It's no less a wonder that there can exist such a rich and splendid library, sixty kilometers from the capital city of Patna, in Central Bihar. But one is literally dumbstruck on stepping inside the threshold of the library. For a moment you'll feel that you have entered a thriving library of a metropolitan.
The Gopal Narayan Public Library, Bharatpura fits the description. Bharatpura village, situated on the main road, some forty five kilometers from the Bihta hermitage of Sahajanand Saraswati, the founder of the Kisan Sabha. Green farmlands encompass the scene on entering the village…and between the vast lands of vegetation, stands the building of the library on a high mound, carefully guarded by the security guards.
Like the library, the village of Bharatpura itself, has its own historical importance. The founder of the library, Late Gopal Narayan Singh was a descendant of a very wise and brave king, Raja Kanhchand. Raja Kanhchand had adopted Raja Gulalchand as his son. His family had migrated to Bihar from the state of Maharashtra, during the reign of the Mughal emperor Shahjahan. Raja Kanhchand had a good reputation in the court of the emperor. Later on, Mughal emperors Farukhshiyar and Shah Alam bestowed upon him the title of Raja Sahab. His son, Raja Bharat Singh, built a fort in Rampur Mohkam which later on became popular as Bharatpura Garh.
The foundation stone of the library was laid by Raja Gulal Narayan Singh in the latter half of the 19th century. His son Babu Gopal Narayan Singh gave the library its present form on 12th December, 1912. During those pre-independence days, illiteracy was rampant among the Indians. This made the foundation of the library all the more significant. The library was inaugurated by the then District Collector, WDR Prentice. Two years later the then Commissioner, Mr. CA Oldham attended the Foundation Day of the library. He expressed his wonder in these words: "I visited the G. N. Library with the Collector of Patna and have been greatly interested in looking through the collection of old books and painting. The library is kept very tidy and it is a pleasure to be shown round it by Babu Gopal Narayan Singh to whom the collection due and who evidently takes the keenest interest in it."