Xuan Zang's alma mater in India reopens 800 years later
Updated: 2014-09-02 11:05
The ancient ruins of Nalanda Temple in India. [Photo/youth.cn]
Nalanda University in Bihar, India, where Xuan Zang, an eminent Chinese Buddhist monk, studied Buddhism, reopens on Monday, about 800 years after it was razed.
According to Hindustan Times, the new university was built near the ruins of the ancient seat of learning in Bihar and will start with seven faculty members and 15 students.
The 15 students were chosen from among more than 1,000 people from 40 countries who had sought admission to the new university. It is said that the university plans to have seven schools for postgraduate and doctoral students by 2020.
Nalanda, which boasted a longer history than Harvard and Cambridge, was a centre of excellence not only for philosophy and Buddhism but also for literature and mathematics. At its peak the university accommodated over 10,000 students and 2,000 teachers.
It also attracted intellectuals from around the world, including Chinese scholar Xuan Zang, a monk who made a 17-year journey to carry Buddhist teachings from India to China. He studied there in the seventh century, and left behind an impressive and detailed account of the university.
Nalanda was razed to the ground by Turkish invaders in 1193 AD. In 2006, China, India, Singapore, Japan and Thailand announced a plan to revive the university. It was backed by the East Asia Summit, including South East Asian countries and Australia. China provided $1 million for the construction.
The resurrection of the ancient center of learning got off the ground in 2010 when India's Parliament passed a bill approving plans to rebuild the campus.