Travel back in time to the past at the David Sassoon Library and Reading Room


One of them is the David Sassoon Library and Reading Room, which was built in 1847 and stands in the heart of Mumbai’s business hub, Fort. It was the first structure to stand at the southern end of the Esplanade. This piece of heritage with a long history is named after Sir David Sassoon, a prominent Mumbai banker who donated Rs 60,000 to the government to set up a Mechanic’s

Institute, currently known as the David Sassoon Library. It is one of 145 ancient buildings that the government has declared protected monuments.

Besides its rich history, the magnificent architecture dazzles you. Visiting the library is like traveling back to the golden age of Bombay, when literature and art filled the air with the scent of sophistication and a passion for human curiosity and wonder.

The paintings of old Bombay, the soft illumination of the hall and the chandeliers sing a sweet symphony. To break the monotony of neutrals and the geometry of the place, the place

also has a lush garden in the courtyard and a terrace where you can relax with a book. That’s not all! The library offers 13 hours of free reading every day, free Wi-Fi, lockers, a charger for your gadgets on all tables, and tea and snacks.

The library has an extensive collection of books in Hindi, English, Marathi, Gujarati and other languages, along with archives and a few other items. The property is temporarily closed for renovations and revitalization. Keeping such an antique structure in good condition requires regular and timely maintenance.

Author Ray Bradbury brilliantly shows how the roots wither, and then the culture that gives a place its identity, through one of his famous quotes: “You don’t need to burn books to destroy a culture. Just keep people from reading each other.” The spirit of the city really lives in this culture, and with the resurgence of that spirit, I’m writing to remind you to nurture your roots and keep enjoying the fruit for as long as possible.

Posted: Sunday, April 24, 2022, 12:50 p.m. IST


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