National Library


14.3/5(14 Ratings)

National Library Overview

Ranked 35 of 772 sightseeing in Kolkata

The National Library is the biggest and one of the oldest libraries of the country. Located nearby the Alipore Zoo, the building was the residence of the former Lieutenant Governor of Bengal. The library has a collection of over 2 million books and nearly half a million rare and old documents. Attracting thousands of readers throughout the week, this place is mainly flocked by graduate, post graduate and doctorate students.

There are various regional language divisions in the library. One can find books primarily in languages like Bengali, Assamese, Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, Malayalam, Oriya, Gujarati, Hindi, Punjabi, Sindhi, Kashmiri, Marathi, Sanskrit and Urdu. One of the divisions of the library has a major collection of books written in Pali and Prakrit.  

There are a vast collection of books on all possible subjects from Mathematics to Literature. Eminent personalities like Surendra Nath Bonnerjea and Sir Ashutosh Mukherjee have made huge donations in respect of books as well as money, which have made National Library the second largest in Asia.

What travellers are saying about National Library

Experience scale
  • Very Good 3
  • Good 1
  • Excellent 1
  • Terrible 0
  • Poor 0
  • Below Average 0
  • Average 0
Travellers recommend
  • Best Time: During DayLength of visit: 1-2hrs
  • Length of visit: 2-3hrsBest Time: During Day
Facilities available
  • Food available for purchaseFood available for purchase
  • Bathroom facilitiesBathroom facilities
  • Camera/Video allowedCamera/Video allowed
  • Wearing of shoes/footwear allowedWearing of shoes/footwear allowed
  • Lockers/StorageLockers/Storage

Timing, fees and more


Operating hours

Monday - Friday:
9:00 AM -8:00 PM
9:30 AM -6:00 PM
9:30 AM -6:00 PM
Public Holidays:
9:30 AM -6:00 PM

Other Details

Famous for:
Not Allowed:
99% voted as clean

Reviews and Ratings

Kamal Dahiya

Kamal Dahiya3.9/5

111 reviews

This place is huge, beautiful and well-maintained

me and my friend went to visit allipore zoo after exploring victoria memorial, then we came to know that national library is near by.then we decided to go there and what we found, a beautiful building which is called national library and as we enter inside we were like wow, is this place is library. this place is huge, beautiful and well maintained.if you are a book lover then you will love this place for sure.

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Sumit Sen

Sumit Sen3.6/5

559 reviews

City's Largest Library

The oldest and largest library inn the city having a host of an antique and all time favorite collection of books. If you are the book worm then this i a must visit place for you to be. To add to the thrill it is also claimed to be a hunted destination. Sounds interesting?

Tybalt Drucker

Tybalt Drucker5.0/5

1 review

Interesting place, more crowd, less enjoyment

With the innumerable stories of supernatural sightings in the area surrounding Belvedere, one cannot miss a chance to go see the place. It used to be the residence of the Governor General during the Raj. Talk to the caretakers for stories about ghostly sightings- flickering lights in unusual places, sounds and sights of horse-driven chariots, and figures coming out of the chariots. There is a general air of eeriness (which may be purely psychological, but is fun all the same!). Remember- more the number of the people, less is the fun!

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Vishal K

Vishal K4.3/5

2 reviews

Lost its touch

This place has gone through lot of renovation but the actual purpose is still not served. Books!Many books are in bad condition and lack of more titles is not something you expect from National Library.

Dr. shadab ahmed

Dr. shadab ahmed4.3/5

2 reviews

The collection is amazing and very varied

its really big and the collection is amazing and very varied! i think it has to be the biggest in India. it has so many historical journals that are simply rare anywhere.


A S3.2/5

451 reviews

It is a heritage building!

It is more than 100 years old and has more than two million books. It is in Alipore and easily accessible and is open throughout the day till 8pm on weekdays. You need to have approved membership to read books in the main reading room. This room is gigantic which can accommodate more than 500 readers and something you will appreciate is even when the place is full you will observe pin drop silence.

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Abhijit Gupta

Abhijit Gupta4.3/5

283 reviews

Largest Library In India

National Library in Kolkata is the largest of its kind in India. It is loacated at Alipore near the Zoo. People with ID Cards are only allowed inside and tourists can have a glimpse from outside only.

Photos of National Library