Nalanda: Glorious Heritage for Learning

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Nalanda, famous as ancient seat of learning, is located about 88 km southeast of Patna, founded in the 5th century AD. It marks the site of the once famous Buddhist university also known as the Nalanda University.

The history of immemorial Nalanda university resulted from two different growing eras - one is of initiation, inventions, growth, development and materialization from the 6th to the 9th century, when it was influenced by the unbigoted cultural traditions inherited from Gupta age; other one is of gradual fall and final dissolution from the 9th century to the 13th, a period when the Buddhism flourished in eastern India.

Nalanda was one of the world's first residential universities and an architectural masterpiece. The university sheltered over 10,000 students and scholars and over 2,000 faculties, from as far away as Tibet, Japan, Korea, Indonesia, China, Greece, and Persia. Among its many notable guests were the Buddha and Mahavir. However, later it was destroyed by Turkish Muslim invaders in 1193, in which the students and teachers were massacred and the university library was burnt down.

Currently, the known and excavated area in Nalanda extends up to 14 hectares. All the building premises are of the red brick and are divided by a central path that goes south to north. The monasteries or "Viharas" are east of this central alley and the temple or "Chaiyas" are to the west. Nalanda had eight separate compounds and ten temples, along with many other meditation halls and classrooms. A small chapel still houses a shattered statue of the Lord Buddha.

India's first Multimedia Museum, the Nalanda Museum containing a number of manuscripts, was opened on 26 January 2008, which portraits the history of Nalanda using a 3D animation film. In 2006, Singapore, China, India, Japan, and other nations, announced a revised plan to restore and revive the ancient site as Nalanda International University. On 13th September 2010, the Jakarta Globe Reported Parliament in New Delhi passed a bill approving plans to rebuild the campus as a symbol of India's global ambitions. Presently many reputed foreign organizations along with the present government are trying to focus on the betterment of the campus and to introduce subjects like humanities, economics and management, Asian integration, sustainable development and oriental languages.

The glory of Nalanda has been tried to be reestablished but the pace with which it’s been carried on is involving a lot more time than as thought of. And we all know, something involving a lot of time, causes quality and investment casualties. Moreover as foreign dignitaries are involved, it may be the possibility that due to the delay, we will lose their expertise and investment in the near future.

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