After Nalanda, another university remains found in Bihar

Last Updated: Wednesday, January 15, 2014 - 16:41

Patna: Archaeologists have traced the remains of another university at Telhara, about 40 km from the ancient Nalanda University, a reference to which was found in the account of Chinese travellers Hiuen Tsang and Ithsing.

The remains of the university in Nalanda district were found during the course of an excavation at Telhara, Director state Archaeology Atul Kumar Verma told PTI.

The excavation, which began at Telhara in Ekangalsarai block of Nalanda in 2009, was still continuing.

Verma said there was a reference to the Telhara university in the travel account of Ithsing, who had visited Nalanda, a distinguished centre of learning in Bihar, in the 7th century AD.
The account suggested that Telhara was either a seat of higher research or a competitor to Nalanda university, he said.

Verma, who is also Director of the excavation at the site, said there was an account of three Buddhist temples at Telhara in Ithsing`s account which were found during the excavation.

Besides, the account mentioned a big platform on which around 1000 Buddhist monks used to sit for prayer, he said.
A similar platform has been located during the excavation, he said.

Verma said evidences of both Gupta and Pala period structures, like the one mentioned by Chinese traveller Hiuen Tsang, have also been unearthed at Telhara.

Seals written with "Teladhak Mahavihara" which was also authenticated by the Archaeologist Alexander Cunningham in his report have been found, he said.
Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, who hails from Nalanda district, has visited the site several times to keep himself abreast about the progress of the excavation.

He announced that relics from the site would be housed in the proposed International Museum coming up in Patna.

Noble laureate Amartya Sen made a trip to the site last week on request of the Chief Minister to have a first hand view of the excavations. 

PTI

First Published: Wednesday, January 15, 2014 - 16:41

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