Amazing facts about Nalanda Mahavihara

Nalanda Mahavihara


 Nalanda Mahavihara, often referred to simply as Nalanda, was an ancient center of learning and a renowned Buddhist monastery in present-day Bihar, India. Here are some Intresting facts about Nalanda Mahavihara:

  • Historical Significance: Nalanda Mahavihara is considered one of the first residential universities in the world. It played a pivotal role in the spread of Buddhism and the development of various academic disciplines.
  • Foundation and Early Years: Nalanda was founded in the 5th century CE during the Gupta dynasty. It reached its peak under the patronage of the later Gupta rulers and the Pala Empire.
  • International Center of Learning: Nalanda attracted scholars and students from across Asia, making it an international center of learning. Visitors included students from China, Tibet, Korea, Japan, Southeast Asia, and Central Asia.
  • Vast Campus: At its zenith, Nalanda’s campus extended over 14 hectares and housed thousands of teachers and students within its seven-story library and numerous lecture halls and residential quarters.
  • Library of Nalanda: The library at Nalanda was a colossal structure, often described as the most extensive library of its time. It was a nine-story building that reportedly housed millions of manuscripts on various subjects, including astronomy, medicine, philosophy, and literature.
  • Curriculum and Specializations: Nalanda offered a comprehensive curriculum covering subjects such as Vedas, logic, Sanskrit grammar, medicine, astronomy, and Buddhist philosophy. The university had specialized departments for different branches of knowledge.
  • Distinguished Scholars: Nalanda was home to some of the most renowned scholars in ancient India. Notable figures include Nagarjuna, Aryadeva, Dharmapala, and Atisha. Xuanzang, the Chinese traveler and scholar, studied at Nalanda for several years.
  • Burning of Nalanda: The destruction of Nalanda in the 12th century is attributed to the invasion by the Turkish Muslim conqueror Bakhtiyar Khilji. The library, with its priceless manuscripts, is said to have been set ablaze, resulting in a significant loss of knowledge.
  • Architectural Splendor: Nalanda’s architecture was remarkable, with ornate carvings and sculptures adorning its structures. The complex included meditation halls, classrooms, and monastic cells.
  • Nalanda Archaeological Site: The archaeological site of Nalanda was rediscovered in the 19th century. Excavations have revealed the layout of the ancient university, including the remnants of stupas, monasteries, and classrooms.
  • World Heritage Site: In 2016, Nalanda Mahavihara was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The recognition highlights its outstanding universal value as a center for education, religious philosophy, and cultural exchange.
  • Nalanda University Revival: In 2010, the Nalanda University was reestablished near the ancient site. The modern Nalanda University focuses on interdisciplinary studies and aims to revive the legacy of the ancient institution.
  • Nalanda Mentions in Buddhist Texts: Nalanda is mentioned in several Buddhist texts, including works by Chinese pilgrims like Xuanzang and Yijing, who visited the university and documented its academic and architectural features.
  • Buddhist Relics: Nalanda housed several Buddhist relics, including the sariputra stupa and the Sharanda stupa. Pilgrims visited Nalanda to pay homage to these sacred sites.
  • Legacy and Influence: Nalanda’s legacy continues to influence modern education and cultural understanding. The revival of Nalanda University aims to carry forward the spirit of intellectual inquiry and cultural exchange that characterized the ancient institution.


The story of Nalanda Mahavihara is a testament to the heights of intellectual and cultural achievement in ancient India and remains a source of inspiration for scholars and students worldwide.

Thank you for your time and consideration 🙏❤️…..

@Puja Singh…..

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