North Bengal State Library is the largest library in the North Bengal region of India. It is situated in the Cooch Behar city.
North Bengal State Library is a pride and cultural heritage of Cooch Behar. The library contains valuable manuscripts, rare books, old journals Indian and foreign rare documents, reports, and Classic "Punthis" written on hand made papers and palm leaf.
The library has a long history of 125 years. During the minority of Maharaja Nripendra Narayan, Colonel Houghten came to Cooch Behar to act as Commissioner (1864–73). Colonel Houghten established State Library of Cooch Behar in 1870 by purchasing a stock of books at an auction sale of M/S. Rozario and Co., in London. The library was started in a room of Nilkuthi and later it was handed over to the Maharaja Nripendra Narayan who removed the library to Lansdown Hall which is now the District Magistrate's Office in 1895. In 1882 the library was opened for public use.
The library grew richer and larger and became the treasure-island under the direct patronage of Maharaja of Cooch Behar, who sanctioned Rs.2,000 as annual grant for the purchase of books. Different punthis, manuscripts and rare documents of Raj-Darawabar or royal-court were transferred to this library for public benefit. J.W. Troten in his book 'India under Victoria' speaks of this library, "the little State of Cooch Behar on Assam border could be act of a library richer than any to be found in Bengal outside Calcutta".
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