Nalanda University Bihar India History and Interesting Facts

Nalanda University Quick Facts

PlaceRajgir, Near Nalanda, Bihar, India
FounderKumragupta I
Foundation Year 450 AD to 470 AD
TypeHistoric University
First DiscovererAlexander Cunningham
Location Find in1812 AD॰

Nalanda University Overview

Nalanda University is located 88.5 km southeast of Patna, the capital of Bihar state of India, and 11.5 km from Rajgir. This university is considered to be the most important and renowned center of higher education in ancient India. The place was discovered by the famous scholar and founder of the Archaeological Survey of India Alexander Cunningham. Currently, the remains of this great Buddhist university remain in ruin. Along with this, it has been added to the list of World Heritage Sites by UNESCO as a memorial.

Nalanda University History

The founder of Nalanda University is believed to be Kumorgupta I of the Gupta dynasty, he was established from 450 AD to 470 AD. After which the successors of this University got full support from Hemant Kumar Gupta. But even after the end of the Gupta dynasty, many rulers received contributions. Which included King Harsha Vardhan and Pal ruler of the Vardhan dynasty, besides local rulers, there was a help to the heirs of Nalanda University from different regions of India and also foreign rulers.

According to Tibetan historian Taranath about the end of the university, the dignity of this university was greatly damaged by the mutual quarrels between pilgrims and monks. At the same time, the first attack on it was carried out by Hun ruler Mihirkul, after which in 1199 AD, the Ottoman invading Bakhtiyar Khilji burnt it completely and destroyed it completely and its existence was erased over time.

Nalanda University Interesting Facts

  1. Nalanda University was a Buddhist university in ancient times as well as the largest Postgraduate education center in Asia at that time and for about 700 years it taught Buddhism as well as other religious texts.
  2. Nalanda in Sanskrit means "The Giver of Knowledge" with Nalam meaning Lotus, symbolizing knowledge and "da" meaning Giving.
  3. The University was in a fully developed state with a strength of about 2000 teachers and 20,000 students.
  4. At Nalanda University, students from different regions of India as well as from abroad used to come to take education. Countries like Korea, Japan, China, Tibet, Indonesia, Persia, and Turkey were included and all the students lived a harsh life along with getting an education for many years.
  5. At Nalanda University, when Hiuen Tsang came here in about the seventh century, 20,000 Students and 1500 Teachers were present here. Hiuen Tsang had studied here for five years.
  6. Nalanda University enjoyed international fame from the ninth century to the twelfth century.
  7. Sariputra and Mardagalapana, two prominent disciples of Lord Buddha, were born in Nalanda itself. Sariputra died in the same room at Nalanda in which he was born. His death room came to be considered very sacred and became a place of pilgrimage for Buddhists.
  8. In Nalanda University, the items of daily living such as food, clothes, etc. were managed by the Vice-Chancellor or Chief Acharya and all this was earned by the produce and income from two hundred villages donated to the University by King Harshavardhana of Kannauj.
  9. According to the Chinese traveler Hiuen Tsang, there was no need for any Student or Teacher of the university to beg for alms. There were three categories of teachers at Nalanda University, who were working in the First, Second, and Third classes according to their Qualifications. Among the famous teachers of Nalanda, Shilabhadra, Dharmapala, Chandrapal, Gunamati, and Sthiramati were prominent.
  10. In the 7th century, Hiuen Tsang was one of the principal Vice-Chancellors of this university and was a great teacher, teacher, and scholar.
  11. The works of Nagarjuna, Vasubandhu, Asanga, and Dharmakirti, the founders of Mahayana, were studied in detail in the study area of ​​Nalanda. Along with which Vedas, Vedanta, and Sankhya were also taught and astrology, grammar, medicine, yoga, and surgery also came under prescribed subjects and their books.
  12. On the basis of many bronze sculptures found in the excavation of Nalanda, some historians believe that the science of making metal idols must have been studied here, so there was a special department for the study of Astronomy.
  13. Nalanda also had a huge library for the study of students and masters in which more than 3 books were available and books related to all subjects.
  14. The ruins of Nalanda University were covered over an area of ​​about 34 acres from south to north direction and the university buildings were constructed of red stone with Chaitya temple on the western side and monasteries on the eastern side.
  15. A small archaeological museum is built on the university campus, in this museum the excavated remains are kept. Various types of statues of Lord Buddha, terracotta sculptures of Buddha, and two jars of the first century are also included in this museum, apart from this, objects like copper plates, coins, utensils, and inscriptions carved on stone, etc. are kept in the museum.
  16. Nalanda University Campus There are many monuments here which include Nava Nalanda Mahavihara, Hiuentsang Memorial Hall, Bargaon, Silav Rajgir.
  17. It has been declared an Antiquities Ancient Monument and Archaeological Site by the Archaeological Survey of India and has been added to the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Along with this, temple number three located in Nalanda has been constructed by UNESCO officials with Pancharatna architecture. And the Ministry of Tourism, Government of India has selected it as one of the seven wonders of India.
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