In the era of smartphones and kindles, nothing can beat the nostalgia of reading a book in the library. Libraries are a second home to readers and there are many libraries out there that have thousands of books, manuscripts, and rare texts. Some of the libraries in India are known for their history, and amazing architecture. Here are some of the iconic libraries in India that you can visit.
- The National Library Of India, Kolkata
The National Library of India is the largest in the country by volume. The library was established in the year 1836. This is one of the busiest libraries in India, it is spread over 30 acres and it houses almost 24 lakh books along with 86,000 maps and 3,200 manuscripts. The library was opened to the public on February 1st, 1953.
Timings: 9:30 AM-8 PM
Membership fee: Rs 200 for the book security, Rs 300 for rare books.
- State Central Library, Hyderabad
The State Central Library in Hyderabad began in 1891 due to the efforts of Moulvi Syed Hussain Bilgrami. The library is one of the most imposing structures in the city and it was granted heritage status in 1998. The library is located close to the Salarjung Museum and is spread across an area of 72,447 sq yards. In this library, there is a collection of 5 lakh books, 17,000 rare books, and valuable manuscripts.
Timings: 8 AM-8 PM. Membership fee: Rs 150/-
- Delhi Public Library, Delhi
Delhi Public Library was started as a UNESCO project in 1951 by the Government of India. It is one of the most visited libraries in the country and it has a collection of 18 lakh books in various languages. There is also a separate section for Braille. The library has 37 branches across the state and it provides training facilities to both student librarians and social education workers.
Timings: 10 AM-5 PM. Membership fee: Rs 25/- to 100/- yearly.
- Asiatic Society, Mumbai
The iconic building of the Asiatic Society was established in 1804 and was designed by taking inspiration from Greek and Roman architecture. The library was started by Sir James Mackintosh and it has a huge collection of 15,000 rare books. The place is known for holding the original copy of Dante’s Divine Comedy.
Timings: 10 AM- 6 PM. Membership fee: Rs 5,000/- yearly.
- Anna Centenary Library, Chennai
Anna Centenary Library named after the former chief minister of Tamil Nadu, C.N.Annadurai is one of the most popular libraries in the country. It was inaugurated on September 15th, 2010. The library was built with a budget of Rs 172 crores. It is an air-conditioned library with a total of eight floors. The library has a huge collection of 5 lakh books, and there is also a separate section for blind people. It also has a huge conference hall that can facilitate 150 members.
Timings: 8 AM- 9 PM. Membership fee: Rs 100- 500/-
- Raza Library, Rampur
Raza Library is one of the biggest libraries in India. It is a government-protected property, and it is located inside a palace. Established by Nawab Faizullah Khan, it contains rare works of calligraphy, historical documents, and 30,000 books. Along with the books, there are 17,000 rare manuscripts, 5,000 paintings, and 205 hand-written palm-leaf manuscripts.
Timings: 10 AM- 5 PM
- Trivandrum Public Library, Kerala
Trivandrum Public Library also called State central library is one of the oldest libraries in India. The library was established in the year 1829 during the reign of his highness Sree Swathi Thirunal Maharaja of Travancore. It has various collections of literature in different languages, with a separate library for children. The library has a digital collection in a searchable format in English and Malayalam. The library is also conducting a certificate course in Library and Information Services.
Timings: 8 AM- 7:45 PM. Membership fee: Rs 400-1,500/-
- Allahabad Public Library, Allahabad
The public library is located in Alfred park, and it is one of the biggest libraries in Uttar Pradesh. The library was established in 1864 and it was designed in Scottish baronial architecture. It has a huge collection of 1,25,000 books, 40 types of magazines, and other manuscripts.
Timings: 10 AM- 6 PM. Membership fees: Rs 1,400- 5,000/yearly.
Conclusion: These are some of the most popular libraries in India. The other popular libraries in India are Krishnadas Sharma Central Library in Goa, Seshadri Memorial Library in Bengaluru, and Connemara Public Library in Chennai. You can visit these amazing libraries and pick up some amazing books and old manuscripts.