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Nalanda : Overview
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Population :  22000 Millions.  
Popular Languages :  Hindi  
Nalanda > Nalanda

Nālandā (Hindi/Sanskrit/Pali) is the name of an ancient center of higher learning in Bihar, India. The site of Nalanda is located in the Indian state of Bihar, about 55 miles south east of Patna, and was a Buddhist center of learning from 427 to 1197 CE. It has been called "one of the first great universities in recorded history." Some buildings were constructed by the Mauryan emperor Ashoka the Great. The Gupta Empire  also patronized some monasteries. According to historians, Nalanda flourished between the reign of the Gupta king Śakrāditya (also known as Kumāragupta, reigned 415-55) and 1197 CE, supported by patronage from Buddhist emperors like Harsha as well as later emperors from the Pala Empire.  The complex was built with red bricks and its ruins occupy an area of 14 hectares. At its peak, the university attracted scholars and students from as far away as China, Greece, and Persia. Nalanda was sacked by Turkic Muslim invaders under Bakhtiyar Khalji in 1193, a milestone in the decline of Buddhism in India. In 2006, Singapore, China, India, Japan, and other nations, announced a proposed plan to restore and revive the ancient site as Nalanda International University. The great library of Nalanda University was so vast that it is reported to have burned for three months after the Moguls set fire to it, sacked and destroyed the monasteries, and drove the monks from the site.

Nalanda was one of the world's first residential universities, i.e., it had dormitories for students. It is also one of the most famous universities. In its heyday it accommodated over 10,000 students and 2,000 teachers. The university was considered an architectural masterpiece, and was marked by a lofty wall and one gate. Nalanda had eight separate compounds and ten temples, along with many other meditation halls and classrooms. On the grounds were lakes and parks. The library was located in a nine storied building where meticulous copies of texts were produced. The subjects taught at Nalanda University covered every field of learning, and it attracted pupils and scholars from Korea, Japan, China, Tibet, Indonesia, Persia and Turkey.

The Tang Dynasty Chinese pilgrim Xuanzang left detailed accounts of the university in the 7th century. Xuanzang described how the regularly laid-out towers, forest of pavilions, harmikas and temples seemed to "soar above the mists in the sky" so that from their cells the monks "might witness the birth of the winds and clouds. Xuanzang states: "An azure pool winds around the monasteries, adorned with the full-blown cups of the blue lotus; the dazzling red flowers of the lovely kanaka hang here and there, and outside groves of mango trees offer the inhabitants their dense and protective shade."[30] Xuanzang also writes: "The lives of all these virtuous men were naturally governed by habits of the most solemn and strictest kind. Thus in the seven hundred years of the monastery's existence no man has ever contravened the rules of the discipline. The king showers it with the signs of his respect and veneration and has assigned the revenue from a hundred cities to pay for the maintenance of the religious.

 


The Best time to visit is between October and March. Nalanda is among the major places that are associated with Buddhism in India.


The Best time to visit is between October and March. Nalanda is among the major places that are associated with Buddhism in India.

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