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Updated by RashmiRanjan Sahu on Sep 09, 2014
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Amazing Facts About Nalanda University

Nalanda University was one of the world's first residential universities, as it had dormitories for students. It is also one of the most famous universities. In its heyday it accommodated over 10,000 students and 2,000 teachers.[8] The university was considered an architectural masterpiece, and was marked by a lofty wall and one gate. Nalanda had eight separate compounds and ten temples, along with many meditation halls and classrooms.

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Academia

Academia

At its peak, the university attracted scholars and students from Korea, Japan, China, Tibet, Indonesia, Turkey, Greece, and Persia.[8][13][14] The subjects taught included religion, history, law, linguistics, medicine, public health, architecture, metallurgy, pharmacology, sculpture and astronomy.

Notable scholars who studied at Nalanda included Harshavardhana, Vasubandhu, Dharmapal, Suvishnu, Asanga,Dharmakirti, Shantarakshita, Nagarjuna, Aryadeva, Padmasambhava, Xuanzang (the reputed founder of Buddhism in Tibet) and Hwui Li.[15] Shilabhadra (Silavadra) was the teacher of the Chinese traveler/monk Hiuen Tsang during 645 AD. He came from Comilla, Bangladesh.

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First learning center for Buddhist Monks

First learning center for Buddhist Monks

The Nalanda University had a great influence of Buddhism. Many Buddhist taught at Nalanda. It is believed that Buddha was stayed at the university many times.

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Nalanda University during the Gupta Dynasty:

Nalanda University during the Gupta Dynasty:

Founded in the 5th Century A.D., Nalanda is known as the ancient seat of learning. ... in the vicinity of which, are the world famous ruins of Nalanda University. ... high copper statue of Buddha and Kumargupta endowed a college of fine arts ere
The historical studies and evidences indicate that the renowned University of Nalanda was established during the reign of the Kumaragupta, the famous Gupta emperor. Prajñavarman and Xuanzang, both of them cite him as the laying founder of the university, which is also proved by the seal discovered at the site.

4

Library that Burnt for 3-6 Months:

Library that Burnt for 3-6 Months:

The great library of Nalanda University was so vast that it is reported to have burned for three months after the invaders set fire to it, ransacked and destroyed the monasteries, and drove the monks from the site

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Curriculum:

Curriculum:

In Nalanda university,the Tibetan tradition holds that there were "four doxographies" (Tibetan: grub-mtha’) which were taught at Nālandā, and Alexander Berzin specifies these as:[20]

Sarvāstivāda Vaibhāṣika
Sarvāstivāda Sautrāntika
Mādhyamaka, the Mahāyāna philosophy of Nāgārjuna
Chittamatra, the Mahāyāna philosophy of Asaṅga and Vasubandhu
In the 7th century, Xuanzang records the number of teachers at Nālandā as being around 1510.[21] Of these, approximately 1000 were able to explain 20 collections of sūtras and śāstras, 500 were able to explain 30 collections, and only 10 teachers were able to explain 50 collections.[21] Xuanzang was among the few who were able to explain 50 collections or more.[21] At this time, only the abbot Śīlabhadra had studied all the major collections of sūtras and śāstras at Nālandā.[21]

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Administration

Administration
7

Buddhism:

Buddhism:

The scholar Dharmakirti (ca. 7th century), one of the Buddhist founders of Indian philosophical logic, as well as and one of the primary theorists of Buddhist atomism, taught at Nalanda.

Rear view of the stupa of Śāriputra
Other forms of Buddhism, such as the Mahāyāna Buddhism followed in Vietnam, China, Korea and Japan, flourished within the walls of the ancient university. A number of scholars have associated some Mahāyāna texts such as the Śūraṅgama Sūtra, an important sūtra in East Asian Buddhism, with the Buddhist tradition at Nālandā.[4]:264[23] Ron Epstein also notes that the general doctrinal position of the sūtra does indeed correspond to what is known about the Buddhist teachings at Nālandā toward the end of the Gupta period when it was translated

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Ruins and rediscovery

Ruins and rediscovery

After its decline, Nalanda was largely forgotten until Francis Buchanan-Hamilton surveyed the site in 1811–1812 CE after locals in the vicinity had drawn his attention to a vast complex of ruins in the area. He, however, did not associate the mounds of earth and debris with famed Nalanda. That link was established by Major Markham Kittoe in 1847 CE.[33] Alexander Cunningham and the newly formed Archaeological Survey of India conducted an official survey in 1861–1862 CE.[34]

A number of ruined structures survive. Nearby is the Surya Mandir, a Hindu temple. The known and excavated ruins extend over an area of about 150,000 square metres, although if Xuanzang's account of Nalanda's extent is correlated with present excavations, almost 90% of it remains unexcavated. Nālandā is no longer inhabited. Today the nearest habitation is a village called Bargaon.

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