Famous Kaiser Library

Located near to the Narayan Hiti Royal Palace’s Western Gate is Kaiser Mahal, home to the famous Kaiser Library. Once the home of Late Field Marshal Kaiser Shumsher Jung Bahadur Rana, the library contains a truly impressive collection of books and magazines numbering over 45,000. This amazing structure boasts a rich cultural heritage, interesting architecture and fascinating art works.

Kaiser Shumsher served in the Nepalese army toward the end of the Rana regime. Since his youth he had a particular interest in collecting books, newspapers, antiques and photographs. During a visit to England he was thoroughly impressed by the library system and also purchased a large number of books. His personal library kept growing, but was only accessible to his family, special visitors from other nations and important locals. He decided to share his marvelous collection with the nation by bequeathing his library to the government before his death 1964. His wife, Rani Krishna Chandra Devi Rana, fulfilled his wish and donated his collection at the Kaiser Palace to the government.

The Kaiser Library was officially established in 2026 B.S. (or 1969 A.D.) and is operated by the Government of Nepal’s Ministry of Education. Amongst the collection are books over 1,000 years old. The oldest book in the Kaiser Library is a Tantra manual written in Sanskrit. Interestingly, the collection covers a wide variety of topics including philosophy, art, religion, law, astrology, hunting and gardening. Dotting the interior are various photographs and a few stuffed animals. The stunning flowering trees within the walls of the complex provide a green, peaceful escape from the town.

Visitors and students can be found visiting the Kaiser Library and tourists are encouraged to explore this historical attraction. The hours of operation are from 10h00 to 17h00 in summer (excluding public holidays); 10h00 to 16h00 in winter (excluding public holidays); and 10h00 to 15h00 on Fridays. It is advisable, however, to check with the library when it will be open. Why not take some time to look through this amazing literary collection and see what you can find?