About Us

Birchandra State Central Library, Agartala is the apex Library of the Public Library system in Tripura. It was established in 1896 during the reign of Maharaja’s Period which has a historical background. Maharaja Bir Chandra Manikya (1862-1896) originally made an attempt to establish a good library in the Palace for the members of the Royal Family and he established such a Library during his life time. So many Bengali books & English books were collected in the Palace library. In 1896, the English collections was kept in the Palace Library while the vernacular section was shifted to a separate house and the library was thrown open to the general public for their use. The name of the Library was Bir Chandra Library which was named by the King Maharaja Radhakishore Manikya to show honour to his departed father Maharaja Bir Chandra Manikya.

At first it was opened as a branch of the Palace Library but gradually it became a full fledged library. After several shifting the library was housed in the new constructed building at V.M. Chowmohny (Presently I.G.M Chowmohny) at the north west corner of Umakanta Academy near the traffic Point during the reign of Maharaja Bir Bikram Kishore Manikya Bahadur in the year 1924.The Library was kept open for the public for 4 hours daily-two hours in the morning and two hours in the evening. The Library was run there up to 20th January 2010. On 21st January 2010 Birchandra State Central Library was again shifted to its new location at Old Secretariat Building where the Library is establishing with its modern wings, and the modernisation work of this Library is going on with full efforts.

 

Introduction

The names of the princely State of Baroda and that of its ruler, the Maharaja Sir Siyaji Rao Gaekowad III, have become immortal in the history of Library movement in India for pioneering the establishment of Public Library system as early as the first decade of the Twentieth Century (1907-1910).Although no such systematic  Library Service like that of Baroda was developed in Tripura but the Princely State of Tripura was not lagging behind in starting the Library movement and establishment of public Library in the State of Tripura as early as in the last part of the Nineteenth Century.

 

Birchandra Public Library of Comilla Pioneering Work

Maharaja Bir Chandra Manikya who ruled the princely State of Tripura (1862-1896), including some portion of Tipperah district where the Maharajas of Tripura had extended their Zamindari right during the British regime, was a great lover of arts and literature and appreciated the role of library in the Society. He established a library at Comilla which was then within his territorial jurisdiction and also a very culturally enlightened place in East Bengal. This Library was named after the Maharaja and thrown open for use for the general public. Comilla was then under the administration of Maharaja of Tripura during the time of British India.

Birchandra State Central Library at Comilla was established by the Maharaja Bir Chandra Manikya.The Maharaja used to pay occasional visit to the Library also as and when he had any time to go to Comilla.

 

Palace Library of Agartala: a land mark:

While going through the history of the development of public Libraries it is found the palace Library was not a library for the public general, yet it needs be mentioned here that it had a great contribution in making the rulers of Tripura feel that the knowledge can not be arrested within the fourwalls of the Royal palace.Thus it had played a vital role directly for the establishment of the Bir Chandra Library of Agartala.  Maharaja Bir Chandra manikya(1862-1896) originally made an attempt to establish a good library in the Palace for the members of the Royal Family and he established such a Library during his life time.

The King Radha Kishore Manikya Bahadur (1896-1909) had a very keen interest in the culture and literary activities.He was connected with so many cultural & literary organisations. He had also an earnest desire to enrich the collection of the existing Palace Library & to reorganise the collection within the four walls of the newly constructed “Ujjayanta palace”. He purchased the total collection of the European gentleman and re-organised the “Ujjayanta Palace Library” in the Year 1901.

Though the establishment of the “Palace library” is a landmark in the history of the Library movement in Tripura, yet as the doors of the library were closed for the general people. Afterwards the strictness was relaxed and persons, with an official or social identity, were permitted to use the said library.

 

Birchandra Library of Agartala: a changing phase:

So many Bengali books & English books were collected in the Palace library. In 1986, the English collections was kept in the Palace Library while the vernacular section was shifted to a separate house and the library was thrown open to the general public for their use. The name of the Library was Bir Chandra Library which was named by the King Maharaja Radhakishore Manikya to show honour to his departed father Maharaja Bir Chandra Manikya. The Birchandra Library was established in 1986, nourished and nurtured under the patronage of the then benevolent Kings of Tripura who had great love for arts and literature.

At first it was opened as a branch of the Palace Library but gradually it became a full fledged library. After several shifting the library was housed in the new constructed building at V.M. Chowmohny (Presently I.G.M Chowmohny) at the north west corner of Umakanta Academy near the traffic Point during the reign of Maharaja Bir Bikram Kishore Manikya Bahadur (1923-1947) in the year 1924.The Library was kept open for the public for 4 hours daily-two hours in the morning and two hours in the evening. The Library was run their up to 20th January 2010.On 21st January 2010 Birchandra State Central Library was again shifted to its new location at Old Secretariat Building where the Library is establishing  with its modern wings, and the modernisation work of this Library is going on with full efforts