A trip doesn’t always have to be all about adventure and thrills. You can take a day off sightseeing and visit a local library to experience the treasure trove of knowledge and imagination. Libraries in India have played an integral role in shaping the intellectual fabric of our nation, and reading the books that have inspired the locals for decades is the ultimate way of understanding a destination. From ancient manuscripts, magazines, and novels, these iconic 10 libraries of India have it all! Most of them are in close proximity of our Treebo Hotels, so you can go for a visit to these places anytime you please.
10 libraries in India that you must visit
1. National Library, Kolkata
Kolkata is a place known for its dense and colorful literature and a number of legendary authors that influenced us for generations. The National Library is situated in Kolkata, the cultural capital of India, and boasts a collection of over 2.2 million books. You’ll find many avid readers, and scholars here, along with an interesting array of books that cover multiple subjects. From Rabindranath Tagore to Banjim Chandra Chatterjee, the National Library has gems from all revered authors of Kolkata.
Timings: 9 am – 8 pm (Weekdays); 9:30 am – 6 pm (Weekends)
2. David Sassoon Library and Reading Room, Mumbai
Finding a quiet and peaceful place in a bustling city like Mumbai is no short of hitting the jackpot. The David Sassoon Library and Reading Room are adorned with colonial architecture, antique glass windows, and vintage furniture. The establishment was built in 1870 when scholars were extensively studying at all the libraries in India. Here, you’ll find a vast collection of books, newspapers, periodicals, and much more from the bygone era and the new one. This library is truly a retreat for intellectuals and a getaway from the urban chaos of Mumbai.
Timings: 8 am – 9 pm
3. Jaykar Library, Pune
The University of Pune houses the Jaykar Library, which is a testament to the architectural brilliance, with over 400,000 books for you to scour through. Research students, scholars, and literature enthusiasts all visit this library to acquire newfound knowledge amidst the tranquil ambiance. The environment allows one to contemplate deeply and pay more attention to the topic at hand. Anyone who visits this place ends up falling in love with the overall vibe. Luckily, this library is located near our Treebo Hotels, so you can always walk in to read and explore new books.
Timings: 10:30 am – 5 pm
4. Raza Library, Rampur
For history enthusiasts, the Raza Library in Rampur, Uttar Pradesh is a hidden gem filled with rare manuscripts, artifacts, and miniature paintings. Nawa Faizullah Khan was the one to establish this library in India, in 1774, with the hopes of building a cultural marvel that flaunted the heritage of this region. Moreover, the place still houses over 17,000 rare manuscripts, and most of them are quite valuable. You’ll also find old Arabic and Persian manuscripts, that reflect the true mental prowess of the bygone era.
Timings: 10:15 am – 6:30 pm ; Sunday – 10 am – 5 pm (Closed on Saturday)
5. Connemara Public Library, Chennai
Connemara Public Library lies in the heart of Chennai and is greatly cherished by bibliophiles all over the city. Known as one of the best libraries in India, this institute was established in 1890 and still has an impressive collection of around 600,000 books. The grand architecture, with towering pillars, and graceful arches, adds a majestic flair to the library. Everyone who visits this place agrees that it’s like stepping into a haven of knowledge. The reading space here is bathed in soft light and invites visitors to embark on an immersive literary adventure.
Timings: 8 am – 8 pm
6. American Library, New Delhi
New Delhi’s American Library is a bridge of cultural exchange between India and the United States of America. The diverse collection here is filled with magazines, multimedia resources, and timeless novels that cater to the interest of a wide variety of individuals. The atmosphere is quite welcoming, and the place also hosts events such as author talks, screenings, workshops, and other cross-cultural events that lead to a better understanding of literature. Have your morning coffee at our Treebo Hotels in Delhi, and go for a visit to one of the most renowned libraries in India.
Timings: 10 am – 5 pm (Closed on Sunday and Monday)
7. Saraswathi Mahal Library, Thanjavur
Sarwasthi Mahal Library is nestled in the ancient city of Thanjavur, Tamil Nadu, and has been a guardian of our culture for decades. Similar to most old libraries in India, this one was also found in the 16th century, but it has withstood the test of time, invasion, and all the changes that led to an alteration in the geopolitics of India. The highlights of this place are the palm-leaf manuscripts that were a staple to the Dravidians. The artifacts and architecture add to the allure of its place, and visiting the Saraswathi Mahal Library is no less than going on a voyage in a time capsule.
Timings: 10 am – 1 pm, 1:30 pm – 5:30 pm (Closed on Wednesday)
8. Delhi Public Library, New Delhi
Most iconic libraries in India happen to be from Delhi, as it embraces the bustling nature of a metropolitan city and has many tales of inclusivity and accessibility. The Delhi Public Library was established in 1951 and encompasses a wide range of books, along with a soothing ambiance and state-of-art facilities that are appreciated by all. The place has it all, quiet reading nooks and learning spaces that empower individuals; there’s no place quite like this one in New Delhi.
Timings: 9 am – 6 pm
9. State Central Library, Hyderabad
The State Central Library of Hyderabad has over 500,000 books and is an ideal setting for research, contemplation, and intellectual exchange that will set your brain ablaze. Many scholars and bibliophiles find solace within its walls and hone their knowledge. You can navigate the aisles, soak in the scent of old books, and listen to the quiet rustle of pages that truly create a vibe like no other. You can put this up on your list of must-visit places to visit in Hyderabad because, just like many libraries in India, this place is also a cultural hotspot.
Timings: 8 am – 8 pm (Closed on Thursday)
10. Maulana Azad Library, Aligarh
Uttar Pradesh is known for keeping our culture alive with its historic monuments, practices, and places like the Maulana Azad Library in Aligarh. With over 1.7 million volumes of resources for academics and enthusiasts, this valuable library is adorned with portraits of literary luminaries. The establishment embodies the spirit of learning, similar to multiple other libraries in India, and fosters intellectual growth. Cutting chai in the streets of Aligarh and a walk amongst the shelves of this library is all that you’ll need to unwind.
Timings: 8 am – 2 am; Friday- 8 am–12:30 pm, 3 pm–2 am
The intellectual wealth of all the libraries in India is monumental because scholars have utilized them for decades and pushed our nation forward to glorious heights. These establishments are our cultural wealth that has stood the test of time for decades, and they must be preserved to keep India’s heritage alive.