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India: UNESCO declares Nalanda Mahavihara World Heritage Site

Nalanda

 UNESCO has declared Bihar's much awaited ancient site - the ruins of Nalanda Mahavihara - a World Heritage Site, barely 98 km away from Patna. With the inclusion of Nalanda, this would be the second UNESCO Heritage Site after Mahabodhi temple in Bodh Gaya.

"Nalanda stands out as the most ancient university of the Indian Subcontinent. It engaged in the organized transmission of knowledge over an uninterrupted period of 800 years. The historical development of the site testifies to the development of Buddhism into a religion and the flourishing of monastic and educational traditions," said UNESCO on its website.

The ancient seat of learning, one of the world's oldest universities construction of which began in 5th century AD, flourished under the Gupta rulers. It came to an end in the 12th century when it was destroyed in 1193 AD by the invading Turkish army led by its commander Bakhtiar Khilji.

Source: Times of India  

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