June 21, 2024
A trip to Nalanda for a journey through time for the history lover in you

Nalanda is one of the places in the country that is steeped in antiquity and scholarly pursuit, and should be visited at least once if history is one of your favourite subjects. Situated in the Indian state of Bihar, Nalanda is famed for its ancient university, which served as a source of knowledge and enlightenment during the mediaeval period. A visit to Nalanda offers a captivating journey through time, allowing history lovers to delve into the depths of India’s intellectual and spiritual legacy.
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The highlight of any visit to Nalanda will undoubtedly always remain the ruins of its eponymous university, often referred to as the Nalanda Mahavihara. Founded in the 5th century CE, this prestigious institution attracted scholars and students from across the world, making it one of the earliest centres of higher learning in recorded history. As you wander through the sprawling ruins, you’ll encounter remnants of monasteries, temples, lecture halls, and meditation cells, each offering you a glimpse of intellectual fervour that once thrived within these ancient walls.

8 overrated tourist tourist traps from across  the world

8 overrated tourist tourist traps from across the world

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Nalanda also holds immense significance in Buddhist history, as it was a major centre for spreading Buddhist teachings and philosophy. The renowned Chinese traveller and scholar, Xuanzang (Hieun Tsang), is said to have spent several years studying at Nalanda during the 7th century CE, documenting his experiences in vivid detail. When here, you can explore the various monastic complexes and stupas scattered across the site, each echoing the spiritual resonance of centuries past.Read more: 300-year-old underwater town resurfaces due to extreme heat in Philippines

Adjacent to the ancient ruins lies the Nava Nalanda Mahavihara, a modern academic institution dedicated to the study and preservation of Buddhist teachings. Established in 1951, this esteemed centre for Buddhist studies offers visitors a glimpse into contemporary scholarship and research on Buddhism. Explore its well-curated museum, which houses a remarkable collection of artefacts, manuscripts, and sculptures, shedding light on the diverse facets of Buddhist culture and heritage.

A trip to Nalanda for a journey through time for the history lover in you

In addition to the Nalanda University ruins, the surrounding region is dotted with several other historical and cultural attractions worth exploring. You can opt to visit the nearby town of Rajgir, which once served as the capital of the Magadha Empire, and a prominent centre for Jain and Buddhist pilgrimage. Also, explore sites like the Gridhakuta Hill, where Buddha is said to have delivered many sermons, and the Venuvana Vihara, a monastery established by King Bimbisara.


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