The first Indian university!!

One of the most prehistoric Universities in the country that was established in the Gupta Dynasty era is the renowned and ancient Nalanda University. Located in the primeval Magadha region (modern Rajgirh), which is about 90 kilometers from Patna towards the Southeast, it is the world’s oldest residential university i.e. the students and scholars who came from all around the world, received On-campus facilities.

The university used to run in its prime state between 427 and 1197 CE. The patrons of this university consisted of many Indians and Japanese people, irrespective of them being Buddhists or not. Over 750 years, thousands of travelers, pilgrims, scholars, and students from Korea, China, Tibet have visited Nalanda University and cited their experience here in their very own literary documentation. Although sacked and destroyed to the ground by Bakhtiyar Khilji, the university was later restored.

At a time when Europe was mired in the Dark Ages, one lamp of learning shone brightly in the East, illuminating generations upon generations of minds. Nalanda University, an ancient seat of Buddhist learning and one of India’s lost glories, was founded in the fifth century and earned a reputation for intellectual excellence long before Oxford or Cambridge universities were built.

In the 12th century, that light went out. Muslim invaders rampaged through Bihar, in the northeast of India, sacking Nalanda. Legend has it that the multi-storey library and its great towers, bejewelled and gilded to reflect the rays of the sun, was so vast it took weeks to burn. Persian historian Minhaj-i-Siraj narrated how “smoke from the burning manuscripts hung for days like a dark pall over the low hills”.

They destroyed what many say was the world’s first university. Its name and reputation were known across Asia, even as far away as Greece. For 800 years, it was a centre of knowledge not only for Buddhist studies but for philosophy, medicine, astronomy and mathematics. Nalanda ceased to exist just when other universities were opening in Bologna, Italy, Paris, France, and Oxford, England.

This learning center was built by Buddhist monks during the reign of King Kumaragupta in 426 AD. The study of Buddhism, the practice of religion was the main. But besides, Hindu philosophy, Vedas, theology, logic, medical science, grammar, linguistics, science and many other subjects were taught. The cost of the university was in favor of the king. Merit and the only merit was the key to enter this university. Even in the case of members of the royal family, there was no room for bias. Students did not have to pay any salary for studying. On the contrary, they used to get nutritious food like milk, ghee, rice and butter from 200 grams.

Nalanda Burning

Nalanda also housed a library which held innumerable manuscripts and texts not only of Budhdhism but also of various literature and sciences like astronomy and medicine. It was said that the collection of texts were so huge in number, that the library burnt for three months when Bhaktiyar Khilji destroyed it.

One of the pride of this university was its library. The name was ‘Dharmaganj’. Here were three gigantic multi-storey buildings. The names of the buildings were ‘Ratnasagar’ (meaning ocean of gems), ‘Ratnodadhi’ (meaning sea of ​​gems) and ‘Ratnaranjak’ (meaning jeweled). It is unknown at this time what he will do after leaving the post. It is said that the authentic manuscripts of some parts of the Upanishads were here. There were also scriptures like Prajnaparamita Sutra and Guhya Samaj. How much! And those invaluable resources were finally swallowed up by the mad fire