Approximately 800 years after the ancient education system was ruined, the historic Nalanda University (also known as the University of Nalanda), in Bihar’s Rajgir district, commenced its first academic session, on September 1, 2014. Nalanda is a Central University in Rajgir, about 55 miles South East of Patna, near Nalanda, Bihar, India.

Nobel Laureate Dr. Amartya Sen is the Chancellor of the University. Historical studies advocate that the University of Nalanda was originally established in the 15th century AD during the reign of a Gupta king called Sakraditya (also known as Kumaragupta, reigned (415-55)). Both Xuanzang ((602-664,), a Chinese Buddhist monk, scholar, traveler, and translator) and Prajnavarman ( a Bebgali Buddhist writer) cite Sakraditya as the founder.

Nalanda University was ruined 3 times by invaders, but reconstructed only twice. For the first time, it was destructed by the Huns under Mihirakula during the reign of Skandagupta (455-467 AD). Later, Skanda’s successors started the restoration, developing it with even larger buildings, and gifted it with ample resources to let the University sustain itself in the longer span. For the second time, it was destructed by the Gaudas in the early 7th century. This time, the Buddha king Harshvardhana (606-648) restored the Buddhist University.

For the 3rd time, it was destroyed in a Turkish attack led by Bakhtiyar Khilji in1193. scholars also marked this event as a late milestone in the fall of Buddhism in India.

SOURCE: ‘Currentopedia’, a Current Affairs Magazine, by KG Publications

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