Demand for Nalanda Varsity in UNESCO heritage list

The inclusion of the state’s ancient Nalanda site in the list will attract more tourists, opined Bihar CM Nitish Kumar

Patna: Bihar Chief Minister, Nitish Kumar, has demanded the inclusion of the ruins of the state’s ancient Nalanda University in UNESCO’s list of World Heritage Sites.

The Centre should make an earnest effort to include Nalanda sites in the UNESCO list, said the CM at a function here.

We strongly feel that the inclusion will attract more tourists, especially foreigners, he added.

The excavated site of the ancient university in Nalanda district is a place of national importance. Built in the fifth century, the university was home to more than 10,000 students and about 2,000 teachers.

Named after the Sanskrit term for ‘giver of knowledge’, the university existed until 1197 and attracted students and scholars from countries like South Korea, Japan, China, Tibet, Indonesia, Persia (now Iran) and Turkey.

The varsity was devoted to Buddhist studies, and also conducted studies and training in fine arts, medicine, mathematics, astronomy, politics and the art of war.

In 1193, the university was ransacked by an army led by Bhaktiyar Khilji, a Turkish general of Qutb-ud-din-Aibak of the Slave Dynasty, the then ruler of northern India.

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