Founded in the 5th Century A.D., Nalanda University is known as the ancient seat of learning. 2,000 Teachers and 10,000 Students from all over the Buddhist world lived and studied at Nalanda, the first Residential International University of the World.
History of Nalanda goes back to the days of Mahavira and Buddha in 6th Century B.C. It was the place and nirvana of Sariputra, one of the famous disciples of Buddha. The palace rose into prominence in 5th century A.D. as a great monastic – cum – educational institution for the oriental art and learning in the whole Buddhist world attracting students from distant countries including China. The Galaxy of Luminaries associated with it includes Nagarjuana, Aryadeva, Vasubandhu, Dharmapala, Suvishnu, Asanga, Silabhadra, Dhamaakirti, Shantarakshita and Celebrated Chinese travelers Hiuen Tsiang and I-Tsing who have extensively described the monasteries and shrines at Nalanda and life of monks there. Various subjects like theology, Grammar, logic, astronomy, metaphysics, medicine and philosophy were taught here. The purpose by the contemporary rulers as evident from inscriptions.
Nalanda Mahavihar, regarded as one of the greatest universities of the ancient world was founded by Kumaragupta (413-455 A.D.) of the great Gupta Dynasty, King Harshavardohama of Kannauj (606-647AD) and the Pala Kings of East India (8th – 12th Century AD) continued to extend patronage to this center. The decline of this great institution started in Later Pala period but the final blow came in around 1200 A.D. by the invasion of Bakhtiyar Khilji.
From Pilgrimage Routes of India