Delhi: Iconic Hardayal library opens after revamp in Chandni Chowk
Union health and family welfare minister Harsh Vardhan and North Delhi Municipal Corporation mayor Jai Prakash on Friday inaugurated the newly renovated Hardayal Municipal Library in Chandni Chowk, which, according to municipal authorities, is a repository of several rare books and manuscripts. Owing to the pandemic, the library would open to readers only as per the directions of the Delhi Disaster Management Authority, officials said.
The restoration work on the library was announced in September 2019 and it started in June 2020.
Mayor Prakash said the Hardayal Municipal Library has approximately 1.25 lakh books, which include 8,000 rare texts and 350 handwritten manuscripts. Listing some of the rare books that the library has, he said, “Some of the rare books at the library are: History of The World (1677), which contains maps of the entire world (as it was back then), a handwritten copy of the Bhagwat Mahapuran (1800 AD), Bhrigu Samhita, a copy of the Mahabharata in Persian, translated by Abul Fazl, and the Quran Majeed (1928), a Hindi translation of the Muslim holy text. All are rare and have been preserved and digitised.”
At the inauguration, Harsh Vardhan said, “This historic library has played an important role in promoting the reading culture. After the renovation, the Hardayal Municipal Library has got a new look and it will attract readers more.”
The mayor further said the building of Hardayal Municipal Library is a heritage building, whose restoration work has been done after about 104 years. He said the restoration, which was done at a cost of ₹2.83 crore, has been completed in a year’s time.
“The digitisation and conservation work of rare books at the Hardayal Municipal Library has been done by Indira Gandhi National Centre for Arts. In this single storey building, a reading area, news reading area, computer room, staff seating area and book keeping space have been made on the ground floor while reading area, conference room and book keeping space occupy the mezzanine floor,” Prakash said.