In 1863, Debendranath Tagore took on endless parcel 20 acres(,000 m2) of land, with two chhatim( Alstonia scholaris) trees, at a monthly payment ofRs. 5, from Bhuban Mohan Sinha, the talukdar of Raipur, Birbhum. He erected a guest house there and named it Shantiniketan( the residence of peace). Gradationally, the whole area came to be known as Shantiniketan.
Binoy Ghosh says that Bolpur was a small place in the middle of the 19th century. It grew as Shantiniketan grew. A certain portion of Bolpur was a part of the zamindari of the Sinha family of Raipur. Bhuban Mohan Sinha had developed a small vill in the Bolpur area and named it Bhubandanga. It was just contrary Shantiniketan of those days. Bhubandanga was the den of a gang of notorious dacoits, who had no qualm in killing people. It led to a situation of conflict and battle, but the leader of the gang, eventually, surrendered to Debendranath, and they started helping him in developing the area. There was a chhatim tree under which Debendranath used to meditate. Inspired by The Crystal Palace erected firstly in Hyde Park, London, to house the Great Exhibition of 1851 and latterly dislocated, Debendranath constructed a 60- bottom × 30- bottom hall for Brahmo prayers. The roof was tiled and the bottom had white marble, but the rest of the structure was made of glass. From its foremost days, it was a great magnet for people from each around.