Nalanda University is 95 kms from Patna & it was one of the greatest universities in India where students from all over the world came here till 1200 CE. Other two universities are Takshasheela & Vikramsheela.
Nalanda University Bihar
The place consisting legendary history is built in 400 CE in Magadha (presently known as Bihar).
This ancient centre of Buddhist learning in Bihar were constructed by the “Mauryan” emperor “Ashoka The Great”.
(King Ashoka : 273-232 BCE)
The Gupta Empire also patronized some monasteries.
According to historians, Nalanda flourished between the reign of the Gupta King Sakraditya (also known as Kumargupta, reigned 415-55) & 1197 CE supported by patronage from Buddhist emperors like Harsha as well as later emperors from the Pala Empire.
The complex built with red bricks and its ruins occupy an area of 14 hectares.
At its peak, university attracted students from all over the world as China, Greece, Persia.
Nalanda Mahavihara was sacked by Bakhtiyar Khilji in 1193, A mile stone in the decline of Buddhism in India. Historians said that, library of Nalanda University so vast that it is reported to have burned for three months after the Mughals set fire to it. Sacked and destroyed monasteries and drove the monks from the site.
Nalanda was one of the first universities in the world,
Nalanda held some 10,000 students & 2000 teachers when it was visited by the Chinese scholar Xuanzang.
Historical studies indicate that the University of Nalanda was established during the reign of the Gupta emperor Kumaragupta. Both Xuanzang and Prajñavarman cite him as the founder, as does a seal discovered at the site.
As historian Sukumar Dutt describes it, the history of Nalanda university falls into two main divisions–first, one of growth, development and fruition from the sixth century to the ninth, when it was dominated by the liberal cultural traditions inherited from the Gupta age; the second, one of gradual decline and final dissolution from the ninth century to the thirteen–a period when the tantric developments of Buddhism became most pronounced in eastern India.
The entrance of many of the viharas in Nalanda University ruins can be seen with a bow marked floor; bow was the royal sign of Guptas.
After hearing such a glorious history of this place we started for Kundalpur in the evening which is just 18 kms from Nalanda University via NH120.