With the emergence of digitalization, the habit of reading a proper paperback book has no charm. Gone are the days when all the reading addicts used to read books in the nook and corner of the library. However even in the 21st century, if you ask a bookaholic about their fantasies then most of them would say, “Spending a day in Library surrounded by books”. Kindles and smartphones may come and go but nothing can beat the charisma of a library. Here is a shoutout to all the bibliophiles out there, these libraries in India will surely quench your thirst for reading.
Asiatic Society, Mumbai
The origin of the Asiatic Society of Mumbai can be traced when the Literary Society of Bombay first met in Mumbai on November 26, 1804, founded by Sir James Mackintosh. One of the main objectives of its formation was of "promoting useful knowledge, specifically connected with India". Asiatic Society, Mumbai houses over 20,000 rare books in diverse languages. In addition, it also has priceless artefacts, numismatic collections, 3,000 manuscripts in Persian, Prakrit and Sanskirt written on paper and palm leaf. This is truly a dreamy place for literature and history book lovers.
Allahabad Public Library, Allahabad
Situated in the Alfred Park in Allahabad, Allahabad Public Library is also known by the name of Thornhill Mayne Memorial. It is believed to be the biggest library in Uttar Pradesh, established in 1864 with Scottish Baronial Architecture. It has approximately 125,000 books, 40 types of magazines, 28 newspapers in varied languages and, 21 Arabic manuscripts. The building has also served as the house of legislative assembly during the colonial rule when Allahabad used to be the capital of the United Provinces. Apart from its humongous collection of books and journals, it is one of the most beautiful libraries in India.
National Library of India, Kolkata
This library is located in the heart of Kolkata, spread across the 30-acre green lush land. Founded in 1836 by the name of Calcutta Public Library. It not only holds ranking in terms of the largest stock of books but also in maintenance, architecture, historical significance and cleanliness. It has a collection of around 2.2 million books. Hard to believe, Isn’t? Well, this is one of the libraries which should be on the bucket list of every book addict. In the colonial era, the monument used to be the official residence of the Governor-General of India.
Raza Library, Rampur
A government-protected property in Rampur established in the 18th century by Nawab Faizullah Khan (Ruler of Rampur). A library with opulent look has a collection of 30,000 books in languages like Tamil, Turkish, Urdu, Sanskrit, Hindi, 17,000 rare manuscripts, 5000 miniature paintings, and 205 hand-written palm-leaf manuscripts. That’s not all, it also houses periodicals, specimens of Islamic calligraphy and astronomical instruments.
David Sassoon Library, Mumbai
Located in the centre of bustling Mumbai, it is a popular literary and heritage site with unique English architecture. It is built using yellow Malad stone. Similar to the Raza Library, the David Sassoon Library is one of the 145 monuments protected by the Indian Government. Oh! Did you know that amidst the busy city life in Mumbai, it also has a wide, green garden at the backyard of library? A perfect place to wander with a thick book that too in a bliss!
Nehru Memorial Museum and Library, New Delhi
As the name suggests, it is a museum-cum-library which used to be the residence of our first prime minister, Jawaharlal Nehru. The library was built in the 1930s and known to have the best collection of books and resources in India. It houses archives of Mahatma Gandhi’s writings. Along with these, it also has private papers of C. Rajagopalachari, Jayaprakash Narayan, B. C. Roy, Charan Singh, Rajkumari Amrit Kaur, and Sarojini Naidu. It has an extensive range of books and periodicals. The building looks like a swanky residence with a vintage look.
Connemara Public Library, Chennai
It is one of the four National Depository Libraries (means that it stores, receives copies of various books, newspapers and magazines printed in India), established in 1890. Connemara Public Library is a depository library for the UN as it has collections of centuries-old publication. It incorporates more than 770,000 volumes of books, 3500 periodicals and 160 newspapers. If Hogwarts would have been in Chennai then, Hermoine Granger must have visited this library, when in doubt.
So, which library in India are you planning to visit next? Let us know in the comments below. Book your online train tickets easily through Trainman app. Download the Trainman App and check PNR Status of your ticket, Running Status, Seat Availability in any train and a lot more.