Dwarkanath Tagore, the founder of Jorasanko branch of the Tagore family had left behind three sons at the time of his death – Debendranath, Girindranath and Nagendranath. Both Girindranath and Nagendranath died quite young. Nagendranath did not leave behind any children. Ganendranath was the eldest son of Girindranth and Jogmaya Devi. His younger brother was Gunendranath. Ganendranath did not leave behind any children. Gunendranath’s children were – Gaganendranath, Samarendranath, Abanindranath, Binayini Devi and Sunayani Devi.
They used to live in what was known as the “Baithakkhana Bari” of Jorasanko Thakur Bari. That portion has since been demolished. He used to be called ‘Mejadada’ (second elder brother) in the joint family, as he was younger to Dwijendranath but older to Satyendranath.
He was a student of Hindu School and when Calcutta University introduced the Entrance examination in 1857, he and Satyendranath Tagore passed out in first division.
Ganendranath was an ardent writer and translated Kalidas’s Vikramorvashiya into Bengali in 1869. He composed devotional songs known as Brahma Sangeet and songs with patriotic fervour. A Brahma Sangeet CD containing songs sung by Subinoy Roy and brought out in 2007 has a composition of his entitled “Gaao Hey Taahaari Naam” (Oh! sing His name) as the title song.
Chitra Deb writes, “More than from any other source, it was from this group (Debendranath Tagore’s children) and their cousins (Ganendranath and Gunendranath) that the rising new currents of Bengali literature and culture drew their strength.”