Nalanda

Main stupa of Sariputta, Nalanda

Nalanda is in the Bihar state of India and marks the site of the once famous Buddhist university also known as the Nalanda University.

Understand

Nalanda was a Buddhist university established in 450CE, and was the longest running university in Indian history. Among its many notable guests were the Buddha and Mahavira, and at its zenith accommodated over 10,000 students and over 2,000 faculty. However, it was destroyed by Turkish Muslim invaders in 1193, when the students and teachers were massacred and the massive university library was burnt down, and currently all that remains are extensive ruins that are spread over an area of 14 hectares.

Get in

By train

The nearest important station is Bihar Sharif (about 15 km) which is connected to Patna and several other important towns and cities of eastern India. Nalanda itself is a station.

From Patna, you can take the Budhpurnima Express, that departs Patna Junction at 3 in the morning and reaches Nalanda at 4:30 in the morning. Trains running during daytime will typically take three hours for the same trajectory.

By car

Shared jeeps plying the route between Rajgir (15km) and Bihar Sharif (35km) make a stop at the turn off for Nalanda. Rickshaws and other vehicles are available from here to the main gate, a distance of 2KM.

By bus

Bus facilities are available from Patna,Gaya, Bihar Sharif and Rajgir. See the 'Go next' section below for more details.

Get around

The main way to get around Nalanda is by Tonga (horse drawn cart). A trip from the main road (where a bus or jeep will drop you off), up to the university ruins and museum should cost you ₹50 for the whole cart, or ₹10 per person in a shared cart with other people.

See

Eat

There are many roadside stalls near the entrance to the Nalanda historical site an museum. Nothing flash, but samosas and snacks can be bought to sustain you. For a meal, there's a restaurant just down from the ticket office towards the (non-multimedia) museum. There's also a nice Garden Restaurant Run in the Nalanda Multimedia Museum - open peak season.

Drink

Prefer packed drinking water bottles and surely look for a reputed brand.

Sleep

Many visitors to Nalanda prefer to stay in Rajgir as there is a greater choice of accommodation.

Go next

This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Monday, November 16, 2015. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.