Nothing can be more exciting and therapeutic for bibliophiles than visiting a library. Spending hours in a hall full of books, navigating through all the different shelves&ndashis a heavenly experience indeed. Here we have curated a list of five iconic libraries in India that you must visit.
Asiatic Society, Mumbai
Established in 1804, this iconic building was inspired by Greek and Roman architecture. Founded by Scottish jurist, politician and historian Sir James Mackintosh, the library has a collection of 15,000 rare books. Also, it is famous for holding one of only two original copies of Dante's 'Divine Comedy,' which was given to the Society by Mountstuart Elphinstone, Governor of Bombay and President of the Society from 1819&ndash1827.
Location Town Hall, Shahid Bhagat Singh Rd, Fort, Mumbai
Allahabad Public Library, Allahabad
Also known as Thornhill Mayne Memorial, it is the biggest library in Uttar Pradesh. Established in 1864, this building is considered a remarkable example of Scottish Baronial Revival architecture. The library has a collection of 125,000 books, 40 types of magazines and 28 different newspapers in Hindi, English, Urdu and Bangla, and 21 Arabic manuscripts. It also has a collection of old government publications, parliamentary papers, blue books of the 19th century, and old manuscripts and journals.
Location Chandra Sekhar Azad Park, Allahabad
Raza Library, Rampur
Raza Library is housed inside the Rampur palace and managed by the Government of India. Established by Nawab Faizullah Khan, the ruler of Rampur, from 1774 to 1794, Raza Library is considered one of Asia's most expansive libraries. Rare pieces of Islamic calligraphy, historical documents and over 30,000 books can be found in its collection. It also houses rare manuscripts, miniature paintings, and hand-written palm-leaf manuscripts.
Location Hamid Manzil, behind Jama Masjid, Quilla, Rampur
Trivandrum Public Library, Kerala
Also known as the State Central Library, the Trivandrum Public Library was established in 1829 and is one of India's oldest libraries. It possesses literary books in various languages and also houses a library for kids.
Mahatma Gandhi Rd, University of Kerala Senate House Campus, Palayam, Thiruvananthapuram
Nehru Memorial Museum and Library, New Delhi
Built in the 1930s, this museum-cum-library used to be the residence of Jawaharlal Nehru. It is known to have one of India's best collections of books and resources. This vintage-looking library also houses the bulk of Mahatma Gandhi's writings and private papers of Swami Sahajanand Saraswati, C. Rajagopalachari, B. C. Roy, Jayaprakash Narayan, Charan Singh, Sarojini Naidu and Rajkumari Amrit Kaur.
Location Teen Murti Bhavan, New Delhi