Rajasthan’s treasure trove: An underground library with 900,000 books, one of Asia’s biggest!
Rajasthan is known for many things, especially for its rich history, grand palaces, stories of kings and queens, colourful culture and delicious cuisine. But, how many of you are aware of the underground library that Rajasthan hides, deep in the Thar Desert. Yes, a hidden library, which is also one of Asia’s biggest and has over 900000 books!
Where is this secret library?
The library is built in the Bhadariya village of Pokaran Tehsil in Jaisalmer district of Rajasthan. This unique treasure trove in the Thar region has the capacity to seat 4000 people at once, which makes it one of the biggest libraries in Asia.
What makes it unique is the fact that it is built 16 ft under the ground and, because of its location, the library remains cool even during hot and humid summers.
History of the library
The library was built by Harbansh Singh Nirmal, who is also known as Bhadariya Maharaj (saint). Hailing from Punjab, he himself was an avid reader. The collection of the library consists of books from different regions of the world. There are thousands of books that were gifted to him on various occasions by people. He started collecting these books in the year 1998 and then funds were allotted to construct a temple for a goddess here.
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According to the residents of the village, Maharaj stayed in the library for several years and read almost all the books there. The books present in the library range from science and astronomy to astrology and history. One can also find dictionaries, Atlas and epics inside this treasure trove.
This bibliotheca features 562 glass shelves, where all the books are well-preserved and are made available to scholars and learners, who come here from all over the world for research and learning purposes.
This place is a bibliophile’s dream come true and must be visited by every book lover. Now, the library is being looked after by the villagers and the temple devotees