the noise of everyday life and transport you into a place and space where you can enjoy complete nourishment for your mind, body and soul. Our team spends months in each one of our destinations, with no middlemen or travel agents, building meaningful relationships with local people which gives us greater access to local treasures. We have an ethical approach built on mutual respect, gratitude and a desire to upkeep the ecosystems within which we work as nature-friendly as we can.

Trip Itinerary

Day 1 : Land in Kolkata
Land in Kolkata where we’ll meet you at the airport and take you to a comfy hotel. Once you’re rested you can stretch your legs with an expert-led walking tour of Kolkata, followed by a traditional Bengali meal where we’ll do a meet and greet.
Day 2 : Kolkata to Santiniketan
Have breakfast Kolkata style and set off for Santiniketan (takes around 3.5 hours by road). We’ll do a pit stop and grab a fresh coconut water too. Once we reach Santiniketan, you’ll check into your private en-suite mud cottage and get familiar with the space. Relax with some light yoga and meditation in the evening after which we’ll share the next day’s plan with you followed by dinner.
Day 3 - 6 : Full activities
Start the day with your choice of herbal tea or chai, morning yoga and set off for the day. Each day you’ll meet master artisans, musicians, historians, frugal innovators, community champions who will give you access to their homes, workshops and community spaces where you can immerse yourself in traditional pottery making, language, textiles, classical and folk music and dance. In addition to this, you can expect intimate musical performances, meal with local families and even a knowledge exchange with tribal communities. For local travel, you’ll have the option to jump into a ‘toto’ (local auto rickshaws), cycle or walk.
Day 7 - Santiniketan to Kolkata
Start the day with your choice of herbal tea or chai, morning yoga, breakfast and then get ready to head out to a local fare that takes place each Saturday and attracts makers from all over Santiniketan and surrounding areas. From here we’ll head back to Kolkata and check in to yet another handpicked hotel. Today, you’ll get a real taste of West Bengali culture through a special something that we’ve planned :)
Day 8 - Goodbye
Have breakfast together and bid goodbye as we you get transfers to the airport.

Ready to travel or prefer a custom trip?

Or email us at hello@tosoulscape.com

Desi style excursions
Learn from expert pottery makers
Healthy, organic, vegetarian meals
(and cookery lessons too)
Explore rich cultures
Yoga from the real yogis
Digging out local treasures for you
Creative workshops from local experts
Plenty of space for yourself
Cottages made of indigenous materials

Accommodation & Food

On the day of arrival: Handpicked hotel in Kolkata

In Santiniketan: your own private ensuite mud cottage made with indigenous materials made by a local architect in a lovely serene space.

Day before departure from Kolkata: Handpicked hotel in Kolkata

Local vegetarian* meals three times a day with a choice of herbal teas or chai

*Please let us know well in advance if you have any dietary requirements so that we can ensure you get the most of your meals

Ready to travel or prefer a custom trip?

Or email us at hello@tosoulscape.com

Included in your experience

  • Hassle-free as we plan every little detail from your arrival to your departure
  • Transaction-free leaving you no ‘extras’ during your Soulscape experience as we pay mutually agreed and fair renumeration to all our collaborators, and advise against tipping
  • Dedicated one to one support before, during and after your Soulscape experience
  • 7 nights stay in Santiniketan in your own private double room
  • All ground transport during your experience, including airport transfers
  • Abundant natural space to free your mind and body to wander, heal, dream
  • Exclusive access to lesser known places
  • Immersive learning from local craftsmen, artists and experts
  • Experience local cultures from the inside (rather than an outsider)
  • Daily yoga and meditation from a genuine, experienced and friendly Indian yoga expert
  • 3 daily healthy, organic and local vegetarian meals plus drinks and snacks to keep you nourished
  • Small groups – we never have more than 10 participants at a Soulscape experience and you have complete control over your level of interaction
  • Ethical travel experience where we make more sustainable choices and believe in building relationships with local communities rooted in honesty and respect.
I felt like I was drowning in everyday life… today I feel so much more like myself.
Haleh W.
India, Soulscape 2017

Useful info

Airport: Closest airport is Kolkata.

Several airlines fly direct to India (all pretty good). Our recommendation is to fly with Air India (let your experience begin in flight :)

We’ve found that the following price comparison website offer the best deals:

You’ll need to apply for a Tourist Visa before your trip:

https://www.e-visaindia.org.in

Documents needed:

1. A clear and coloured scanned copy of the Page of Passport which holds the personal details.

  • Format – PDF
  • Size – Maximum 2 MB

A digital photograph taken by a digital camera or phone camera with the head in the centre of the picture and a light coloured background.

  • Format – JPEG
  • Size – Maximum 2 MB

 

Important note: some areas in India have been declared as Restricted Areas. Good news is that you won’t be passing or visiting any of the protected areas during the Soulscape experience.

However, if you are planning on staying longer and visiting any of the restricted areas then you must get a PROTECTED AREA PERMIT.

  • Clothing: As different parts of India have varying outlooks to clothing from super liberal to conservative we suggest you bring along comfortable and light cotton clothing (tops, trousers, capris, long and standard shorts)
  • You’ll need some clothes you don’t mind getting mucky in
  • A jacket for cooler evenings
  • Books, games
  • Trainers / sneakers / comfy shoes you can walk around and do exercise in
  • Hat/Cap
  • Hand sanitiser

It’s time to switch off folks.

We aren’t going to allow the use of mobile devices or laptops. Please turn them off once you’re with us. In case of emergency, you will be able to contact a Soulscape team member who will give you access to the very patchy internet in the area.

Our experiences are limited to no more than 8-10 people.

Interaction wise, feel free to do your own thing, knowing that there’ll be a bunch of us around most of the time (and Indians love chatting and mingling – so no time is a bad time).

In July, days are warm at 25 degrees celsius and evenings are cooler at 12 degrees celsius.

Soulscape experiences are transaction free. The only things that aren’t included during the 7 days you’ll be with us are any personal expenses like shopping.

If you want to keep some cash on you then do note that the Indian Rupee is a restricted currency – only available in India. We recommend that you bring some cash with you and get it exchanged while in transit in Delhi or after reaching Leh.

Some people get vaccinated and some don’t. If you’re unsure, go visit your local GP or travel clinic.

India is 5 hours ahead of the UK. For example, when you are flying to Leh from Europe you lose time, and gain time when flying back.

Jetlag sucks. Here are a few ways to beat it.

We’d love to hear them. Email the team at hello@tosoulscape.com

If you reach Delhi a few days sooner or want to continue travelling after the Soulscape experience then drop us an email at hello@tosoulscape.com and we can help you plan your itinerary.

Namaste – hello

Aap kaise ho? – how are you?

Main theek hu – I am fine

Mujhe khana chahiye – I want food

Main shakahari hu – I am vegetarian

Ye kitne ka hai? – how much is this?

Mujhe madad chahiye – I need help

Come join us

Santiniketan, India

Complete the form to express interest and a member of our team will be in touch to answer any questions.