Nalanda, founded in the 5th century AD, is famous as the ancient seat of learning. The ruins of the world's most ancient university lies here which is 62 km from Bodhgaya and 90 km south of Patna. Though the Buddha visited Nalanda several times during his lifetime, this famous center of Buddhist learning shot to fame much later, during 5th-12th centuries. Hieun Tsang stayed here in the 7th century AD and left detailed description of the excellence of education system and purity of monastic life practiced here. He also gave a vivid account of both the ambiance and architecture of this unique university of ancient times. In this first residential international university of the world, 2,000 teachers and 10,000 monks students from all over the Buddhist world lived and studied here. The Gupta kings patronized these monasteries, built in old Kushan architectural style, in a row of cells around a courtyard. Emperor Ashoka and Harshavardhana were some of its most celebrated patrons who built temples, monasteries and viharas here. Recent excavations have unearthed elaborate structures here. An International Center for Buddhist Studies was established here in 1951. Nearby is Biharsharif, where an annual urs is celebrated at the Dargah or tomb of Malik Ibrahim Baya. Baragaon, 2 km away has a sun temple, famous for Chhath puja. To be visited are Nalanda museum & Nava Nalanda Mahavihar in addition to the great ruins.
The exact date of the establishment of the university is not yet known. Scholars have varied views on this, but it is generally accepted that the university reached its pinnacle during 5th to 8th centuries under king Harshavardhana ( 7th century AD ), and the Guptas who succeeded him in Northern and Eastern India. Although much of the vast compound is yet to be excavated, the ruins do give an idea about the extent of the university. As many as 10000 students are said to have studied here at a time, in addition to about 2000 teachers and a similar number of monks. To provide for these vast numbers, there must have been an extensive system of rationing and providence of all the other necessary amenities.
This proves that a well organized administration continued to exist through many centuries at Nalanda. Many famous scholars have visited the university in search of the various Indian manuscripts of repute. Hieuen Tsang is the best known among them. He visited the place during the reign of Harshavardhana, one of the greatest kings of India, in the 7th century AD. The Turkish and Afghan invaders, who followed the first invasions in India by Mohammad Ghuri, attacked Nalanda and destroyed it completely in 1197 AD. The damage was irreparable. Buddhism suffered heavily, never regaining its past status in India. However, it flourished in the countries whose scholars had taken knowledge from Nalanda with them, like China, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Korea.
One can reach Nalanda by roadways and the railways as the district is well connected by both the medium.
Nalanda is connected by a good road network with Rajgir 12 Km, Bodh Gaya 50 Km, Gaya 65 Km, Patna 90 Km, Pawapuri 26 Km, and Bihar Sharif 13 Km.
Rajgir is the nearest railway station from Nalanda is 12 km away. There are several passenger trains running between Rajgir and Patna daily. The nearest major railway point is Gaya around 65 km away, from where one can board trains for Delhi, Kolkata, Varanasi, and some of the major centres in eastern India.
The nearest airport from Nalanda is Patna which is about around 89 km away. There are regular flights from Patna to Kolkata, Delhi, Ranchi, Mumbai, Varanasi, Lucknow, and Kathmandu.
Best Season The best season to visit Nalanda is the winter season
Tourist Places in Nalanda The ruins of Nalanda bear witness to t
Chanakya Chanakya Bir Chand Patel Path , Patna (India) (1.3
Location : Varanasi / Bodhgaya / Rajgir / Nalanda / Patna / Vaish