News about the world of books and publishing from India
Monday, September 13, 2010
Nalanda University to rise from ashes
Indian academics have long dreamt of resurrecting Nalanda University, one of the world's oldest seats of learning which has lain in ruins for 800 years since being razed by foreign invaders.
Now the chance of intellectual life returning to Nalanda has come one step closer after the parliament in New Delhi last month passed a bill approving plans to re-build the campus as a symbol of India's global ambitions.
Historians believe that the university, in the eastern state of Bihar, once catered for 10,000 students and scholars from across Asia, studying subjects ranging from science and philosophy to literature and mathematics.
Founded in the third century, it gained an international reputation before being sacked by Turkic soldiers and its vast library burnt down in 1193 -- when Oxford University was only just coming into existence.
Piles of red bricks and some marble carvings are all that remain at the site, 55 miles (90 kilometres) from Bihar's state capital of Patna.