Amidst the lush greenery of Bengaluru’s Cubbon Park stands the magnificent Seshadri Iyer Memorial Hall, also known as the State Central Library (Cubbon Park Library). This iconic building is a testament to the city’s rich cultural heritage. It is a cherished landmark for book lovers and architecture enthusiasts alike. With its stunning architecture, a vast collection of books, and historical significance, the Sheshadri Iyer Memorial Hall is a timeless jewel that adds to the charm and allure of Cubbon Park.
Seshadri Iyer Memorial Hall Historical Background
The State Central Library is in the Seshadri Iyer Memorial Hall building, named after Sir Kumarapuram Seshadri Iyer, the Dewan of Mysore, from 1883-1904.
The idea of constructing a commemorative building for the renowned Dewan was suggested by Lord George Nathaniel Curzon, the Viceroy of India. Sir Donald Robertson, the British Resident of Mysore, laid the foundation stone in 1903.
The building was inaugurated in 1913. It features a curved apse and Roman arch windows, which give it a unique identity that is often captured in photographs. Initially, it was meant to serve as a public hall and library, and many state functions were held here.
In 1914, Dewan Sir M Visvesvaraya, who succeeded Sir Seshadri Iyer, donated the building to the State Library. The newly established library opened on May 1st, 1915, with a vast collection of rare books and periodicals. It was converted into an aided library in 1920. The library has a dedicated section that houses books in Braille.
Sir Seshadri Iyer played a vital role in modernising the administration of the princely state of Mysore and developing Bengaluru as the state’s capital.
Seshadri Iyer Memorial Hall is an Architectural Marvel
The Seshadri Iyer Memorial Hall is a prime example of neo-classical architecture, characterised by its majestic columns, arches, and intricate detailing. The building’s facade features grand Greco-Roman pillars, showcasing a fusion of European and Indian architectural influences. The symmetrical design and the elegant dome add to the building’s overall grace and beauty.
The Memorial Hall is constructed using red bricks, and its striking appearance stands out amidst the greenery of Cubbon Park. The hall’s design embodies a sense of dignity and reverence, befitting the memory of the illustrious Sir Sheshadri Iyer.
The State Central Library (Cubbon Park Library)
Did you know that the State Central Library inside the Seshadri Iyer Memorial Hall is a knowledge and learning treasure trove? Get into the library, and you will encounter an extensive collection of books across various genres, including literature, history, science, and philosophy. No wonder it is a sanctuary for book enthusiasts, scholars, and students alike.
The library’s collection has grown over the years, and it now includes rare manuscripts, old maps, periodicals, and reference materials. Visitors can access books in multiple languages, reflecting Bengaluru’s linguistic diversity and cultural richness.
Reading Rooms and Facilities at Cubbon Park Library
The Seshadri Iyer Memorial Hall features spacious reading rooms where visitors can immerse themselves in books and research. The calm and serene environment inside the library is conducive to focused study and exploration. The library also provides photocopying and scanning facilities for research and academic pursuits.
Note: Photography inside the reading room is prohibited.
Promotion of Education and Culture
The Central Library is pivotal in promoting education and culture in Bengaluru. It hosts various literary events, book launches, and seminars, bringing together authors, scholars, and readers.
The library’s outreach programs aim to instil a love for reading and knowledge among people of all ages, fostering a sense of intellectual curiosity and growth.
Over the years, the Sheshadri Iyer Memorial Hall has undergone restoration and preservation efforts to maintain its original charm and historical significance. The Karnataka State Archives, located within the hall, is crucial in preserving important historical documents and records, adding to the building’s cultural importance.
The Sheshadri Iyer Memorial Hall at Cubbon Park is not just a library but a symbol of Bengaluru’s intellectual legacy and the city’s commitment to preserving its cultural heritage. The Memorial Hall inspires and enlightens generations of readers and scholars with its captivating architecture and a vast collection of books.
As you walk through the hallowed halls of the library, you’ll be transported to a bygone era of knowledge, learning, and the rich history of Karnataka.
The Seshadri Iyer Memorial Hall remains an essential destination for bibliophiles and anyone seeking to delve into the world of literature, history, and culture.
So, if you find yourself in Bengaluru, take advantage of the opportunity to explore this timeless jewel.
Timings and Nearby Attractions
The State Central Libary is open to visitors from 08:30 AM to 07:30 PM. The premises will be closed every Monday and every second Tuesday and general holidays. So plan your visit accordingly.
On weekends, several dog breeds are assembled in the park next to Seshadri Iyer Memorial Hall. You can explore the Vidhana Soudha, Children’s Park, Visvesvaraya Industrial and Technological Museum, Government Museum and the Venkatappa Art Gallery. If you are on an extended vacation, here’s a list of places to explore in Bengaluru.
If you are looking for accommodation, I suggest you explore Trip Advisor to find a budget hotel that suits you.