India - Libraries and museums

The National Library in Calcutta, with over 221 million volumes, is, by far, the largest in the country, and possibly the world. Some of the other leading libraries are the New Delhi Public Library (1.4 million volumes), the Central Secretariat Library in New Delhi (700,000 volumes), and the libraries of some of the larger universities. The Khuda Baksh Oriental Library in Patna, with a collection of rare manuscripts in Arabic, Urdu, and Farsi, is one of 10 libraries declared "institutions of national importance" by an act of parliament. The National Archives of India, in New Delhi, is the largest repository of documents in Asia, with 25 km (16 mi) of shelf space. There is an extensive public library system as well as cultural and religious institutions and libraries throughout the country.

Noted botanical gardens are located in Calcutta, Mumbai (formerly Bombay), Lucknow, Ootacamund, Bangalore, Madras, and Darjeeling, and well-stocked zoological gardens are found in Calcutta, Mumbai, Madras, Trivandrum, Hyderabad, Karnataka, and Jodhpur.Most of India's hundreds of museums specialize in one or several aspects of Indian or South Asian culture; these include 25 archaeological museums at ancient sites, such as Konarak, Amravati, and Sarnath. Some of the more important museums are the Indian Museum in Calcutta, the Prince of Wales Museum of Western India in Mumbai (formerly Bombay), and the National Museum and the National Gallery of Modern Art, both in New Delhi. There are also municipal museums throughout the country and dozens of museums and galleries devoted to prominent South Asian artists. There are science museums in Bhopal, Calcutta, Mumbai (formerly Bombay), and New Delhi. Bhavongor houses the Gandhi Museum, one of several sites devoted to the history of the national hero. In 2001 the Broadcasting Museum was founded in Delhi. There also are thousands of architectural masterpieces of antiquity—the palaces, temples, mausoleums, fortresses, mosques, formal gardens, deserted cities, and rock-hewn monasteries—found in every section of the subcontinent.

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