Know the Bharatpura library which stores great historical treasures

A library is a unique and valuable resource for a city, state or a nation as a whole. It allows the people to find, explore, experience new ideas or to get lost in the fantasies of the world and at the same time provides cognition for world history. Bihar accounts for some of the oldest as well as national libraries of the country, which includes Khuda Bakhsh Oriental Library established in 1891, Sinha Library set up in 1924 and the list goes on. We may have been to several museums and libraries but this library cum museum in a small village of Bihar called Bharatpura has a display of great historical treasures which are rare to find in any other museum of this country. The library is famous for a rare collection of manuscripts, Mughal paintings, idols, ancient coins, among other artifacts.

The public library dates back to the Mughal era, it was established by Late Gopal Narayan Singh on 12th December 1912. G N Singh was a descendant of Raja Kanchan Singh. Years ago, the library was inaugurated by the then-District Collector, WDR Prentice. And, was managed by Gopal Narayan himself. He showcased several antics and special relics inherited from his ancestors. Steadily, he filled the library cum museum with several historical treasures. The present secretary of the institution is Gopal Narayan’s son Dhrupad Narayan Singh.

Bharatpura, a small village in Paliganj sub-division about 30 km away from the state capital, Patna is supposedly a Naxalite infested area and this is the reason why it is closely guarded by the Bihar government. This spectacular library possesses more than 5,000 extremely rare manuscripts in Sanskrit, Arabic and Persian. It has an infrequent collection of 8000 manuscripts, over 400 ancient statues,1000 absorbing paintings, coins, immemorial sculptures among others. It also boasts of a Lord Shiva and goddess Parvati statue from the 5th century.

The list does not stop here, the G N Public library has much more in store to give to its viewers. The library possesses three special statues of the sun dating from the 8th and 9th century. Witnessing such time-honoured sculptures is an exceptional experience for any human being. The Shahnameh known as the Book of Kings is an epic composed by an Iranian poet and completed around 1010 CE is to be found in this historical library. Various journals, documentations, memoirs about Iranian civilization and culture are intended to be here. Also, the authorities brag that the pictures and paintings in the book are made of gold. Basāwan’s paintings are another proud possession. Basāwan was an Indian miniature painter in the Mughal style known for his contemporaries as a skilled artist. Several monumental sculptures dating from the time of Mughal are on display including an unusual state of Lord Budha which is measured 8 inches but weighs only 10 kilograms.

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The Bharatpura library also contains rare calligraphic creations, palm leaf made books and parchment scrolls of the hoary past. All the preserved historical treasures of the institution are extremely costly and considered to be exclusively unique that is not found anywhere in the world. G N library is one of the oldest libraries of the country and so the authorities are working continuously to preserve this heritage. Also, several desultory attempts are made by the government to get Bharatpura library under the list of UNESCO world heritage site. We are still in anticipation for this to come true.

The library welcomes its visitors all six days a week from 10 am to 5 pm. Sunday museum is closed for visitors. The government is planning to impose an entry fee to the library visitors. However, for students preparing for competitive exams and school children are exempted from paying the entry fee. This measure is taken by the government for easy access to students.

The library is also preparing for its modern readers, that is, the administration is thinking to create a website for the library. Apart from this, authorities have mentioned that the library is soon going to get more historical books and magazines. The sole purpose is to preserve the artifacts and make the information and knowledge about the past more accessible to people.

Gopal Narayan Public library is a significance of history, people interested in history and antiques for its original value can get an enriched experience of world history. Apart from this, everyone should at least once pay a visit to this historical place which contains relics ranging from the Mughal empire to letters from Shahjahan to his beloved Mumtaz.

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 my vision, then it becomes less and less important whether I am afraid.” Audre Lorde

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