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The great Nalanda University of Ancient India and now revamped New campus.

Nalanda University was the greatest of universities not only for India but for the world, regular invasions led to the destruction of the prestigious institutions, it was destroyed by Bakhtiyar Khilji in 1193, who burnt thousands of books. It existed in the now state of Bihar. A chinese traveller Hiuen Tsang visited the Nalanda University and remained as a student for some time. Recent archeological excavations have brought to light the ruins of the Nalanda University. It shows the grandeur of this centre of learning and confirms the account given by the Chinese pilgrims. His accounts on the University gave a lot of details on it. Its fame rests on the fact that it attracted scholars from various parts of the world. It was an institution of advanced learning and research.


Foundation of Nalanda


The Chinese travelers of ancient India mentioned a number of educational institutions. The most famous among them were the Hinayana University of Valabhi and the Mahayana University of Nalanda. Hiuen Tsang gives a very valuable account of the Nalanda University. The term Nalanda means "giver of knowledge". It was founded by Kumaragupta I during the Gupta period. It was patronised by his successors and later by Harsha. The professors of the University were called panditas. Some of its renowned professors were Dingnaga, Dharmapala and Sthiramat.


Features of Nalanda


Nalanda University was a residential university and education was free including the boarding and lodging. It was maintained with the revenue derived from 100 to 200 villages endowed by different rulers. Though it was a Mahayana University, different religious subjects like the Vedas, Hinayana doctrine, Sankhya and Yoga philosophies were also taught.

In addition to that, general subjects like logic, grammar, astronomy, medicine and art were in the syllabus. It attracted students not only from different parts of India but from different countries of the east. Admission was made by means of an entrance examination. The entrance test was so difficult that not more than thirty percent of the candidates were successful.

Discipline was very strict. More than lectures, discussion played an important part and the medium of instruction was Sanskrit.


Other features of Nalanda


It had numerous classrooms and a hostel attached to it.

According to I tsing the Chinese pilgrim, there were 3000 students on its rolls.

It had an observatory and a great library housed in three buildings.


Current status of Nalanda


The government has built a brand new campus 12 km from the original ruins of this Nalanda University at Rajgir and the campus is ready with the idea of making it a grand centre of learning.


The architecture of the stairs and buildings of the university resembles old Nalanda University. At the same time, arrangements have been made for rainwater harvesting and attractive lighting at the main gate, which gives a splendid glimpse of the modern style. Apart from this, the building of Nalanda University has been made weather friendly. Where there will be a feeling of coolness in summer and heat in cold. Clear blue water is visible all around this building.

Also, Japan, Singapore had helped in the construction of Nalanda University. 16 countries agreed on its establishment. The Act was passed in Parliament in 2010. It was sent to the President for approval. On 21 September 2010, the President gave his assent to it and on 25 November this university came into existence.


School of Historical Studies and School of Ecology and Environment started in the first session of Nalanda University. It is to be known that, this university is being developed in such a way that academic studies take place from here, but also develop as a research center. Plans are also underway to make it the world’s most unique research center.


stay tuned for more.

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