Travel Guide Nalanda

Attractions in Nalanda

Nalanda University
Ruins of Nalanda University - Spread over an area of 14 hectares of land, the university was built in the Kushana style of architecture, but the impact of the Pala dynasty is widely evident throughout. Over two thousand teachers and ten thousand students crowded its portals. Kings and Emperors built Monasteries here. There was a college of fine arts which was endowed by the Gupta Emperor Kumaragupta. The remains excavated at Nalanda reveals Stupas, a large stairway, decorated panels, lecture halls, dormitories for the monks and students, and metal idols of the Buddha. The main monuments found

at Nalanda are the Viharas or Monasteries, Chaityas, Stupas, Votive or Commemorative. There are remains of temples with high standard of sculpture depicting household scenes, dancers, and floral motifs.

Hiuen Tsang Memorial Hall - This Hall is said to have been built in the memory of Hiuen Tsang, a Chinese traveler who came to India in around 5th century AD. Hiuen Tsang was attracted by the glory of Nalanda University and stayed there for 12 years both as a student and as a teacher.

Surya Mandir - The Surya Mandir is a temple near the University dedicated to the Sun God. This temple has a number of statues of Hindu and Buddhist deities. A five feet high statue of Parvati is particularly interesting.

The Museum - The Nalanda museum was established in 1971 and has a vast collection of ancient manuscripts and Buddhist statues. The manuscripts kept here were found during the excavation of the area and many of them are rare in appearance and style. The museum also exhibits artifacts of the Maurya, Gupta and other periods.

Nav Nalanda Vihar -
The Nav Nalanda Vihar was established in 1951 to keep the ancient tradition of spreading knowledge alive. The Bihar government has set up this institute that teaches Pali near the ancient university. In the institute, Indian as well as foreign students study and indulge in research work on Buddhism and Pali, which was a widely used language in the ancient times.

Kundalpur - Kundalpur is situated just 1.6 kms from the ruins of Nalanda. The Digambar sect of the Jains believes that the 24th and the last Tirthankara, Lord Mahavira was born here. As such, this place is full of beautifully carved Jain temples.

Lauria Nandangarh - Lauria Areraj is an 11.5 m high Ashokan column, erected in 249 BC. The polished sandstone pillar has six edicts on it. Lauria Nandangarh is the site of the famous Lion pillar, erected by king Ashoka. The 8.5 m polished sandstone column also has an edict engraved on it. The Nandangarh stupa, nearby, is believed to house the ashes of the Buddha.

Quick Getaways near Nalanda

Rajgir - Rajgir is around 12 km from Nalanda and a famous pilgrimage center for Hindus, Buddhists, and Jains. Numerous places of interest are to be found here such as the Swarna Gufa, Griddhakuta Parvat, and Vishwa Shanti Stupa etc.

Bihar Sharif - Bihar Sharif, 13 km away is the district headquarters and a core of Islamic architecture. The tomb of Malik Ibrahim Baya is situated here and the annual event of Urs is held here.
Rajgir near Nalanda
Bodh Gaya - Bodh Gaya, the most important Buddhist pilgrimage center is around 50 km away from Nalanda. Here is the Maha Bodhi Temple, monasteries built by the governments of Buddhist countries, and an archeological museum along with several other sites.

Events in Nalanda

Unique in Nalanda is the Chhath Puja, or worship of the Sun god. The most famous one is at the Sun temple in Baragaon near Nalanda, where new paddy, sweets, and fruits are offered in worship.

The Buddha was born, attained enlightenment and attained nirvana, all on the same full moon day of April/May. Thus, Baisakhi Purnima is celebrated as Buddha Jayanti here.

Getting There & Away to Nalanda

Flights to Nalanda
The nearest airport from Nalanda is Patna around 89 km away. There are regular flights from Patna connecting Kolkata, Delhi, Ranchi, Mumbai, Varanasi, Lucknow, and Kathmandu.
Trains to Nalanda
Rajgir 12 km away is the nearest railway station from Nalanda. There are several passenger trains running between Rajgir and Patna daily. The nearest major railway point is Gaya around 65 km away, from where one can take trains for Delhi, Kolkata, Varanasi, and some other major areas in eastern India.
Car and Bus service to Nalanda
Nalanda is connected through a good road network with Rajgir 12 km, Bodh Gaya 50 km, Gaya 65 km, Patna 90 km, Pawapuri 26 km, and Bihar Sharif 13 km.

Getting Around in Nalanda

There are no taxis available in Nalanda. Cycle rickshaws and tongas are the only modes of transport.
                             Nalanda Holiday Packages  

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