Short Paragraph on Nalanda | Bihar

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The site of Nalanda is located in Bihar, about 55 miles south east of Patna, and was a Buddhist center of learning from 427 to 1197 CE. It has been called “one of the first great universities in recorded history.”


The Buddha is mentioned as having several times stayed at Nalanda.

When he visited Nalanda he would usually reside in Pavarika’s mango grove, and while there he had discussions with Upali- Gahapati and Dighatapassi, with Kevatta, and also several conversations with Asibandhakaputta.

The Buddha visited Nalanda during his last tour through Magadha, and it was there that Sariputta uttered his “lion’s roar,” affirming his faith in the Buddha, shortly before his death. The road from Rajagaha to Nalanda passed through Ambalatthika, and from Nalanda it went on to Pataligama.

Between Rajagaha and Nalanda was situated the Bahuputta cetiya. According to the Kevatta Sutta, in the Buddha’s time Nalanda was already an influential and prosperous town, thickly populated, though it was not until later that it became the centre of learning for which it afterwards became famous.


There is a record in the Samyutta Nikaya, of the town having been the victim of a severe famine during the Buddha’s time. Sariputta, the right hand disciple of the Buddha, was born and died in Nalanda. Nalanda was the residence of Sonnadinna.

Mahavira is several times mentioned as staying at Nalanda, which was evidently a centre of activity of the Jains. Mahavira is believed to have attained Moksha at Pavapuri, which is located in Nalanda (also according to one sect of Jainism he was born in the nearby village called Kundalpur.) King Asoka (250 BC) is said to have built a stupa in the memory of Sariputta. According to Tibetan sources, Nagarjuna taught here.

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