Granthali was founded in 1974. Amongst its founders were Ashok Jain the then executive editor of Maharashtra Times and Dinkar Gangal. It was founded on an initial capital of rupees twenty-five paid by fourteen promoters. Its first publication was Doob, a collection of essays written by Durga Bhagwat. Books were sold at cost price and the organisation was run by volunteers. It published Baluta, an autobiographical work by Daya Pawar, in 1978, a book that caused a sensation in Marathi society. By 2001, it had published 250 titles in about 25 years; 130 of these titles received honours. Granthali publishes original Marathi books and translations from other languages. It finds the use of “exhibition-cum-sale-cum discussion” method involving “celebrity intellectuals” the most pleasing feature of this movement.
It is headquartered in a former municipal school building in Grant Road locality of Mumbai, a city in the state of Maharashtra, India.