Tagore was born on 7 May 1861 in an old aristocratic family of nineteenth century Calcutta. His father Debendranath Tagore (1817-1905) was popularly known as ‘Maharshi’ for his saintly disposition and his grandfather, whose unbounded charity and lavish hospitality earned him the title ‘Prince’, always sought to promote the welfare and advancement of his countrymen.
Rabindranath was the fourteenth child of his parents. Among his brothers and sisters Dwijendranth, Satyendranath, Jyotirindranath and Swarnakumari distinguished themselves through their achievements. Dwijendranath was a renowned poet and philosopher, Satyendranath was the first Indian member of the Indian Civil Service, Jyotirindranath was a playwright and musician and Swarnakumari earned reputation as one of the early woman novelists of India. Thus the atmosphere of the Tagore family at the ancestral house of Jorasanko was charged with the cultivation of literary, musical and dramatic activities.