Recognized as one of the major heritage and historic sites in India, Nalanda is located in the state of Bihar. It is about 55 kilometers away from the important city of Patna. Nalanda has been one of the oldest universities in the world's historical record. It was the major and the most important cultural site for the Buddhists. It has been the major Buddhist learning center from 427 to 1197 BC.
It has been noted that this university was set up under the benefaction of the Gupta emperors, chiefly Kumaragupta. Nalanda was founded during the period of 5th century BC. It has recorded as the first residential universities in the world. It has accommodation option for the students. It admitted more than 10,000 students and 2,000 teachers during its glorious days.
Nalanda in Bihar is a great architectural masterpiece and its building was a grand structure. The high and strong walls and gates were the major part of the architectural splendor. There were eight huge compounds and ten temples. The building also constitutes meditation halls and classrooms. There were enormous size grounds, which were marked by the lakes and parks. The whole of the building is in ruin and has been destroyed.
The library building was a massive structure and rose up to nine stories where thorough copies of texts were created. Various subjects were taught at this renowned universities The subjects taught at Nalanda University covered every field of learning including Medicine, Meta-Physics, Vedas, Logic, Grammar, Prose Composition and Rhetoric. It had drawn students and scholars from all parts of the world like Korea, Japan, China, Tibet, Indonesia, Persia and Turkey. You can get details about the university from the works of the Tang Dynasty Chinese pilgrim Xuanzang. Not only the scholars, Nalanda University visited by the Buddhist pilgrims as well from all around the globe.
Apart from the university, Nalanda is famous for various other cultural and heritage sites, which include the following:
- Venuvana Vihara
- Sone Bhandar
- Saptaparni Cave
- Nalanda Archaeological Museum
- Bimbisara Jail
- Jarasandh Ki Baithak Pippala Cave
- Vishwa Shanti Stupa
- Griddhakoot Hill
- Maniyar Math
- Nalanda University Archaeological Complex
- Nav Nalanda Mahavihara
- Ajatshatru Stupa
- Fortification Walls
- Hieun Tsiang Memorial Hall
You will find a number of hotels in Nalanda, where you can put up a stay during your visit to this religious and cultural site.