Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Nalanda university as related by Hiuen-Tsang

Established in 5th century AD, Nalanda was a famous university of ancient India. During the rule of Harsha, the fame of university reached far and wide. Under the Pala ruler Dharampal, the glory of the university reached its zenith. The renowned Chinese traveler Hiuen-Tsang who came to India during the rule of Harshvardhan and studied at Nalanda, has mentioned the Nalanda university in glowing terms. From his accounts it can be said that the university was a great centre of education and was famous even in far-off countries. According to Hiuen-Tsang, the number of students at the university was ten thousand and the faculty consisted of great minds drawn from different parts of India.

Separate buildings were used for the study of the students. Some buildings had the sitting capacity of ten thousand students. The library of the university was very big and consisted of three buildings, one of them nine storied.

Admission to Nalanda university was a tough affair. The rules of the university were tough and had to be obeyed. Students were not required to pay any fee. The expenses of the university were met by the donations given by the rulers and the rich.


  1. Take it forward to modern times, we seem to have degraded our institutions and respect for these institutions and scholarship in our society. Nalanda was a huge university. Must have taken considerable finance to run and all was contributed by the rulers and the rich. US universities do take donations, many of our institutions have started seeking donations from alumni and industry houses.But running a great university only on grants and donations and with out charging any fee from the students is a huge positive for the society of that times respect for scholarship.

  2. How many year hiuentsang lived at nalanda university



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