An ancient seat of learning, Nalanda is the site of the ruins of the world's most ancient university which is 62 km from Bodhgaya and 90 km south of Patna. The Buddha visited Nalanda several times during his lifetime. Hieun Tsang stayed here in the 7th century AD and left detailed description of the excellence of education system and purity of monastic life practiced here
Formed by two words Nalam meaning lotus and da meaning to give, there is also a belief that a Chinese Buddhist monk left detailed descriptions about how a serpent was the inspiration behind the name of the city.
In this first residential international university of the world, 2,000 teachers and 10,000 monks students from all over the Buddhist world lived and studied here A famed center of learning in the ancient era, only ruins of the university remain today and much of what is known is through the writings of Hieun Tsang .
The Great Stupa, the Nalanda Archaeological Museum and the Nalanda Multimedia Museum are the other attractions in Nalanda. With a host of several stupas, monasteries, temples and chaityas built by the Gupta Kings, Ashoka and Harshadhana, Nalanda is a rare combination of outstanding achievements in institution-building, site-planning, art, and architecture, Nalanda symbolized the multiplicity of knowledge production, the innovative processes of the organized transmission of ideas through education, and a shared heritage of people living in multiple regions of Asia.