Banaras Hindu University aka BHU, erstwhile Central Hindu College, is a public central university in Varanasi. It was established and founded in 1916 by Madan Mohan Malaviya. With more than 30,000 students residing in the campus, it holds the title of the largest residential university in Asia.
The university's main campus is spread over 1,300 acres and was built on the land donated by Kashi Naresh, the hereditary ruler of Banaras, Kashi is a substitute name for Banaras or says Varanasi. The Banaras Hindu University, South campus, is spread over 2,700 acres and hosts the Krishi Vigyan Kendra which is the Agriculture Science Centre. The University is also planning to set up a campus in Bihar and some other states.
BHU celebrated its centurial year in the year 2015-2016. The Centurial Year Celebration Team organised various programs which included cultural programs, feasts & competitions & Mahamana Madan Mohan Malviya Birth Anniversary on 25 December 2015.
The Banaras Hindu University was established and founded by Madan Mohan Malviya. An outstanding lawyer and an Indian independence activist, Malviya considered education as the basic source for achieving a national awakening.
BHU is located on the southern edge of Varanasi, near the banks of the river Ganga. Development of the centre and main campus, spread over 130 acres, started in 1916 on the land that was donated by Kashi Naresh Prabhu Narayan Singh. The campus blueprint approximates a semicircle, with converging roads laid out along the radii or in arcs. Buildings were constructed in the first half of the 20th century and are fine examples of Indo-Gothic architecture.
The campus has more than 60 hostels providing residential accommodation for over 12,000 students. On-campus residence is also available to a majority of the full-time faculty.
The Banaras Hindu University Library system was founded from a collection that was donated by P.K. Telang in the memoir of his father Justice Kashinath Trimbak Telang in 1917. The collection was placed in the Telang Hall in the Central Hindu College, Kamachha. In 1921, the library was moved to the Central Hall of the Arts College which now is the Faculty of Arts.
The current Central Library of BHU was put up with a donation from Maharaja Sayajirao Gaekwad III of Baroda. On his return from the First Round Table Conference, Gaekwad wanted a library built on the pattern of the British Library and its reading room, which was then located in the British Museum. On Malviya's suggestion and request, he made the donation to build the library in the Banaras Hindu University Campus.
By 1931, the library had constructed an assemblage of around 60,000 volumes. The trend of donation of personal and family collections to the library continued as late as the 1940s with the result that it has unique pieces of oddities of books and journals dating back to the 18th century.
As of the present, the BHU Library System consisted of the Central Library and three Institute Libraries, eight Faculty Libraries and more than twenty-five Departmental Libraries, with a collection of at least 1.3 million volumes. The digital library is available to students and staff that allows online access to thousands of journals, besides access to large collections of online resources through the National Informatics Centre's DELNETand UGC's INFLIBNET.
Banaras Hindu University celebrates Saraswati puja day also known as Vasant Panchami as its foundation day. Goddess Saraswati is believed to be the Hindu goddess of knowledge, music, arts, wisdom and nature. She is a part of the trinity of Saraswati, Lakshmi and Parvati. There is also festival called SPANDAN which is the Inter-university youth festival, in this festival student represent their faculty/institute/department in various arts competition like literature as in writing essay, poem, debates, Painting, sketches, vocal music, Dancing, singing, drama, mimicry etc. it is organised every year after Vasant Panchami in month of February or March.