Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday paid tributes to Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore on his 160th birth anniversary.
Tagore was born on 7 May but his birthday is celebrated in West Bengal, where he was born and is revered, according to the traditional Bengali calendar, and this year it falls on Sunday.
"On Tagore Jayanti, I bow to the great Gurudev Tagore. May his exemplary ideals keep giving us strength and inspiration to build the India he dreamt of," he said, paying tributes to the man of many talents.
On Rabindra Jayanti, the people of West Bengal hold cultural events to celebrate the social reformer's enduring legacy. In Santiniketan, Tagore's abode, elaborate celebrations mark the day with the students and teachers of Visva-Bharati paying homage to the founder.
Tagore was a playwright, philosopher, composer and poet. He became the first Asian to win the Nobel prize for literature in 1913 for his epoch-making collection of poems, Gitanjali. Most of his writings were in Bengali, later translated into English to make them accessible to a broader audience.
The Nobel committee had said in a statement that Tagore was honoured with the prestigious prize "because of his profoundly sensitive, fresh and beautiful verse, by which, with consummate skill, he has made his poetic thought, expressed in his own English words, a part of the literature of the West".
The prime minister also paid tributes to freedom fighter Gopal Krishna Gokhale and celebrated warrior king Maharana Pratap, both of whom were born on this day.
Gokhale's life was devoted to serving the nation, and it will always inspire the countrymen, the prime minister said.
Paying tributes to Maharana Pratap, Modi said he brought glory to India with his valour, boundless courage and battle skills.
His sacrifice and devotion to the motherland will always be memorable, he said.
(With inputs from Press Trust of India)