Sunday, December 09, 2012

Visit to the Nalanda University Ruins

Personally, 2012 among other things has been a year of adding new travel destinations. (An entire 2012 wrap-up blog post will be coming up later).

After the previous one to Goa, here is a little photoblog of a visit to the Nalanda University ruins, some 90 kms from Patna, the capital of Bihar The ancient unviersity was established in the 5th or 6th century A.D. and was a renowned seat of learning with scholars coming from far an wide. The Budhhist university fell into ruins once it was ransacked by Bakhtiyar Khilji, a Turkish attacker. So all that is standing now are the ruins which are still being excavated. 

Having my roots in the present day Nalanda district, I have been quite ashamed at not having visited the place even once. Although my parents claim that I had but was too small to remember. So as I had no memories of the same, this was my first trip to the place. Here are some picture of the once-great-university. The destruction of the Nalanda university certainly took away lots of our intellectual & cultural heritage. Hopefully the Nalanda Open University being built not too far from the site would be better able to preserve the intellectual wealth.

A beginning can be made by preserving this sign first

Dormitories for the students

Another view of the hostels

The Great Library

Inside the corridors of "learning"

Another view of the Library

A headless statue of Buddha

The Great Bell of Peace with inscriptions in many languages

Overall, a nicely maintained place
The place was nice and relatively quite clean, lots of greenery around. Already amajor truist attraction, it certainly has potential to become even more attractive. All that is required is a little more marketing. But before that infrastructure should be built to be able to handle the large amounts of tourists coming in.

Coming up next - A visit to Rajgir, the ancient Magadh capital.