Nalanda marked the beginning of the universities in the 5th century in a tiny town in Bihar, India. Nalanda is considered to be the first and the oldest university in the history of mankind.
16 centuries ago, Buddhism flourished on the Global map, and Nalanda proved to be the hub of this supreme religion. The University was brought down in its later phases, but it couldn’t completely outcast the impact that it has had on the present world.
The Rise and the Fall of Nalanda
It was the epitome of Buddhism from 497 CE to 1197 CE. Gautama Buddha visited the university several times in his lifespan. It recruited over 10,000 students in the 7th Century giving us a rough idea how our timid brains were constantly flourished under a roof. Chinese scholar Xuanzang, one of the greatest endorsers of the Buddhism, was fascinated when he saw almost 2000 teachers distributing their piece of wit to so many students. The world famous university was established during the reign of Kamara Gupta according to the ancient scholars.
It attracted many students from Greece, China, Persia, and other European countries. The downfall of Nalanda came in the 12th century when the Mughals dropped its eyes on the beautifully constructed University. Turkic Muslims invaded the site captained by Bakhtiyar Khalji. The decline of Buddhism was inevitable with its hub going down. The library of the university was so huge that it almost took 3 months to be burned down after the Turkic Muslims had set it on fire.
From Anything to Everything
Nalanda University was bluntly renowned for its variety of subjects it nurtured through its reign. It constituted a variety of topics including Buddhism, Hinduism, and Secularism. It shed light on almost every aspect of science including astrology, physics, metaphysics, and medicine. It also practiced foreign philosophies and Yogashastra. Vedas and Buddhist scriptures were also accentuated by the students in the clan.
What is it today?
Everything was burned to ashes, but what survived was few structures and its rich culture it endorsed. The excavated area is calculated to be around 150,000 square meters. Chinese Scholar Xuanzang cited that it is only the 10 percent of the city that is excavated. 90 % of the enormous University is unearthed due to the human settlements over the site. Apart from the Surya Temple, everything has vanished including the human settlements.
The royal sign of the Gupta reigns was the bow, and it can be observed on the many entrances of the Ruins of Nalanda.
India has given a lot to the world of science and technology. From the number zero to a sport like chess, India is has been a pioneer of the marvellous significant inventions. The University Of Nalanda is no different. Being the first established university in the world, it opened a whole lot of possibilities in the scientific globe. Also, Buddhism succeeded to make a mark in the north-eastern countries. The oldest university in the world gave us one of the best teachers the world has ever known, Chanakya.
Architecture, astrology, sociology and many such subjects nourished during the period. It is a shame that we couldn’t maintain the world’s first university site with utmost care. Even then, its significance is untouched and unmatched.