Sunday, October 20, 2013

Why was the world famous Nalanda University burned ?

The Nalanda University, one of the greatest centres of learning during the ancient period, dates back to the sixth century B.C. Considered to be a monastic university of international repute, this university once sheltered both Buddha and Mahavira.

The Nalanda University, which used to be a suburb of Rajgir in ancient times, lies on the road from Rajgir to Patna. One of the most organised centres of learning, this university had students from foreign lands too. Spread over a vast area, the university of Nalanda lied south-east to Patna at a distance of 88.5 kilometers and 11.5 kilometers towards the north from Rajgir. This university once had 10,000 students studying under the guidance of 2,000 teachers.

 The excavations of Nalanda that had grown to be one of the foremost Buddhist monastery and educational centre during the reign of Ashoka, revealed that the area of the university had a large number of well-constructed temples and monasteries built within it. Supported by donations from a number of villages and liberal grants made by the kings during those times, the university provided free educational facilities to both teachers and students that stayed in the university during those times.

 Destroyed by Turkish invaders as Bakhtiar Khilji, the vast library of Nalanda was burned and the building destroyed.

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