Top 10 libraries in India

top 10 libraries in india

Top 10 libraries in India, India boasts a rich cultural and educational heritage, reflected in its array of impressive libraries. These libraries are treasure troves of knowledge, history, and rare manuscripts. Below, we explore the top 10 libraries in India, providing detailed insights into each, along with a table summarizing key attributes.

1. National Library of India

The National Library of India, located in Kolkata, is the largest library in the country. It serves as a repository of India’s rich literary and historical treasures.

FounderLord Curzon
Year Founded1836 (as Calcutta Public Library)
LocationKolkata, West Bengal
Collections2.2 million books, manuscripts, and journals
Special FeaturesRare manuscripts, government publications
WebsiteNational Library of India

2. Delhi Public Library

The Delhi Public Library, an important resource for the residents of Delhi, offers an extensive collection of books and digital resources.

FounderGovernment of India
Year Founded1951
CollectionsOver 1.8 million books
Special FeaturesMobile library services
WebsiteDelhi Public Library

3. Saraswathi Mahal Library

The Saraswathi Mahal Library in Thanjavur is renowned for its collection of ancient manuscripts and rare books.

FounderNayak Kings
Year Founded16th Century
LocationThanjavur, Tamil Nadu
Collections49,000 manuscripts, 1.25 lakh books
Special FeaturesPalm leaf manuscripts
WebsiteSaraswathi Mahal Library

4. Connemara Public Library

Located in Chennai, the Connemara Public Library is one of the four National Depository Libraries in India, receiving copies of all books, newspapers, and periodicals published in the country.

FounderLord Connemara
Year Founded1890
LocationChennai, Tamil Nadu
Collections600,000 books
Special FeaturesNational depository
WebsiteConnemara Public Library

5. Rampur Raza Library

The Rampur Raza Library is a famous repository of Indo-Islamic cultural heritage, with an extensive collection of manuscripts, miniature paintings, and printed works.

FounderNawab Faizullah Khan
Year Founded1774
LocationRampur, Uttar Pradesh
Collections17,000 manuscripts, 60,000 printed books
Special FeaturesPersian, Arabic, Turkish manuscripts
WebsiteRampur Raza Library

6. Khuda Bakhsh Oriental Library

The Khuda Bakhsh Oriental Library in Patna is renowned for its collection of rare Persian and Arabic manuscripts.

FounderKhan Bahadur Khuda Bakhsh
Year Founded1891
LocationPatna, Bihar
Collections21,000 manuscripts
Special FeaturesPersian and Arabic texts
WebsiteKhuda Bakhsh Oriental Library

7. State Central Library, Kerala

The State Central Library in Thiruvananthapuram, also known as the Trivandrum Public Library, is one of the oldest public libraries in India.

FounderSwathi Thirunal Maharaja
Year Founded1829
LocationThiruvananthapuram, Kerala
CollectionsOver 600,000 books
Special FeaturesDigital archives
WebsiteState Central Library, Kerala

8. Anna Centenary Library

The Anna Centenary Library in Chennai is a modern library with state-of-the-art facilities and a vast collection of books.

FounderGovernment of Tamil Nadu
Year Founded2010
LocationChennai, Tamil Nadu
CollectionsOver 1.2 million books
Special FeaturesDigital library, Braille section
WebsiteAnna Centenary Library

9. Nehru Memorial Museum & Library

The Nehru Memorial Museum & Library in New Delhi is dedicated to the study and research of modern Indian history.

FounderGovernment of India
Year Founded1964
LocationNew Delhi
Collections2,50,000 books, documents
Special FeaturesManuscripts related to India’s independence
WebsiteNehru Memorial Museum & Library

10. Asiatic Society Library

The Asiatic Society Library in Mumbai is one of the oldest libraries in India, housing a vast collection of books, manuscripts, and periodicals.

FounderSir James Mackintosh
Year Founded1804
LocationMumbai, Maharashtra
CollectionsOver 1 lakh books, manuscripts
Special FeaturesRare manuscripts, European texts
WebsiteAsiatic Society Library

FAQs on Top 10 libraries in India:

1. What is the largest library in India?

The National Library of India in Kolkata is the largest library in India.

2. Which library in India has the oldest collection of manuscripts?

The Saraswathi Mahal Library in Thanjavur has one of the oldest collections of manuscripts in India.

3. Are there any libraries in India that offer digital resources?

Yes, several libraries, including the Anna Centenary Library and the State Central Library, Kerala, offer extensive digital resources.

4. Which library in India is known for its Indo-Islamic cultural heritage?

The Rampur Raza Library is renowned for its Indo-Islamic cultural heritage.

5. Are there any national depository libraries in India?

Yes, the Connemara Public Library in Chennai is one of the four National Depository Libraries in India.


India’s libraries are not only centers of learning but also guardians of the country’s rich cultural and literary heritage. From ancient manuscripts to modern digital resources, these libraries cater to the diverse needs of scholars, students, and the general public. Whether you’re a researcher, a history enthusiast, or just a casual reader, the libraries of India offer a treasure trove of knowledge waiting to be explored.

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