Nalanda tour takes a traveller to the world’s largest and oldest university with serene Buddhist essence. In its heydays, it was one of the prestigious centers of learning in Asia that established India’s image worldwide as the knowledge giver. This was also a prominent Buddhist university, active during the time of Lord Buddha. The evocative ruins of the university based on stupas, monastic student cells and temples here still convey the disciplined education preaching to the students from different parts of the world.
Located in eastern India, Nalanda was founded in the fifth century by the Gupta dynasty. Since then, the great monastic university attracted thousands of students globally till the time it was ransacked by the Afghan invaders in the 12th century. If we talk about the courses, the university’s knowledge bank featured courses from varied disciplines including grammar, politics, astronomy, medicine, logic, philosophy, mathematics etc. Excavations at the ruins of Nalanda unearthed the nine levels of occupation belonging to the Buddhist yore. The ruins also hosts Sariputta Stupa, dedicated to the chief male disciple of Buddha, Sariputta. Nalanda is believed to be the site of his birth as well as death.
Tourist Attractions in Nalanda
Nalanda University Ruins
– This University is one of the ancient heritage marvels of India that shaped the country’s identity as the giver of the knowledge. Nalanda tour is characterized with the visit to the ancient ruins of this university. Spread over an area of 14 hectares, the ruins here feature splendid temples and monasteries built by the patron kings.
Nalanda Museum -
Established in 1971, Nalanda Museum houses many ancient antiquities excavated from Nalanda University ruins and also at Rajgir. The antiques here feature many Buddhist and Hindu bronzes, a number of ancient Buddhist manuscripts, coins, pottery and inscriptions of Maurya and Gupta period.
Surya Mandir –
Located near Nalanda University, Surya Mandir is dedicated to the Sun God and features a number of Hindu and Buddhist idols.
Huien Tsang Memorial Hall –
This memorial hall is dedicated to the historic Chinese traveller who came who left his home country in pursuit of Buddha and Buddhism to India in the 5th century AD and stayed in Nalanda for 12 years as a student. Also, he served the university as a teacher and studied the social and political conditions in the country. The memorial hall was built in his memory.
Rajgir is unmissed by any traveller during Nalanda tour as it is one of the prominent Buddhist pilgrimage site in India visited by Lord Buddha himself. Here, he sat atop the Griddhakuta and preached many enlightening sermons. Located just 15 km away from Nalanda, Rajgir’s temples and monasteries attract tourists from all over India.
How to reach Nalanda
Patna is the nearest airport which is around 90 kms away from the village. Regular flights connect Patna city with the major Indian cities like Delhi, Kolkata, Chennai, etc., which are further connected to major international destinations.
The nearest railway station is Bakhtiyarpur which is 38 kms from Nalanda Tour. Gaya (65km) is the major railway point which is connected to all the major cities of India.
Nalanda is connected to Patna, Gaya, Delhi, Kolkata, etc. with excellent road network.