Kaiser Library, Kathmandu

3.8
#679 of 1,083 in Things to do in Kathmandu
The palace of Kaiser Mahal, built in the late 19th century, is a unique public building in the centre of Kathmandu. It is an expansive palace built in the high Rana style architecture, preserved in its entirety - the garden around, the building and the interior, with its decoration, furnishing, book collection and artwork. Donated to the government by the the family of its creator the late Field Marshal Kaiser Shumsher Rana, the son of late Prime Minister Chandra Shumsher Rana, the property has been used as a public library, the Garden of Dreams and government administration building under the Ministry of Education since then.

Following the earthquake of April 2015, the building has been declared unsafe for use. The offices it housed have found a home elsewhere, but the historical collection of books and rare manuscripts were left behind, in urgent need of protection.
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Kaiser Library Reviews
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38 reviews
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4.1
TripAdvisor
  • Superb place right in the heart of the city, undisturbed by natural beauty, and wide open spaces to relax. Trees all around and a sight behold in the light day showers. Enjoying a cup of coffee in the...  more »
  • Alas the earthquake has also affected this beautiful building and the remaining rooms are just a hollow shadow of the previously glorious library. It is free to visit and one should go there, maybe th...  more »
Google
  • I visit this place frequently. It has a peaceful environment with large area and good books to read. This place feels really cold in the winter season but still I visit this place for studying purpose.
  • Kaiser Shumsher left a most significant legacy in the form of his private library known as Kaiser Library. In 1908, Kaiser Shumsher visited Britain with his father, Rana Prime Minister Chandra Shumsher. He was very impressed by the library and museum system of Britain. After he returned from Britain, he developed his private library which is now called Kaiser Library. Kaiser Shumsher was interested in collecting books, antiques, animal trophies, paintings and photographs since early age. As a result of all these valuable collections, Kaiser Library is not only a library but also a small museum in itself. During Kaiser Shumsher's life time, the library was accessible only to his family members, notable Nepalese scholars and foreigners. Jawaharlal Nehru, the Prime Minister of India visited this library in 1952 and in 1960. Perceval London and Sylvain Levi, well known orientalists and scholar had used this library for their research work. This library remained private for many years even after the revolution of 2007 B.S. (1950). In 1964, his wife Krishna Chandra Devi Rana and their sons Keyur Shumsher Jung Bahadur Rana and Lok Bhakta Shumsher Jung Bahadur Rana donated the 34 ropanies of land including Kaiser Library special ceremony on 11th September 1968. Since then, library has been running under the Ministry of Education. The Kaiser library has more than sixty thousand books, documents, periodicals and manuscripts. It is rich in the collection of rare books, manuscripts, painting, photographs, animal trophies etc. This library, therefore, is considered one of the best libraries in the country from historical and archaeological point of view. The entire collections are separated into three categories: Kaiser collection General Collection Manuscripts Collection New Collection (Books from Nepali Medium and Books from English Medium) Children Corner Periodicals Collection The Kaiser Collection contains approximately Twenty Eight Thousand volumes of books and documents that cover a wide range of subjects like philosophy, religion, astronomy, social science, military science, game, hunting, gardening, medicine, literature, history and biography. Ninety Five percent of the books are in English language, rests are in Sanskrit, Hindi and Nepali. Beside this, many noteworthy paintings, photographs, sculptures, old maps and press cuttings are also part of the library collections. Beside Kaiser's Collection, the new collection was developed in 1970. Every year, new books in different subjects are added into this collection. The new collections are regularly used by students, teachers, government personnel, researchers and general public. In New collection, various subjects including dictionary, General knowledge computer science, Philosophy, Religion, Social Science, Politics, Law Management, Pure Science, Technology, Literature, History, biography, Guide Book etc. are collected. New Collection is also extended into three sub-sections: Books from English Medium, Books from Nepali Medium and Children Collection. Kaiser Library has a subscription of forty three titles of newspapers and journals in a year. A number of periodicals are being received through donations and exchange. In addition, there are periodicals from the Kaiser Shumsher's private collection. Library Hours 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM (Sunday to Thursday) 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM (16 Kartik to 15 Magh) 10:00 am to 3:00 pm (Friday) (Library is closed on Saturday and other government holidays.)
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