All knowledge is my province” – said Francis Bacon. Continuous and unchecked yearning for knowledge is the yardstick of the socio-cultural development of the human race. Knowledge knows no boundary of time, place & religion. Knowledge has no age as well. With this concept at the bottom-line, Karveer Nagar Wachan Mandir, is treading the path of knowledge for the last 157 years. This institute of learning is not merely an institute, where books are stored, stacked & exchanged. This is the institute which has its lion’s share in the cultural heritage not only of Kolhapur but the state of Maharashtra as well. This library is the co-creator of the past, witness to the present and guide to the future.
At the time of inception, the library had 17 members with a monthly income of Rs. 15/- & collection of 442 books. Over these years the library has gone through many transitions, through the turbulent periods of pre-independence. On 4th May 1924 it became Kolhapur General Library & on 24th May, 1934 it has acquired its present name i.e. Karveer Nagar Wachan Mandir.
We find a glorious past in the annals of the history of this library. It has a unique distinction of having a beautiful premises built in 1881, which is identified as heritage building. It also has the enviable fortune of arranging the lecture of Swami Vivekanand in oct. 1892, which is followed by a number of dignitaries and learned towering personalities of the past. These include noted novelist N. S. Phadke, who was the president of the Library. Eminent personalities like Late Bhaskarrao Jadhav, Educationist Late Annasaheb Latthe, Prof. D. S. Pangu, Late V. S. Khandekar, eminent Marathi poet Madhav Julian were also associated with the library. With their active participation & guidance, the library survived & flourished to its present stature.
The Library has its own premises with a built up area of 10700 Sq. Ft. in the 11092 sq. ft. plot. The main building constructed in 1881, was restored in 2000-2001. The adjacent Prince Shivaji Hall built in 1935. With the expansion the Library has built another two wings in 1960 & 1981 respectively.