Systematic excavations commenced in 1915 which unearthed eleven monasteries and six brick temples neatly arranged on grounds 12 hectares (30 acres) in area.
) was an acclaimed Mahavihara, a large Buddhist monastery in the ancient kingdom of Magadha (modern-day Bihar) in India.
The site is located about 95 kilometres (59 mi) southeast of Patna near the town of Bihar Sharif, and was a centre of learning from the fifth century CE to The liberal cultural traditions inherited from the Gupta age resulted in a period of growth and prosperity until the ninth century.
Gautama Buddha too is said to have delivered lectures in a nearby mango grove named Pavarika and one of his two chief disciples, Shariputra, was born in the area and later attained nirvana there.
This traditional association with Mahavira and Buddha tenuously dates the existence of the village to at least the 5th–6th century BCE.
Many of the names listed by Xuanzang in his travelogue as products of Nalanda are the names of those who developed the philosophy of Mahayana.
All students at Nalanda studied Mahayana as well as the texts of the eighteen (Hinayana) sects of Buddhism.
He also places 3rd-century CE luminaries such as the Mahayana philosopher, Nagarjuna, and his disciple, Aryadeva, at Nalanda with the former also heading the institution.
Taranatha also mentions a contemporary of Nagarjuna named Suvishnu building 108 temples at the location.
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