Who Was the Founder of Nalanda University?

By Manesh Singh|Updated : July 24th, 2022

The Nalanda University was founded in the 5th Century AD by Kumar Gupta. Nalanda University was established in 427 in northeastern India, close to what is now Nepal's southern border, and it lasted until 1197. While it was primarily focused on teaching Buddhism, it also provided education in fine arts, medicine, mathematics, astronomy, politics, and the art of battle.

The facility included 10 temples, 8 distinct compounds, meditation rooms, classrooms, lakes, and parks. In its nine-story library, monks painstakingly copied books and other materials so that each scholar may 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.

Important Facts of Nalanda University:

Nalanda served as a major learning center in Bihar, India, from 427 to 1197. According to some archaeological accounts, the founder of Nalanda University was a king by the name of Shakraditya. The experts identify Kumaragupta-I, a Gupta monarch whose coin was found at Nalanda in the fifth century CE, as 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 the Nalanda University.

Over 9 million manuscripts were destroyed in a massive fire, and the institution was looted by the Muslim invader Bakhtiyar Khalji at the start of the 12th century. The eminent archaeologist Alexander Cunningham first recognized the location as the Nalanda University in the 1860s, and the Archeological Survey of India launched excavations at the site in 1915–1916. 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.

Summary:

Who Was the Founder of Nalanda University?

One of the first universities in the world, Nalanda University, was established by Kumargupta I of the Gupta dynasty in the 5th century in Nalanda. Many kings contributed to it, including King Harshavardhana of Kannauj (7th century CE), the Pala dynasties (8th – 12th century CE), and numerous scholars. The University's curricula included courses in philosophy, religion, logic, astronomy, mathematics, and medicine.

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Founder of Nalanda University FAQs

  • The founder of Nalanda University was Kumargupta I, a Gupta dynasty king. The University is situated in Bihar, Nalanda.

  • The Dharmapala revived the Nalanda University. He founded Vikarmshila University.

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