The National Library is the place where one can get a peaceful mind to read, write or learn something. One such place is the National Library in Kolkata. It is one of the largest libraries in India and was established in March 1836 in Kolkata. It is the foremost among the libraries in India. Also, it is one of the four libraries that had received the delivery of Newspapers and books. The library comes under the Ministry of Culture, Government of India.

Location & History :

National Library is situated on a scenic 30 acres Belvedere Estates, in Kolkata. Lord Curzon had opened it for the public on January 1903. He had proposed the idea and convinced the British about opening a library for the use of the public. Moreover, the library had served the work purpose for students and a repository of materials for the upcoming future historians of India. It contains the largest collections of 2.2 million books.

Earlier the name was Imperial Library. However, after Independence, the Government of India had declared the Imperial Library as the National Library. Maulana Abul Kalam Azad inaugurated the place. The first proprietor of the Kolkata public library was Prince Dwarka Nath Tagore.

Collections :

The National Library of India collects books, periodicals and titles in all the Indian languages like Punjab, Sindhi, Hindi, Kashmiri, Urdu and Telugu, maintaining the largest stacks of Books. Besides, it holds some exclusive collection of fifteen languages including Bengali, Gujarati, Assamese, and Tamil with many rare works. Furthermore, in the Hindi department, it has books of the nineteenth century and the first-ever books printed in that language. Besides, it also has the collections of 86,000 maps and 3,200 manuscripts.

The hidden chamber :

In 2010, The Ministry of Culture had decided to take the help of the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) to restore the library building. A piece of news got viral about a secret room of nearly 1000 Sq. Ft in size seems to have the ground floor without any door or trapdoor. People had assumed it as a secret room for hiding or storing treasures. Some more speculations about the room were that Warren Hastings and other British officials had used it as a punishment room. ASI did a sneak peek, and they decided to drill a hole in the wall of this secret chamber. According to the researchers in 2011, the room was full of muds. But ASI speculated that it was just a chamber for architectural benefit. However, they did not reveal the full details as after 2012 no information came out about the chamber publicly.

Timings :

The national library is open from 9 am and 8 pm on all working days and from 9.30am to 6 pm on Saturdays. It remains closed on Sundays and other Government holidays like 15th August, Independence Day, 2nd October Mahatma Gandhi’s Birthday, and 26th January Republic Day. Besides, the students or visitors need to have an approved reader pass to enter the reading area. However, there are few processes to enter; one should need to fill in an application form through the National Library Website, and Government officer must attest it. Readers passes are available from Monday to Friday from 11 am to 1 pm, and other than that between 3 pm to 4 pm.

Haunted Stories of The Kolkata National Library

However, many weird incidents took place in the National Library, and the security guards are often feared to take duty on the night shift. Also, people say that one can still hear the Governor’s wife’s footsteps in the place. Besides, some fearful incidents took place like a student from England died in some unnatural way who was searching a book for his thesis. Also, people say that a Bengali student had died without completing his paper. However, all these are just stories with no real proof in place.

Trivia

• Lord Curzon built the national library in 1836
• It also contains 86,000 maps and 3,200 manuscripts.
• It has the largest collections of 2.2 million books
• The special collection also includes fifteen languages including Assamese, Bengali, Gujarati and Tamil, with many rare works.
• Besides, the library is beneficial for the visitors, and students to know about the ancient period.