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Nalanda

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Nalanda

Nalanda - the most renowed university in ancient India. it derived its name from Na-alam-da, meaning Insatiable in Giving, one of the names by which the Lord Buddha was known.
Nalanda University was one of the first residential universities in the world, founded in the 5th Century BC, and reported to have been visited by the Buddha during his lifetime. At its peak, in the 7th century AD, Nalanda held some 10,000 students and 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 Kumargupta. 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.

 Nalanda was destroyed by Muslim invaders in the 12th century. The three libraries here were burnt down. It is said that they had such a large collection of books and manuscripts that the fire burnt for six months.

The beautiful ruins is spread in 14 acres of land. A Unesco World Heritage site, the well preserved ruins of this ancient seat of learning make it an important destination on the Buddhist tourism circuit.Spend some time walking through the ruins of this ancient seat of learning.

 

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