Nalanda located about 88 km from Patna , was the great learning center of ancient India and worlds first residential universities. During 5th-12th centuries AD it was a great and famous university that attracted scholars from all over the world here. Nalanda was a famous center of learning of Buddhism , University of Nalanda have been also refereed by Chinese traveller Hiuen-Tsang . Sariputra one of the chief disciples of the Lord Buddha was born here. Nalanda was the satellite town for Rajgir . Nalanda was considered an architectural masterpiece occupied by various teachers and students as it was a famous university which can accommodate over 10,000 students and 2,000 teachers.
27.8-10.6 C (Winters)
|Season Time||October to March|
|Nearest Railway Station||Hajipur Station at 35 Km|
|Nearest Airport||Patna Airport about 7 Kms|
According to historic studies Nalanda flourished during the reign of the Sakraditya of Gupta Dynasty. Nalanda University now only have ruins of original one as it was attacked by a Turk ruler Bakhtiyar Khilji . Muslim Conquest in India is regarded as the decline of Buddhism in India. The Turk did everything to root out Buddhism from India , several monks were burned , killed and beheaded , the famous architectural example of that time the Library of Nalanda was burnt and smoke from the burning manuscripts hung for days. According to Tibetan legend, Muditabhadra a Buddhist sage took the responsibility of renovating the Library and University. Unfortunately, the library was again burned by Tirthaka medicants .
Excavations conducted by Archaeological Survey of India during 1915–37 and 1974–82 have exposed the extensive remains of six major brick temples and eleven monasteries arranged on a systematic layout and spread over an area of more than a square kilometer. Basically a hundred feet wide passage runs north-south with the row of temples on the west and that of the monasteries on the east of it. During Excavation of Nalanad various murals, copper plates, inscriptions, sealing, plaques, coins, terracotta’s, potteries etc were discovered .
Places to See in Nalanda
- Zuafardih – It is a village located about 3 km from Nalanda University Ruins . A stupa is located here which was discovered during the excavation , the stupa resembles as that of stupa found in Vaishali and Nandagarh . Many other important artifact have been found here like terracotta , copper , bangles and many more .
- Sarilchak – Sarilchak is about 2 Km from here where statues of disciples of Lord Buddha is found ,Statue of Sariputra one of the main disciple of Lord Buddha is also dicovered here during excavation conducted by Archaeological Survey of India .
- Mustafapur– About 3 Km from Nalanda University Mustafapur is famous for a Statue of Buddha .
- Nalanda Museum – The museum is located opposite of the University displays collection of Buddhist and Hindu bronze statues and a number of undamaged statues of the Lord Buddha that were found in the area , copper plates and stone inscriptions, coins, pottery. Two enormous terracotta jars of the 1st century stand intact behind the museum in a shaded enclosure. The museum was established on 1917 . Museums remains open all the day in week except Firday and timings are 10:00am – 5 pm.
- Nalanda Mahavihar – In Context of rich educational tradition of Nalanda , Bihar Government established Nalanda Mahavihar also known as Nava Nalanda Mahavihara . Earlier it was coined as Pali Research Center . Students from other countries also come here for studies .
- Hieun – Tsang Memorial Hall – A hall located about 1 km from Nalanda is devoted to the great Chinese traveler Hieun Tsang .
- Mahamaya Palace – Located about 1.5 Km from Nalanda Mahavihar . Here is a 12 Feet high stupa and a temple containing black stone statue of Lord Buddha .
- Bodh Gaya – Bodh Gaya is a famous and holiest Buddhist Center in Bihar is located about 110 km from here . This place was where Lord Buddha gained enlightenment and preached Buddhism .
- Patna – Known as Patliputra in Ancient Time , it was the capital of Maurya and Gupta empires . The city have a glorious past and history .Patna is based in th bank of Ganges River and is surrounded by important religious centers for the Buddhists, Sikhs and Jains.
- Rajgir – Rajgir was the capital of Magadhan empire located about 16 km from Nalanda .Here at rajgir Gautama Buddha spent several months meditating, and preaching at Gridhra-kuta. Lord Mahavira spent fourteen years of his life at Rajgir and Nalanda so it is very important pilgrimage place for Jains also .
- Pawapuri– Holy Site for Jains it is located about 25 km from Nalanda . Mahavir was cremated at Pawapuri . This place is called as Apapuri means Sinless City . Jalmandir and Samosharan two of the beautiful temples are located here .
How to Reach Nalanda
Nalanda is well connected via roads and rail network . Many private and government bus operates to Nalanda .
By Air– Patana Airport is located about 100 km from here. There are various private buses and taxi available from airport to Nalanda .
By Train – Bihar Shariff located about 15 km from here is a railway station that is connected to various station of Patna and other important cities in Bihar and others. Nalanda has its own station also .
By Road– Nalanda has a good road network . Nalanda is well connected via Gaya, Patna , Vaishali , Bihar Shariff and Rajgir. Bus facilities are available from various city to this place.