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Nalanda

NalandaThe name of the city has been derived from Na-alam-da, meaning Insatiable in Giving, one of the names by which the Lord Buddha was known. Today it is identified with modern Baragaon village. The city of Nalanda was found in 5 th century B.C. The oldest university of the world lays 62 kms from Bodhgaya and 90 kms from Patna. Built on a hallowed site where the Buddha had often stayed, Nalanda is one of the world's oldest living cities. The Buddhist University of Nalanda, once the most prestigious center of learning in Asia, was built here. Located in the eastern region of India, It is well known as the ancient center of learning.

It has ruins of its rich past scattered all around. Sculptures, frescoes and bas-relief are still to be seen amongst the ruins. Good network of roads connect Nalanda to the other cities of the state making it accessible from all the parts of India.

India Buddhism BookingA walk into the past... Nalanda has given its names on Naga (serpent) who lived in a tank near royal capital Rajagiraha. According to the Chinese legends the Naga got injured during the digging of the monastery. The clairvoyants declared, “This is a very superior site. If u built here a Sangharama (monastery), it must of necessity become highly renowned. Throughout the five Indies it will be a model. For a period of a thousand years it will flourish. Student of all degrees will here accomplish their studies. But many would spit blood because of this wound given to the Naga”.

Buddha visited Nalanda number of times. He often stayed at the Pavarika mango grove which was later purchased by a merchant and was gifted to Buddha. In fact, Nalanda was very popular city for traders coming for merchandising. The town is depicted as flourishing and successful. It also accounts beautiful building which includes a bathing hall surrounded by various pillars. Sariputra, Buddha’s favourite disciple was also born here and died preaching at this place. In the third century B.C. Ashoka honored one of the monks with a grand stupa.

This place saw the rise and fall of many empires and emperors who contributed in the development of Nalanda. Many monasteries and temples were built by them. King Harshwardhana gifted a 25m high copper statue of Buddha and Kumargupta endowed a college of fine arts here. Nagarjuna- a Mahayana philosopher, Dinnaga- founder of the school of logic and Dharmpala- the Brahmin scholar, taught here.

India Buddhism BookingThe more or less information about the Nalanda University is due to the accounts left by the Chinese pilgrims. In the first half of the fifth century Hiuen Tsang came to Nalanda, and spent around three years.

A Buddhist University, as Nalanda was, its curriculum included a wide range of subjects in the Mahayana doctrine but the eighteen rival schools were not ignored. Even Brahmanical subjects were included along with Sankrith. One was required to be proficient in grammar before joining the Sangharama Besides theology, philosophy and grammar, logic was compulsory as students were expected to defend the Buddhist ideas and thoughts against others. Astrology, medicine, mathematics and much later tantric studies too became a part of the university syllabus.

India Buddhism BookingHow To Reach :

  • Air : The nearest airport is at Patna, which is 95 kms from Nalanda. The airport takes regular flights to the other major cities of India.
  • Rail : Though the nearest railway station is at Rajgir (12 kms) yet Gaya’s (95 kms) railway station is considered as a convenient railhead.
  • Road : Nalanda is well connected with roads of Patna, Rajgir, Pawapuri and Bodhgaya
  • Local Transport : There are no taxis available in Nalanda, rickshaws and Tongas are the main source of local transport.