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India Tour Package » Buddhist Highlight » Nalanda Travel
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Nalanda Travel

Nalanda is one of the oldest known Universities of the world and major Buddhist travel destination of India. According to the ruins it has been found that over 2,000 Buddhist teachers and 10,000 students from all over the world studied the Buddhist religion and its scriptures. Nalanda can be called an international center of Buddhist learning. Hieun T Sang who came to study Buddhism in the 7th century left many valuable descriptions of the place.
Nalanda University
Buddha's two main desciples namely Maha Kassapu and Moggalana stayed in Nalanda and preached his lessons. It was even the birth place of his second desciple Moggalana in a nearby village known as Kul.

Location of Nalanda
Located in the eastern Indian state of Bihar, Nalanda was the seat of ancient learning popular among the Buddhist and the Jains. The place is situated at a distance of 90 km from the state capital Patna.

Nalanda, being in the Gangetic plains suffers from extreme weather conditions. The temperature during summer can reach a maximum of 37.8°C while the minimum temperature dips down to as low as 10.6°C. The best time to travel the place is in between the months of October to March.

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Major Buddhist Attractions in Nalanda
Nalanda University - Formed in the 5th century, the Nalanda University is the world's earliest known Universities. Buddha visited it a number of times and his favourite disciple Sariputra was born at the same place. Here lies a grand Stupa of the Lord Gautama built by Emperor Ashoka in his honour. Slowly and steadily it became the place of discourse of the monks and acquired the status of an established monasteries during the time of the Gupta rule. The succession of kings offered their royal patronage to ensure the progress of the University. The proof of it might be found in the copper plate inscription revealing the fact about the construction of a monastery by the king of Sumatra.

Hieun Tsang Memorial Hall The Nalanda Archaeological Museum - The Archaeological Museum to the opposite of the university houses a small and beautiful collection of Buddhist and Hindu bronze medallions. Also placed inside are few undamaged statues of the Lord Buddha. Behind the museum stands two huge terracota Jars in a shaded enclosure of the 1st century. The collections includes stone inscriptions, coins, pottery of different shapes and sample of burnt rice apart from the copper plates.

Hieun Tsang Memorial Hall - The Chinese traveller Hieun T Sang who came to India in the 5th century gave a detailed description of the political and social condition of the place. He also studied in the university of Nalanda and took lessons as a student and later preached as a teacher. The Chinese traveller also studied yoga for 6 years under Archarya Shil Bhadra. The memorial has been built on his behalf as his remembrance.

Surya Mandir - Located at a little distance from the University of Nalanda, is the temple of Surya Mandir, major travel attraction of Nalanda, dedicated to the Sun God. This temple has a number of statues of Hindu and Buddhist deities, and holds a five feet high statue of Parvati which is of special interest and attraction.

Nav Nalanda Vihar - The ancient tradition of spreading knowledge was kept alive by the Bihar Government which set up a Pali Institute near the ancient university. In this institute, Indian as well as foreign students come for study and research work. Established in 1951, near the famous Lotus Pond, it has been attracting students from Japan, Sri Lanka, Korea, Tibet, Bhutan, Indonesia etc. Mainly students do research work on Buddhism and Pali literature.

Travel Attraction Nearby Nalanda
Kundalpur - Kundalpur resting 1.6 km away from the ruins of Nalanda is famous from the point of view of the Jain communities. The Digambar sect of the Jains believes that the 24th and the last Tirthankar, Lord Mahavira was born here. This place consists of many Jain temples in and around the village.

Stone and Sea-Shell Items, Nalanda Shopping in Nalanda
Shops selling decorative items and gift articles are found all over the place. The handicraft material is one of the items, which can be purchased. There are also stone and sea-shell items which are very popular among tourists who travel to Nalanda.

There are some monasteries built by Buddhist countries and government guest house where tourists can put up for accommodation but a better option would be to stay in nearby places like Gaya or Patna, which are not very far from Nalanda.

How to Reach
By Air - The nearest Airport is that of Patna which is situated 90 kms away.
By Rail - The Nalanda Railway Station is on the branch route of Bhaktiyarpur - Rajgir section of the Eastern Railway.
By Road - Nalanda is well connected by roads to other parts of the state. Specially from Patna the bus services are good. The Bihar State tourism Department has its buses running from Nalanda to other parts of the state

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