Things To Know About Nalanda University
The site where the Nalanda University campus existed before being destroyed close to the end of the 12the century has recently been declared a Unesco World Heritage Site. Established in 5th century CE In Magadh (now Bihar), this ancient university attracted students from all across Asia. This world renowned university is believed to have imparted educations to students China, Indonesia, Korea, Japan, Persia, Tibet and Turkey.
The architecture marvel
The university was located about 90 kilometers away from southeast of Patliputra, now Patna. Various accounts testify that the university campus was spread over an area of 14 hectares and had eight compounds, 10 temples, lakes and parks, a large number of classrooms, many meditation centres and a huge library. It is said that the library of the university was so extensive that it took months to burn when it was set on fire by the invaders. The university campus was a rare combination of site planning and architecture. It includes shrines, stupas, viharas (residential and educational buildings) and artworks in stone and metal.
The Buddhist centre
Gautam Buddha, who founded Buddhism, is believed to have visited the university often, along with his two disciples, Sariputra and Moggallana. The development of the university testifies that it played a significant role in the development of Buddhism as a religion. It became a monastic-cum-educational institution for Buddhist art and learning. Xuanzang (or Hiuen Tsnag), a famous Chinese visitor, studied and taught at the university. His writings which explain the experience of his stay in the university are the great source of information about the university during that era.
The present status
After being closed for about 800 years, the university reopened in September 2014. The university opened at a temporary facility in the Rajgir district, and a new campus is being built about 12 kilometres from the original university of the ancient university.