Who was the Founder of Nalanda University?

By BYJU'S Exam Prep

Updated on: November 14th, 2023

Kumargupta was the founder of Nalanda University. He founded the university in the 5th Century AD. Nalanda University was established in 427 AD in northeastern India, close to Nepal’s southern border, and lasted until 1197. While it primarily focused on teaching Buddhism, fine arts, medicine, mathematics, astronomy, politics, and battle education. Alexander Cunningham first recognized the location of Nalanda University in the 1860s.

Who founded Nalanda University?

One of the first universities in the world, Nalanda University, was established by Kumaragupta of the Gupta dynasty. Many kings and scholars contributed to it as well. The facility included 10 temples, 8 distinct compounds, meditation rooms, classrooms, lakes, and parks. In its nine-story library, monks copied books and other materials so that each scholar can have their collections.

At its peak, the University housed 10,000 students in dorms, which may have been a first for an educational institution, along with 2,000 professors. Only a small portion of the site has been explored thus far, and many of the ruins are hidden beneath present-day settlements, making their discovery doubtful.

Important Facts about Nalanda University:

Nalanda served as a major learning center in Bihar, India, from 427 to 1197. According to some archaeological accounts, the Nalanda University founder was a king by the name of Shakraditya.

  • The Nalanda University was founded by Mahayana monks Asnaga and Vasubandhu.
  • Chinese Pilgrim Hiuen Tsang visited during Harsha’s reign have mentioned Nalanda University.
  • The primary teaching focus was Mahayana Buddhism, but other secular subjects like grammar, logic, epistemology, and sciences.
  • Dharmapala founded Vikramshila University and revived Nalanda University.

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