Nalanda (Buddhist Pilgrimages )
Built on a hallowed site where the Buddha had often stayed, Nalanda is one of the world's oldest living cities. The Buddhist
University of Nalanda Tour, once the most prestigious center of learning in Asia, was built here. The evocative ruins of its
monasteries and temples still convey a vivid impression of the serene and ordered life of contemplation and learning that
prevailed here. Nalanda is located 14 kms. from Rajgir.
General Information ||
How To Reach ||
Nalanda is located in the eastern Indian state of Bihar. It is well known as the ancient centre of learning which has the
remains of the great Nalanda University and several monasteries and temples. Both Lord Buddha and Mahavira visited this place
and it remained a renowned learning centre till 12th century. Kings of Gupta, Kushan and Palva dynasties were the chief
patrons of the centre, who built several monasteries and temples. The famous Chinese traveller Hieun Tsang studied
here and his documents provide details about the university.
Nalanda University ||
Archaeological Museum ||
Nava Nalanda Mahavihara ||
Hieun Tsang Memorial Hall ||
General Information About Nalanda
Country : India
State : Bihar
Location : Nalanda is located 14 kms. from Rajgir.
Climate Winter : Late October - mid-March, Cool & pleasant Temperatures - 10.6°C-22°C
Monsoon : Late June - September, Moderate rainfall Annual rainfall - 120cms
Summer : April - June, Warm and occasionally very hot. Temperatures - 17.8°C-37.8°C
Best time to visit : October - March when the days are relatively cooler and nights pleasant
Significance : Lord Buddha preached his first sermon.
Languages : English and Hindi
Tourist Offices: Tourist Information Center
Government of Bihar,
Mazharul Haq Path (Fraser Road),
Govt. of India Tourist Office
Beer Chand Patel Marg,
Buddha Jayanti : is celebrated in April to mark the birth, enlightenment and nirvana of Lord Buddha. During this time, Nalanda and the neighbouring regions of Rajgir and Bodhgaya are thronged with tourists from across the countries. A number of rituals and festivities mark the grand celebrations.
Chhath Puja : is a unique celebration here, more so at the neighbouring region of Patna. Celebrated 6 days after Diwali, in mid November, it is the worship of the Sun God, taking place at the several temples, the most famous being in Baragaon near Nalanda. People dress in their fineries and head out to worship the god, and offerings of sweets and fruits are also made.
Tourist Attraction in Nalanda
The Nalanda University Archaeological Complex: This beautiful archeological complex houses some of the best-kept gardens and is divided by a central walkway that goes south to north. Built in typical Kushana style of architecture, all edifices are made of red brick. Do visit the monasteries or "Viharas" located east of the central alley and the temples or "Chaityas" to the west. The Vihara-1 is perhaps the most interesting with its cells on two floors built around a central courtyard with steps leading up. A small chapel still retains a half broken statue of Lord Buddha.
Open from: 9.00 am-5.00 pm
Entry fee – Rs 2
The Nalanda Archaeological Museum: Established in 1971 and located opposite the ruins of the university it has a small but beautiful collection of Buddhist and Hindu bronzes and a number of undamaged statues of Lord Buddha that were unearthed from the area. The museum also houses rare manuscripts, stone inscriptions, coins, copper plates and pottery dating back to the 12th century AD. Two enormous Terracotta Jars belonging to the first century stand intact behind the museum in a shaded enclosure.
Open from: 10.00-17.00 (closed on Friday)
Nava Nalanda Mahavihara: This study and research centre is devoted to the Pali Literature and Buddhism. This internationally acclaimed centre is frequented by students come from across the world keen on gleaning info on Buddhism and the Pali language.
Hieun Tsang Memorial Hall: This memorial hall was built in memory of the famous Chinese traveler Hieun Tsang who came to India during the 5th century AD to study its socio-political conditions. Having stayed here for almost 12 years, he was also a renowned teacher here.
Surajpur Baragaon: This houses a temple dedicated to the Sun God and also has a number of Hindu and Buddhist deities. A 5 ft high statue of Parvati is of particular interest.
How to Reach Nalanda
Airways : Patna, 90 kms away is the closest airport. Hire a bus or cab to visit Nalanda, which can more or less be covered in a day trip.
Railways : Rajgir located 12 kms is the nearest railway station. Gaya is about 65 kms away, from where trains are available to Delhi, Kolkata and Varanasi.
Roadways : Nalanda is best connected by road to Patna and Bodhgaya. Hire a private vehicle or take the Govt. operated buses to reach Nalanda.