Nalanda places of interest

Posted On January 4, 2012 

Established in the year 450 AD the Nalanda University has been existing since the time of the Gupta rule in India. Mostly patronized by the erstwhile Gupta ruler Kumaragupta this is one of the best residential universities of the world. The University has a capacity to accommodate more than 10,000 students and 2,000 teachers.

The Nalanda University has eight huge compounds and more than ten temples along with innumerable classrooms and meditation halls. The area is dotted with parks and lakes. The University has a lot of subjects that are taught here and covers all fields of learning. Many scholars and pupils from countries as far as China, Turkey, Korea, Japan and Indonesia have been here.

Nalanda University

In fact Xuanzang the facmous Chinese pilgrim has given a great detail about the University. The terracotta seal of the University is on display in the ASI museum at Nalanda. While here, visit Pawapuri which is the place where Lord Mahavir attained salvation. This is called nirvana or the salvation from the cycle of death and life. this is a great pilgrim spot for the Jains. Pawapuri is situated around 38 km from Rajgir which lies in the district of Nalanda. Patna is around 90 km from this place. Pawapuri is a much revered spot where Lord Mahavir the last Jain Tirthankara breathed his last. This was sometime in 500 BC. This last Tirthankara was cremated at this place called Pawapuri which is also known as Apapuri which is also called the sinless town. After his demise, his devotees rushed to collect his ashes, and so a lot of soil was removed from the cremation site and a pond was created. Today a lovely temple made of marble the Jalmandir was constructed and today it is a great tourist attraction. the temple looks resplendent standing on a rectangular island in the centre of the pond. Samosharan another Jain temple is also a place that is revered by the Jains all over. It is believed by the Jains that Lord Mahavir gave his last sermon here.

Then there is Kundalpu which lies around 1.6 km from Nalanda. Kundalpu is the place where the Jains of the Digambar sect believe that their Lord Mahavir took birth. This is a village which has many Jain temples.

Nalanda is also the venue where there is a multimedia museum that was opened in the year 2008. There is a section here which depicts the history of Nalanda with the help of a 3D animation film. The Museum has four more sections which is inclusive of the Multimedia Museum Geographical Perspective , Historical Perspective hall, Nalanda and Revival section and the Nalanda section.

Nalanda Multimedia Museum
Then you have the Archaeological Survey of India Museum which has the best antiquities especially those that have come from the earliest ages. There is a monastery complex at Nalanda, which houses the best sculptures on display and the ideal structures made out of bronzes, terracotta, stucco and basalt stone. The idols here belong to the Buddhist faith and there are also some Jain and Hindu religious idols.

Today there is a scale model of the remains of the Nalanda University that occupies the central place in the hall. In all there are 57 idols and equal sculptures which are displayed in the first gallery.

Visit the Xuanzang Memorial Hall which has been built and constructed Xuanzang the Chinese traveler who has been a student here at the Nalanda and eventually also became a teacher here at the ancient Nalanda Mahavir. There is a huge hall which is situated around 1.3 km from Nalanda.

Xuanzang Memorial Hall
We can confidently state that Nalanda is indeed an academics delight.

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