Indian History and Revival

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Story behind the New Nalanda University

What led to the re-establishment of Nalanda? Learn more…

Friday, 23rd April 2021

The foundation of the ancient Nalanda as an unrivaled seat of knowledge and learning was but a historical outcome relevant to its context. The region of Magadha of the ancient times was known for an intellectual frenzy unlike any other places within the knowledge of humanity. Nalanda’s unique ability to embrace all aspects of knowledge in its totality and also blend multiple discourses made it attractive to and popular among the knowledge seekers.

According to historical sources, the Nalanda University had an illustrious and long life which sustained almost without a break for about 800 years starting from 5th century to 12th century CE. During that time Nalanda had been a residential university housing 10, 000 students and 2, 000 teachers. The ruins of Nalanda present certain architectural components that clearly reflect the holistic and comprehensive feature of knowledge imparted as well as sought at the Nalanda University. The pattern of imparting knowledge and absorbing knowledge at the ancient University of Nalanda symbolized a seamless and spontaneous co-existence between man and nature and between learning and living.

The profound depth of knowledge of the teachers of Nalanda drew scholars from across the globe especially from the distant lands of Sri Lanka, China, Japan, Korea, Mongolia, Tibet, Turkey and the South East Asia.

These scholars from across the globe, after gaining knowledge from Nalanda, left accounts and records regarding the architecture, ambiance and learning at the university. The most in-depth accounts in this context came from the Chinese scholars. Xuan Zang is one of the most prominent amongst them. He had carried back several hundreds of scriptures that were translated into the Chinese language later.

Therefore, when the honorable Ex-President of India, Dr. A.P.J Abdul Kalam raised the idea of bringing back to life the ancient University of Nalanda during his address for the State Legislative Assembly of Bihar in the month of March, 2006, the first and foremost step was taken in the direction of reviving the Old Nalanda. Almost, at the same time, the government of Singapore presented before the government of India the ‘Nalanda Proposal’ in which a suggestion was made for the re-establishment of what Nalanda used to be in the ancient times. They wanted Nalanda to be Asia’s focal point once again. The state government of Bihar was quick to act in line with the visionary concept and associated with the Central government to take the plan ahead.

During that time, the Bihar government also began searching for an ideal location for setting up the Nalanda University of the present times. An expanse of land sprawling to 450 acres at the foothills of the Rajgir hills was chosen and acquired for housing the new Nalanda University’s campus. Thus, came into being the Nalanda University in its new, contemporary avatar.

Also Read : What were the roots of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Like?

The News Talkie Bureau



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