Walking for ten minutes down Shahid Bhagat Singh Road, from the Prince of Wales Museum, you come to the Town Hall, a colonnaded structure resting atop a huge flight of stone steps. The Hall is a majestic landmark with its parquet floors, spiral staircases, wrought iron loggias and old marble statues of long -forgotten city founders.
Located here is the Asiatic Library, a rather stodgy ‘institution’ of the bygone days as it still follows the practice of offering membership only to worthy citizens.
The Asiatic library has a teak lined athenaeum stacked with over 8,00,000 antique volumes including the invaluable first edition copy of Dante’s Divine Comedy. You will also find here an amazing numismatic collection of 10,000 antique coins with a rare gold mohur belonging to the Mughal Emperor Akbar.
Despite the crack in the walls, the musty air and the paucity of funds, the Library still has a few loyal patrons who can be seen poring over the newspapers, daily Timings: 10:30 am to 5:00 pm except Sundays and holidays.