Published:  07:50 PM, 21 June 2024

Ancient Nalanda University in the world.

Ancient Nalanda University in the world.

Sangram Datta: Nalanda University was an ancient center of learning located in the Indian state of Bihar.
It was one of the world's first residential universities, founded in the 5th century CE during the Gupta dynasty.
The university attracted students from all over Asia and beyond, with subjects ranging from Buddhism, philosophy, logic, and mathematics to medicine, astronomy, and literature.

This oldest university was  established around 427 CE, Nalanda flourished under the patronage of various Indian dynasties, including the Guptas, Harsha, and the Palas.

It has excellent academic structure . Nalanda was renowned for its rigorous curriculum and distinguished faculty, including celebrated scholars like Nagarjuna, Aryabhata, and Xuanzang, a Chinese monk who studied and taught there.

The university featured an extensive campus with libraries, lecture halls, dormitories, meditation centers, and temples. The library, known as Dharmaganja, was one of the largest in the ancient world, housing thousands of manuscripts.

Decline and Destruction: Nalanda University faced multiple invasions over the centuries, leading to its decline. The final blow came in the 12th century when it was destroyed by the forces of Bakhtiyar Khilji, a Turkic invader.

Legacy and Revival: Despite its destruction, Nalanda's legacy endured, influencing educational institutions across Asia. In recent years, there have been efforts to revive Nalanda as an international university, with the modern Nalanda University established in 2010 near the original site, aiming to restore its historical significance.

The Prime Minister on June 19 inaugurated the new campus of Nalanda University, an international University, close to the site of the ancient ruins of Nalanda in Rajgir, Bihar.

Asserting that Nalanda is a symbol of India’s academic heritage and vibrant cultural exchange, Mr. Modi said, “Nalanda is the proclamation of this truth that books may burn in the flames of fire, but the flames of fire cannot destroy knowledge. Nalanda is an identity, respect, and pride.”

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