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Nalanda

, Bihar

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On this page: History, Travel within city, Hotels
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Fast Facts
State: Bihar
District: Nalanda
Famous for/as: Heritage
Languages: Hindi
Best Season: Oct - Mar
Weather: Summers 20 to 44°C, Winters 4 to 28°C
Altitude: 67 m
Pincode: 803115
STD code: 06112
A nondescript locale in the outskirts of Rajagriha, Nalanda in Bihar represents a glitzy visage of Indian renaissance. A hot seat of knowledge and learning, Nalanda boast of a rich culture and tradition that has gained accolades world wide. Established in the 5th century, the ancient University of Nalanda flourished under the patronage of the various rulers. This tiny village was the favourite place of Lord Buddha and Mahavira who had lived here for several years.

There is a fabulous legend behind the name Nalanda, which narrates how this village got its name. It goes like this that the place where the monastery was going to be constructed was the abode of a serpent and while digging the foundation the serpent got injured. The clairvoyants of that time observed that the monastery that would have been constructed in that place would be renowned for a long. Later this Monastery turned to be a great institution of knowledge, whose unparallel credentials gave it a unique seat in the entire history of the nation.

To the outside world, Nalanda still beckons the remains of this residential school of bygone eras. But it is not just the remnants of a great institution that Nalanda offers to its visitors. Apart from the ramparts of ancient monuments and Buddhist shrines, this historic place offers some of the popular pilgrim centers and holy spots on your Bihar tour package.

A place that carries the rich history, tradition and culture of a great nation Nalanda proffers some unique experience to the visitors. A visit to this tiny hamlet is just like going back to the ancient times. While roaming through the ramparts of stupas, monasteries and viharas one would feel they are walking through the doorsteps of various centuries. It is a must visit place for those who are proud of being a part of such a great culture and interested in knowing the colourful incidents of the past.
To visit and experience Bihar hassle-free, view Bihar tour packages.

Travel News

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Bihar's Buddhist Circuit to Get a Big Tourism Boost

   Jan 25, 2012 05:52 PM
Bihar’s Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has many plans to revamp the Buddhist tourism circuit in the state. Read on to know more on what are the Chief Minister’s plans to boost tourism in the state…

History


The history of Nalanda goes back to the times of Lord Mahavira and Lord Buddha in the 6th century. Various legends have been associated with the evolution of the name ‘Nalanda’. While some believe the name to have been derived from the terms ‘Nalam’ meaning ‘Lotus’ and ‘da’ that means ‘to give’, Hieun Tsang in his documents has suggested a ‘naga’ to have been the inspiration behind the name of the city. Nalanda is also famed for being the birthplace of Sariputra, an important follower of Lord Buddha.

Nalanda has been an important center for Buddhism point of view, as Lord Buddha is said to have visited it many times. Various memoirs of Chinese travellers Hieun Tsang and Fi Han confirm them to have been a student at the then Nalanda University, which is the first university of its kind in the world.

Emperor King Asoka, a great patron of Buddha is also closely associated with Nalanda. He is said to have built many temples here. It was during this time, i.e. 2nd century B.C. that the renowned alchemist and philosopher Nagarjuna studied and taught here.

However, not much of the history from the Asoka time has been restored. The Guptas ruled here in the 5th century. The city was also an important part in the kingdom of Mauryan king Harshavarshan, who ruled here from 606 to 647 A.D. The present day Nalanda was established on 6th November 1972, when it was declared as an independent district with headquarters at Bihar Sharif.

Travel within city


Nalanda is small ancient town in Bihar known for its numerous ruins. The nearest train station is at Bihar Sharif which is located around 35 km from the town. Nalanda itself has a small station however the train connectivity is limited. The best option is to hire taxis from the Bihar Sharif and they cost around Rs 200. The best way to get around the ruins is also by cabs. There are jeeps and auto rickshaws also running from the station to the town. They are cheap and are easily available. However auto rickshaws may not be a good option for long distance rides.

Bus


Nalanda Bus Terminus is connected to other parts of Bihar and there are auto rickshaws available from the main gate. They are usually non-metered and charge around Rs 50 to reach the town center.

Taxi/Jeep


The best option to travel around the town and visit the ruins is to hire taxis and jeeps. They can be found in stands in and around the town. They charge approximately Rs 750 per day and may not include driver charges.

On Foot


Getting around the ancient University ruins is possible only on foot, as vehicles are not allowed. Walking around the ruins might be tiring but it is the best option.

Hotels


You can find 1 hotels in Nalanda under following categories:
Comments (2) Reviews (0)
like nalanda
Posted by rajeev kumar 3 year, 38 days ago
I am santosh kumar verma. I have seen old glorious university closely. If it not destroyed India would be in front of world. Rammandir and so more famous & glorious places are ruined by Aggressive Muslim. It shows that muslim don't want to see happiness in hindu society.
Posted by Santosh kumar verma 4 year, 9 months ago

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