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Nalanda University

Listed under History in Bihar Sharif, India.

  • Photo of Nalanda University
  • Photo of Nalanda University
Photo of Nalanda University
Photo by flickr user Prince Roy
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The ruins at Nalanda, a celebrated centre of Buddhist learning from the 5th to the 12th century, allow only a glimpse of its stature, but it attracted students not only from all over India but also from Tibet, China, Korea, Japan and Indonesia. It was one of the earliest universities in the world. Library of nine million manuscripts and ten thousand monks were here in 7C.

The university at Nalanda was founded in or around the year 450 under the Gupta empire, and was one of the earliest of its kind, working almost exactly as universities do today. Luckily, sufficient records still exist from around the 7th century, which indicate that over ten thousand residential students studied there at the time, taught by approximately two thousand professors. Every subject imaginable was covered – science, languages, medicine, philosophy, metaphysics, religion and many others - and students travelled from China, Japan, Thailand, Turkey, Persia, Indonesia and Korea to receive an education at this illustrious Buddhist institution. They even had access to an enviable library of nine million texts as well as a complex of peaceful gardens and meditation rooms.

The university is known to have functioned until around the 12th century when Islamic powers took over, but the ruins can still provide an idea of the scale of the complex, much of which has still not been uncovered, and the museum in Nalanda has a display of some of the documents and objects that were found there.

Written by  larapiegeler.

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