Nalanda Mahavira

Nalanda symbolized the multiplicity of knowledge production, the innovative processes of the organized transmission of ideas through education, and a shared heritage of people living in multiple regions of Asia. It comprises the archaeological remains of a monastic and scholastic institution dating from the 3rd century BCE to the 13th century CE. It includes stupas, shrines, viharas (residential and educational buildings) and important art works in stucco, stone and metal. Nalanda stands out as the most ancient university of the Indian Subcontinent. It engaged in the organized transmission of knowledge over an uninterrupted period of 800 years. The historical development of the site testifies to the development of Buddhism into a religion and the flourishing of monastic and educational traditions. The ancient Nalanda University was a major Mahavihara or a large Buddhist monastery that also doubled up as an important center of learning from the 5th to 1200 AD in the erstwhile kingdom of Magadh. Nalanda is a rare combination of outstanding achievements in institution-building, site-planning, art and architecture.