5 must-visit places in Nalanda, Bihar

Once a learning centre, Nalanda is renowned for its Buddhist sites and monuments and was once visited by monks and travellers from all over the world. On your Nalanda sightseeing trip, you will also view various historic stupas, monasteries, temples and chaityas that were built by Gupta Kings Ashoka and Harshavardhana.

Here are 5 must-visit places in Nalanda, Bihar


1. Nalanda University

Situated in South Bihar, Nalanda University is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Known historically as Nalanda Mahavira, this university is regarded as one of the oldest in the world, having been founded in the third century. Situated around 85 kilometres from Patna, this university is widely recognized as one of the best and most ancient in history.

2. Hiuen Tsang Memorial Hall

The Hiuen Tsang Memorial Hall was established in memory of the Chinese scholar in the same place where he was believed to have lived for over 12 years during his stay in the nation. The memorial hall houses the scholar’s works on his observations of medieval India, which serve as the foundation for much of our knowledge of that time.

3. The Great Stupa

This stupa, which is located amongst the ruins of Nalanda University, was constructed by Ashoka in honour of Sariputra during the third century. After the seven accretions, this structure looks like a pyramid and is flanked by flights of steps and magnificent sculptures.

4. Surya Mandir

This temple, dedicated to the Sun God, is located near Nalanda University and has shrines to a variety of Buddhist and Hindu deities. The temple also has a five-foot-tall idol of Goddess Parvati. This temple hosts the renowned Chatth Puja twice a year, which is much anticipated.

5. Pawapuri

One of the top attractions in Nalanda is Pawari, a sacred site for Jains, which is located in the Bihar district of Nalanda. Lord Mahavir is said to have been buried here about 500 BC, which is why this Nalanda tourist destination is significant. The sacred pond at the site is important, having been formed by removing a layer of soil while collecting the Lord’s ashes.