Goa State Central Library in Panaji

The Goa State Central Library is one of the oldest existing public library in India inaugrated on the 15th September 1832 by Viceroy Dom Manuel de Portugal e Castro, it was then called Publica Livraria. Since then the library has transformed from a library with military institute, municipal office and academy and finally became a National Library. Read more about its history here. It is located right next to the Goa State Museum. In recent years it has undergone extensive renovation and has transformed itself into India’s best library with very good facilities and the envy of other State/Central libraries.

Website: Goa State Central Library
Images: Yours truly

The grand tile fresco art work at the entrance by Mario Miranda depicting the everyday scene of Goa along the Mandovi river

Unique wrought iron artwork on the compound greets you at the entrance of the library.

Seating area after the entering the building. Note: its in the form of Swastika when viewed from top, but it is not at all a controversial symbol in India and has different meanings than the Nazi version.

The central lobby area of the library is grand, glassy and bright. There is a small glass pyramid on top which fills the area with light, but due to the large height and reflective it keeps the heat out. The atmosphere is very much suitable for a library and it makes one want to learn more. There is also a tiny elevator here that helps in moving the books across different floors and its very cute!

Orange is the brightest color in the building adds to the modern look.

There are variety of books available available from Gossip magazines to serious history books dating, some of which are dating back to 1810. You need permission to access most of the books older than 60 years since they’re more fragile. There is even a large dedicated section for the blind and children. The entire history of Portuguese in India and in Goa is documented which includes copies and originals of letters exchanged between the two countries and books written by historians and biographers.

Most of the outer walls of the library is a metallic mesh which allows for light and wind. There is not much problem of dust and sound due to this open mesh as there is no pollution around.

The sloping roofs becomes apparent in the top 2 floors of the building. Although the lights are switched on the photos, there is ample light reaching every corner from central lobby pyramid.

I don’t exactly what these are, but they look like exhaust.

The upper floors experience high winds, hence the use of glass in these areas. There is a ‘hangout’ in the corner of the library on the upper floor with the mesh and the winds may sweep one away.

Secondary exit of the building.

Ramp on the side of the building has many uses.

Metallic mesh saves not only cost, but also reduces time in construction, apart from it’s practical purposes mentioned above.

About Mahadev Ittina

I am a civil engineer by profession, but I spend a lot of my time admiring works of architecture. You can contact me in any way you like...

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