Nalanda, an ancient Buddhist university, is located about 90 kilometers southeast of Patna. Although its roots can be traced back to the Buddha’s lifetime, the university at Nalanda was founded in the fifth century CE and thrived for the next 700 years. The University complex is 12 hectares in size, and its buildings are made of red bricks. Today, Nalanda is in ruins, but its architectural masterpiece can still be imagined from its ruins. Within the university complex, there were eight separate compounds and ten temples, as well as numerous meditation halls and classrooms.
Nalanda was one of the world’s ancient housing universities, with comfortable accommodations for students and faculty members. Nalanda’s hostels housed approximately 10,001 students and 2001 teachers, and the subjects taught at Nalanda covered every field of learning, including fine arts, medicine, mathematics, astronomy, war tactics, politics, and so on. Many students and teachers came from neighboring countries such as Korea, Japan, China, Tibet, Indonesia, Persia, and Turkey. The Library of Nalanda was the world’s most renowned repository of Buddhist knowledge at the time, with a collection of hundreds of thousands of volumes.
In 1197, Turkic invader Bakhtiyar Khilji destroyed Nalanda. Nalanda Buddhist University’s great library was so extensive that it is said to have burned for four months after the invaders set fire. According to the Persian historian Minhaj-i-Siraj, thousands of monks were burned alive or killed by the sword as Khilji attempted to uproot Buddhism and plant Islam. In 2006, a proposal was made to restore and revitalize the university as Nalanda International University. And in 2014, the university gets revamped and opened its doors to students again.
Retrace Buddha’s Footsteps with IRCTC Buddhist Circuit Train
Buddhism is one of the oldest religions in the world and is practiced by millions worldwide today. Whether you are looking for spiritual enlightenment or want to explore some awe-inspiring structures, going on a Buddhist pilgrimage is an experience like no other.
IRCTC Buddhist Circuit Tourist Train is the ideal way to explore the ancient and venerable sites of Nalanda. With its state-of-the-art care and comfort, you will embark on a journey that will give you a new perspective on life.
Nalanda is full of architectural and historical structures. Here are some of the Buddhist places you can visit on your Nalanda tour to make your trip unforgettable.
You can explore the Nalanda ruins, which house one of the world’s largest monasteries. Nalanda was a mahavihara and a large Buddhist monastery listed on the Nalanda Buddhist Tourism list as one of the most important places to visit. The university spanned 12 hectares and was considered a magnum opus of architecture. It comprises ten temples, eight separate compounds, classrooms, meditation halls, parks, and lakes. Dormitories housed scholars and teachers from all over the world. It was a wellspring of knowledge and wisdom, with text collections on medicine, astronomy, logic, astrology, and literature, making it an unmissable stop on a Buddhist tour of Nalanda. You can also see a 91-meter-high vihara containing a Buddha statue and a sangharama built by one of Kumaragupta Baladitya’s successors.
The Sariputta Stupa is one of the most visible structures among the Nalanda ruins. It was a location where Lord Buddha was thought to have attained salvation. It is an impressive structure that towers above the entire complex and is surrounded by pillared structures.
Hiuen Tsang Memorial Hall
Hieun Tsang Memorial Hall was built in memory of Hieun Tsang, a famous Chinese traveler. He traveled to India to study Buddhism and mysticism. He attributed all of his knowledge and patience to his teachers. The memorial hall is an important part of Nalanda Buddhist Travel because it contains 224 books on sutras, 67 on Sarvastivada, 192 shastras, and some relics that help people learn about Buddhism.
Surya Temple was built in honor of the God Sun. The temple’s main attractions are several statues of Buddha and Hindu gods, but the five-foot-tall statue of Goddess Parvati stands out among them. Chatt Puja, which is held twice a year, brings the temple to life.
Nalanda Museum was founded in 1971. The museum houses ancient relics from Nalanda Buddhist University and provides insight into ancient Nalanda culture. The museum contains a wide range of artifacts, from statues to other art displays, specifically Pala Art. At the museum, there are statues engraved in basalt stone and others made of stucco, bronze, stone, and terracotta.
Disclaimer: All information provided on this website is in good faith. While we endeavor to keep the information up to date and correct, we suggest everyone refer to the official website www.irctcbuddhisttrain.com for updated packages and offers.
You can plan to visit Nalanda between October to March when the weather is pleasant and suitable for sightseeing.
According to Buddhist texts, Lord Buddha’s death is considered Mahaparinirvan - ‘nirvana after death’. Parinirvan is thought to be liberation from Samara, karma, and the endless cycle of death and rebirth.
Buddhist Circuit, also known as The Dharmayatra or the Sacred Circuit, takes you to retrace Buddha’s Footsteps in Bodhgaya - Rajgir - Nalanda - Varanasi - Sarnath - Khushinagar - Lumbini - Sravasti.
IRCTC has provided many facilities aboard the Buddhist Circuit Train. The facilities include;
- Fully AC Train
- CCTV Cameras on the train
- Security Guard in each coach
- Mini Library
- On-board Hygienic Kitchen
- 2 Fine Dine On-board Restaurants
- Foot Massager with Sofa
- Separate Sitting Area
- Fully equipped Bathrooms
You can book Buddhist Circuit Tour at www.irctcbuddhisttrain.com. Click 'book now’ & fill in all the details per your preference. Use the Guest login or IRCTC account login to fill in passenger details & complete the booking by making payment.
The most comfortable and convenient way to explore the life of Buddha and travel to Gautama Buddha places is through IRCTC Buddhist Circuit Train. The train takes you on an 8-day journey to all the places related to the life of the enlighted one, Buddha. You can book your journey at www.irctcbuddhisttrain.com