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Nalanda is an old city built during the 5th century AD. It is situated at a distance of 90 km from Patna, the capital city of Bihar and 62 km away from Bodhgaya. Despite being possessing the honor of having the oldest ancient University, it is also abound with the historical importance of ancient India. This land of Nalanda was a learning center of Buddhism during the fifth to the twelfth century AD. Huen Tsang the Chinese scholar and traveler gave an account of Nalanda being the perfect environment for education. Nalanda bears the record of being the first international university with strength of 2000 teachers and 10000 learners.
The university of Nalanda was founded in the 6th century AD since the time of Lord Buddha and Lord Mahavira. Nalanda was an ancient famous university place of historical importance. It is known to be the first residential university of monks' establishment. It was a territory of Rajgir in ancient times. The explanation of the name of Nalanda goes as Nalam meaning "Lotus" and Da meaning "to impart". In contraction it literally means imparting knowledge. Nalanda was also a frequent visiting place for both Lord Buddha and Lord Mahavira. A source of ancient record states that the philosophers, alchemist, and nagarjuna of 2nd century taught and studied in the temple built by King Ashoka.
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Nalanda University
At Nalanda, the world's first seat of higher learning, an university, was established during the Gupta period. It continued as a seat of learning till the middle ages, when the Muslim invaders burned it down. The ruins are a protected monument and a popular tourist spot. A museum and a learning center- The Nava Nalanda Mahavira - are located here. Nearby, Rajgir, was capital of the Muaryan Empire during the reign of Bimbisara. It was frequently visited by Lord Buddha and Lord Mahavira. There are many Buddhist ruins here. It is also well-known for its many hot-springs which, like similar hot-springs elsewhere in the world, are reputed to have medicinal property.
The glorious history of Bihar lasted till around the middle of the 7th or 8th century A.D. - the Gupta Period - when, with the conquest of almost all of northern India by invaders from the middle-east, the Gupta dynasty also fell a victim. In medieval times Bihar lost its prestige as the political and cultural center of India. The Mughal period was a period of unremarkable provincial administration from Delhi. The only remarkable person of these times in Bihar was Sher Shah, or Sher Khan Sur, an Afghan. Based at Sasaram, which is now a town in the district of the same name in central-western Bihar, this jagirdar of the Mughal King Babur was successful in defeating Humayun, the son of Babur, twice - once at Chausa and then, again, at Kannauj (in the present state of Uttar Pradesh or U.P.)
Through his conquest, Sher Shah became the ruler of a territory that, again, extended all the way to the Punjab. He was noted as a ferocious warrior but also a noble administrator - in the tradition of Ashok and the Gupta kings. Several acts of land reform are attributed to him. The remains of a grand mausoleum that he built for himself can be seen in today's Sasaram (Sher Shah's maqbara.)
During most of British India, Bihar was a part of the Presidency of Bengal, and was governed from Calcutta. As such, this was a territory very much dominated by the people of Bengal. All leading educational and medical centers were in Bengal. In spite of the unfair advantage that Bengalis possessed, some sons of Bihar rose to positions of prominence, by dint of their intelligence and hard labor. One such was Rajendra Prasad, native of Ziradei, in the district of Saran. He became the first President of the Republic of India. And today, Bihar is a part of independent India just like any other state.
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Visit by Road -There is excellent road network that covers Nalanda. Important destinations and cities like, Patna, Bodhgaya, Rajgir, Delhi, Kolkata are linked to Nalanda by road network.
Visit by Air - the nearest airport from Nalanda is Patna which is just 90kms away from Nalanda. Patna being the capital of Bihar, Regular flights operated by several public and private airlines connect Patna to cities like: Delhi, Kolkata.
Visit by Rail -The nearest railhead is Bakhtiyarpur, only 38Kms away from Nalanda. It falls on the Delhi-Howrah (Kolkata) main line. Several important trains connect this railway station to several major places in India.

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