There exists in Mumbai several heritage monuments worth visiting, one among them is the Asiatic Library. This vintage monument is basically the headquarters of the ‘Asiatic Society of Mumbai’, and is located at the southern end of ‘Maximum City’. Now, you might wonder as to what exactly makes this library so popular?. And so, to answer this question that might pop up in your mind, here is presenting a few facts about this vintage library, which hopefully shall illustrate its importance in the culture of the ‘City of Dreams’.
a. What is the Asiatic Library?
‘A Vintage library’ would be the best way to describe this heritage Mumbai monument. It essentially belongs to a learned society known as ‘Asiatic’. It was on November 26th 1804, when the ‘Literary Society of Bombay’ first met, that the idea for this library was first put forth. Furthermore, it was about 26 years later in 1830 that this library was fully constructed. In addition, the architecture used to built this heritage structure has been heavily influenced from the Greek and Roman culture. It comprises of 8 Doric columns, 30 flights of step, and a wrought iron that divides the ‘Regency’ styled staircase.
b. Who constructed the Asiatic Library?
It was Sir James Mackintosh, a Scottish jurist who was responsible for building this heritage monument. He mooted the idea to build this library in 1804.
c. Where is the Asiatic Library located?
This library is located in South Mumbai in the Fort area on the Shahid Bhagat Singh Road. To know find out how to get there please click this Google Link Map. Also, situated in close proximity to this library is the famous ‘Horniman Circle’.
d. What does the Asiatic Library comprise of?
‘Rare Books’ is what this heritage structure comprises of. Apparently, a total of 15,000 can be found stored over here. In addition, it also consists of some 3,000 ancient manuscripts written in the Persian, Sanskrit, and the Prarit languages. Furthermore, about 11,829 coins including those belonging to Emperor Kumaragupta I, Emperor Akbar, and Shivaji Maharaj are available over here.
e. The Asiatic Library, and the ‘Divine Comedy’ connection:
The original manuscript of the literary masterpiece ‘Divine Comedy’written by Dante Alighieri is available over here. It was gifted to this library by Mountstuart Elphinstone, the Governor of Mumbai from 1819-1827. He was also the president of the society. It was in 1930, that Italian dictator Benito Mussolini tried to buy this manuscript by offering this society one million pounds, however he failed to acquire it.
f. The Timings And Contact Number Of Asiatic Library?
This library is opened from Monday to Saturday from 10.30 am to 06.30 pm. It is closed on Sundays while, Resident membership (Annual), Resident membership (Lifetime), Reader membership, and annual subscription costs Rs 1,500, 15,000, 60, and 500 respectively. In addition, the contact number of the library is 022 2266 0956.
If therefore, you either intend to enjoy some beautiful architecture or seek knowledge in the city of Mumbai, then Asiatic Library is a heritage monument that must be visited.