Study Notes On Ancient Universities Of India Part-2

By Sakshi Ojha|Updated : March 2nd, 2023

Here we are posting the second part of Ancient Indian Universities notes. This is the most important section in Higher Education for Paper-1.




Pushpagiri University

  • Pushpagiri located in ancient Kalinga, present-day Odisha.
  • It is older than Nalanda University.
  • The university spreads across three adjoining hills- Lalitgiri, Ratnagiri and Udayagiri.
  • It was an ancient Buddhist Mahavihara or monastic complex located atop Langudi Hill.
  • It is mentioned in the writings of Xuanzang, a Chinese traveller.
  • The visit of Xuanzang shows that the Pushpagiri was an important Buddhist site in ancient India.
  • It flourished between the 3rd and 11th centuries CE

Odantpuri University

  • Odantapuri University was set up in Odantapuri, Bihar.
  • It was a Buddhist Mahavihara.
  • It was founded by the Pala Emperor Gopala I in the 8th century.
  • It is considered the second oldest of India's Mahaviharas after Nalanda University.
  • The university attracted students from far and near areas but it could not get the status or fame that was attained by Nalanda or Vikramshila.
  • Subject taught ranged from Buddhism to Vedic scriptures.
  • The prominent personality of this University was Acharya Sri Ganga of Vikramshila.

Vikramshila University.

  • Vikramashila and Nalanda University are the two most important centres of learning in India during the Pala Empire.
  • It is located in  Antichak village, Bhagalpur district in Bihar.
  • It was founded by the Pala emperor Dharmapala (783-820 AD).
  • The main reason for founding Vikramshila University was the decline in quality scholarship at Nalanda.
  • The learning centre also housed several temples.
  • Subject taught were Logic, Philosophy, Vyakaran, Karamkanada, Shastra and more.
  • It prospered for about four centuries before it was destroyed by Bakhtiyar Khilji along with the other major centres of Buddhism in India around 1193.
  • Vikramashila is known to us mainly through Tibetan sources, especially the writings of Tāranātha, the Tibetan monk historian of the 16th–17th centuries.

Somapura University

  • Somapura Mahavihara located in Paharpur, Badalgachhi Upazila, Naogaon District, Bangladesh.
  • It was designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1985.
  • It was established by Pala king Dharmapala in the late 7th century.
  • Subject taught ranged from Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism.
  • It flourished for more than 400 years till 12th century.
  • Xuanzang, a Chinese scholar resided at the Somapura Mahavihara (the largest university in ancient India).
  • The earliest form of the Bengali language began to emerge during the eighth century.

Bikrampur Unversity

  • Bikrampur Vihara is located at Raghurampur village, Bikrampur, Munshiganj District in Bangladesh.
  • It is one built by Dharmapala in the late 7th century.
  • The university has a connection to  Atiśa, an important figure in Tibetan Buddhism.
  • During the time of Atiśa, Bikrampur University was the centre of Buddhist education.
  • Some 8,000 students and professors came to study here as far as China, Tibet, Thailand, and Nepal.

Jagadalla University

  • Jagaddala Mahavihara is presently located in North Bengal, Bangladesh.
  • It was a Buddhist monastery.
  • It was founded by the Rampala, ruler of the Pāla dynasty(c. 1077-1120).
  • The subject taught ranged from Sanskrit, Vajrayana Buddhism.
  • Also, a large number of Tibetan sacred texts were composed at Jadaddala university.

Nadia University

  • It is located at the confluence of Ganga and Jalangi rivers in Bengal.
  • It was set up after the destruction of Takshashila and Nalanda University.
  • Subject taught were Logic, Politics, Law and Vyakaran.
  • Prominent scholar produced from this university was Jaideva who composed Gita Govind.

Nagarjuna Vidyapeeth

  • It is ancient University located on the banks of the Krishna river.
  • It is named after famous Buddhist scholar Nagarjuna.
  • Archaeological evidence suggests that the university and its library flourished within the 7th century.
  • Subject taught ranged from medicine, mineralogy, geography, science to philosophy and teachings of Buddhism

We hope you all understood the Ancient Universities of India for Paper-1.

Thank you,

Team BYJU'S Exam Prep.


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