6 Iconic Libraries In India That you Must Visit
India has been home to some of the greatest scholars and literary stalwarts the world has ever seen. And, it is only fitting that India also has some of the most iconic and best libraries in the world. Let us look at some of the best libraries in India that everyone must visit.
When you talk about iconic libraries in India, you may invariably think of The National Library of India in Kolkata. One of the largest libraries in India, it ranks right at the top in terms of the book collection, architecture, and historical importance.
Established in 1836 as the Calcutta (former name of Kolkata) Public Library, it has the largest collection of books than any other libraries in India, holding a whopping 2.2 million books across different languages. Before India gained independence from the British in 1947, the library was the official residence of Lt. Governor of Bengal.
Another astonishing fact about this library is that it houses more than 86000 maps, and the shelf space of this library is over 45 kilometres. Whether you love reading or not, when you are in Kolkata, you must definitely visit this library, the large reading space, the stellar architecture and the historic aura inside will leave you in awe!
A government protected library in Rampur, it was originally built as a part of the Rampur Palace. It has one of the most amazing architectures amongst all libraries in India and it looks palatial and exudes a royal vibe from every corner inside and outside of the library.
The library’s book collection is as unique as its architecture and holds some of the most rare manuscripts of the colonial era. Its stellar collection also includes 205 hand-written manuscripts that are written on palm leaves, 5000 miniature paintings and more than 30,000 books in different languages including Urdu, Sanskrit, Hindi, Tamil, and Turkish.
This library-cum-museum is located inside one of the iconic buildings in Delhi that once served as the residence of the first Prime Minister of India, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru. Built in the 1930s, it boasts of grand architecture and stunning interiors.
It is one of the best libraires in India to know about some of the most landmark events that occurred during India’s fight for independence against the British. It houses some of the exclusive and exquisite archives of Mahatma Gandhi’s writings and private papers of Sarojini Naidu, C. Rajagopalachari, Jayaprakash Narayan, Rajkumari Amrit Kaur, and other heroes of the Indian freedom struggle.
One of most iconic buildings in Mumbai, the library exudes colonial charm from its brilliant architecture. The spectacular steps, leading up to the main entrance, and all-white paint is a sight to behold!
The library is a mecca for all book lovers and those who are researching Indian literature, history, and arts. The magnificent building, which was built in 1804 is one of the oldest libraries in India and it holds a collection of more than 200,000 books across languages and genres and also houses 20,000 rare books, which you may not find anywhere in India.
A famous library in India, it has the distinction of winning the Raja Ram Mohan Roy Library Foundation Award for the best Central Library in India in 1999-2000. It is known for its stunning architecture and a vast collection of books; it features more than 300,000 books and has an exclusive Braille section. The building premises also houses the Indira Priyadarshini Children’s library.
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The first public library in India, it was established in 1829. The locals also call it the State Central Library, and it was built during King Swathi Thirunal’s reign in the region. It has a very unique architecture made of red bricks. It houses a huge collection of literature, especially in Malayalam language.
Have you been to or seen any of these book lover paradises in India? Do you know of any other iconic library in India that deserves a mention. You can share your recommendation and experience of visiting these libraries with us in the comments section.