Study Notes On Ancient Universities Of India Part-1

By Sakshi Ojha|Updated : March 2nd, 2023

Ancient Universities are the most important part of Higher Education for Paper-1. Always expect 1-2 questions from this topic. Today, we are posting the first part of Ancient Universities of India. Please also check the second part.




1. Taxila university

  • It is one of the renowned ancient university located in the city of Taxila.
  • The information about Taxila is first given from Valmiki Ramayana
  • Gandhara is presently situated in Rawalpindi district of Pakistan.
  • It is particularly known for science, especially medicine.
  • Both religious and secular subjects along with archery and astrology were taught.
  • Jataka tales of Buddhist literature mention about taxila university.
  • It is believed that over 10,000 students from China, Babylon, Syria and Greece in addition to Indian students studied there.

Prominent personalities studies in this place were:

  1. Grammarian Panini
  2. Physician Charaka
  3. Mauryan emperor Chandragupta
  4. Katuliya

2. Mithila University

  • Mithila is a geographical and cultural region of the Indian subcontinent bounded by the Mahananda River in the east, the Ganges in the south, the Gandaki River in the west and by the foothills of the Himalayas in the north.
  • It comprises certain parts of Bihar and Jharkhand and some part of eastern Terai of Nepal.
  • The university taught literature and fine arts, science subjects, the scriptures including the Vedas, Nyaya shastra and more.
  • Gangesha Upadhyaya, a 12th-century Indian Mathematician founded a school of new logic (Navya-Nyaya) at this site.
  • Two subjects that became popular in this university were Nyaya(jurisprudence) and Tarka Shastra (Logic).

3. Telhara University

  • Telhara is a village in the Nalanda district of Bihar, India.
  • It was the site of a Buddhist monastery in ancient India.
  • It is located near to Nalanda University.
  • Telhara could be ‘Tilas-akiya’ or ‘Tiladhak’, the place where Chinese traveller Hiuen Tsang visited and wrote about during his travels through India in 7th century AD.
  • Telhara University was older than Nalanda and Vikramshila university.

4. Sharadha Peeth Temple university

  • It is a cultural site and ancient temple located in the Pakistan-occupied Kashmir region.
  • It is believed that it was established in 237 B.C during the reign of Emperor Ashoka.
  • Some accounts view that, this was established to contain the religious and political influence of Buddhism.
  • Texts written by Panini and other grammarians were stored in this place.
  • Therefore, it is regarded as one of the major centres of higher learning of Vedic scriptures and commentaries.
  • Prominent ancient scholars studies in this university were:
  • Kalhana, a historian who wrote Rajtarangini, a history book on Kashmir.
  • Philosopher Adi Shankara who consolidated the doctrine of Advaita Vedanta.
  • Kumarajiva, a Buddhist scholar and translator.

5. Nalanda University

  • It is the most prominent ancient centre of learning.
  • It s located on the ancient kingdom of Magadha, Bihar.
  • Kumaragupta I, a Gupta emperor is founder of Nalanda University.
  • It attracted students from 
  • Tibet, China, Grece and Persia.
  • The entrance exam was conducted for admission.
  • Education was provided free of cost.
  • Subject taught ranged from Mahayana Buddhism, the Vedas, Logic, Sanskirt Grammar to medicine, Samkhya and more subjects.
  • Bakhtiyar khilji destroyed the Nalanda university in 1193 A.D.

6. Vallabhi University

  • It was an important centre of Buddhist learning.
  • It championed the cause of Hinayana Buddhism between 600-1200 CE.
  • Valabhi was the capital of the Maitraka empire during the period 480-775 CE.
  • Apart from religious sciences, courses offered include:
  • Nīti (Political Science, Statesmanship)
  • Vārtā (Business, Agriculture)
  • Administration
  • Theology
  • Law
  • Economics and Accountancy

Click here for Part-2

We hope you all understood the above given Ancient Universities for Paper-1.

Thank you,

Team BYJU'S Exam Prep.


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