Nalanda, the earliest Buddhist university in ancient India is believed to be established in the 5th century B.C. Nalanda was one of the greatest centers of Buddhist learning. It was located at a place 93 kilometers away from Patna, Bihar, in North India.
Tsiang, the Chineese emissary who visited India in the 6th century A.D. has reported that Nalanda had more than 1500 teachers and 8500 students at the time of his visit.The buildings of nalanda were constructed in the Kushana style of architecture.
A few historians consider Nalanda to be the
world's first university. Historians have marked that Buddha himself has visited Nalanda many times. Sariputram, one of Buddha's closest desciples is believed to have led most of his life in Nalanda.
Students from China, Korea, Sri Lanka, Indonesia
and from different parts of India used to come to Nalanda for their education.
Nalanda was in existence till 12 century A.D. when the Afghans attacked Bengal and destroyed this great University.
The Goverment has protected the ruins of Nalanda as a monument of history. The Nalanda Archaeological Museum located near Patna, at the place where Nalanda existed, has a great collection of Hindu and Buddhist bronzes and statues which were found near the ruins of Nalanda.