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Nalanda-The Ancient Buddhist University

Updated on August 5, 2013
A part of the Nalanda remains.This part was found first during excavations
A part of the Nalanda remains.This part was found first during excavations | Source
Another part of Nalanda ruins.-Author seen infront
Another part of Nalanda ruins.-Author seen infront | Source
Nalanda university campus-another view.
Nalanda university campus-another view. | Source
Another view- Nalanda,with author
Another view- Nalanda,with author | Source
The largest remain now present at Nalanda
The largest remain now present at Nalanda | Source
Another view of the site.
Another view of the site. | Source

Nalanda-Where is it?

The most famous International Buddhist center, Nalanda university campus of Ancient times, is present in Bihar state,India.It is about 120 Kilometers away from state capital-Patna.Archeological evidences have proved that it belongs to 5th century A.D.The place is well linked both by road and rail.Nalanda is the name given to the district also, in respect of the great center of Buddhist learning.

Visit this place, to know the grandeur of ancient Education system that prevailed in India.

How was Nalanda?

In its hay days,Nalanda was one of the five topmost universities teaching Buddhism. Though all the six philosophies of India were taught there, Buddhism was the main subject.The campus was spread over 14 hectares area. Of this only 10% has been excavated so far. if this small area sxposes so much, imagine how much must be still hidden!

Nalanda unversity had 10,000 learners then. Learners came from different countries like-present Afghanistan(that was not under Muslim influence then),China, Burma, SriLanka,Indochina, Nepal etc, let alone different states in india.

Hiuen-Tsang -the famous Chinese traveler stayed here for 10 long years,first as astudent, and later as a teacher

Courses of study.

At Nalanda, both Mahayana and Hinayana Schools of Buddhism were taught.Along with these, Logic(Hetu Vidya),Grammar(Shabda Vidya),Medicine(Vaidya) etc were also taught.

Residential University

Nalanda was a residential university. It was monastic tye of education.Monks were the teachers.The ruins show us the rooms meant for monks and students, with diffeent arrangements.

The ruins

The present ruins show us-teaching halls, prayer halls, dormitories, open parks,cemetries, kitchen and dining halls, water canal system, etc.

Visiting Nalanda is a wonderful experience.Well informed guides are available there to help tourists. Guide charge is also not much. Presently they are taking Rs100/-only per batch of about 50.

Near this campus there is a well built museum that houses so many important materials. That should also be seen.

Buddha visited this place many times before and after his enlightenment.That's this place got the prominence and this center of higher learning was started here.


Muslim invasion to India was the cause of decline of this famous center of higher learning.That started after 12the century.those invaders burnt many monks alive. They burnt the libraries here.But even after that, Nalanda had its breath.But by 16th century, it was attacked again by muslim army. And the remaining students and teachers were forced to flee.

now the international community is trying to bring back its past glory alive.Nalanda has been recognised as the World Heritage site.

it is the pleasure of this hubber to visit this site twice-first in 1975 and secondly in 2011.


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    • prasadjain profile image

      Dr.S.P.PADMA PRASAD 5 years ago from Tumkur

      Dear Mr. Naim, it is true that some Hindu rulers and bureaucrats tried to suppress Buddhism by attacking them. Such incidents have taken place in Andra and Karnataka also. They have also tried to suppress Jainism.People with fundamentalist attitude always do that.

      But the core point of my article is to sketch the glory that was Nalanda and how it got a fatal blow. That happened in the medieval Muslim rulers' time and by their attacks.Who did it, is well recorded in History.

      As the space in the blog is limited I could not cover the previous incidents.

      ' Let's not unnecessarily cover cover anybody's mistake.At the same time, let's not blame any religion as a whole.' -Perhaps that's your attitude.That's mine too.

    • Naim Hasan profile image

      Naim H 5 years ago from Dhaka

      You didnt mention the oppression of Hindu Sen dynasty on Buddhist monks originally started on the way of restoring hinduism in Greater Bengal which included north eastern areas of bihar too. which occurred many years before the muslims conquered this region. but that dose not mean that early muslim rulers didnt do any harm to other religious groups, we cant say that. But whatever happened then, it should be mentioned without any bias. Thanks

    • Rudra profile image

      Rudra 5 years ago

      I have been there a few times. I truly great place.

    • anusujith profile image

      Anoop Aravind A 5 years ago from Nilambur, Kerala, India

      Sir really it is good hub,informative.Thank you sir.Thank you for this kind information.voted up.

    • prasadjain profile image

      Dr.S.P.PADMA PRASAD 6 years ago from Tumkur

      Thank you Mr.Dilip Chandra,For your evaluation of this hub.

    • dilipchandra12 profile image

      Dilip Chandra 6 years ago from India

      Perfectly written article, I love history. I too have many articles written on history. I must say, step-by-step you have articulated the above hub very well. Voted UP :)