On May 29, 1928, the former French colony of Pondicherry had an important visitor in Rabindranath Tagore, who had made a halt near its shores to call on one of its most famous residents, philosopher and revolutionary Sri Aurobindo, whom he had last met in 1907 and had dedicated a poem in praise of his struggles.

The 83rd anniversary of that historic meeting, between two of the country's foremost intellectuals, was observed at the Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH) by the World Peace Trust here on Sunday.

Secretary of the trust Dibyendu Goswami said that though the poet was older to Sri Aurobindo, he offered his poem in 1907 as a “salutation” to the philosopher.

Though Sri Aurobindo had retired into complete “seclusion” by 1928 and had avoided meeting even his own disciples, he made exception when it was learnt that Tagore had halted near Puducherry, on his way to Europe, in order to meet him. While the meeting itself lasted only for a few hours, it ended with Tagore reciting the poem that he wrote in praise of Sri Aurobindo once again.

'Puducherry blessed'

Member of Legislative Assembly and former Minister K. Lakshminarayanan said that Puducherry was blessed by the fact that great men such as Sri Aurobindo and Subramanya Bharathi chose to live in the town and spread their message of love.

Though Tagore and Bharathi never met during their lifetimes, both of them understood each others' thoughts well and this was proved by the references that Bharathi has made of Tagore in many of his works, he said.

Photo exhibition

A photo exhibition, displaying rare pictures of Tagore's visit to Puducherry, was also held as part of the celebrations.

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