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Who founded the Nalanda University?
1. Mauryan
2. Guptas
3. Harshavardhan
4. Chalukyas

Last updated date: 23rd Jul 2024
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Nalanda was a Buddhist center of learning from 427 to 1197 CE. The dynasty that established the Nalanda University had a successor who is counted amongst one of the greatest rulers of ancient India and is famously known as ‘the Napoleon of India’.

Complete answer:
Before we proceed, it shall be beneficial to know that the University was founded around the 4th century A.D. in Rajgir, present day Bihar. Now let us try to find out which dynasty has been related to the foundation of Nalanda University-
The Mauryan Empire ruled from 322 B.C. to 187 A.D. so definitely it isn’t related to the establishment of the University even remotely. The University was founded somewhere around the 4th century A.D. Thus, this option is incorrect.

The Ancient University of Nalanda had been founded by the Gupta Dynasty in the 4th century who ruled over parts of present-day India, Pakistan, Nepal, and Bangladesh. It was founded during the reign of Kumaragupta. Also his successor Samudragupta was known as ‘the Napoleon of India’. Thus, this is the correct answer.

This option is incorrect. Harshavardhana, the ruler of Kannauj in 7th century A.D. was one of the most notable patrons of Nalanda University but definitely wasn’t its founder (it was during his reign that the Chinese pilgrim Xuan Zang came to India). Moreover, the University was founded in the 4th century A.D. while Harsha ruled during the 7th century A.D.

This option isn’t right either. The Chalukya dynasty ruled between the 6th-12th centuries. Therefore, without much confusion we can easily rule it out as the founder of the Nalanda.

Therefore the answer is 2. Guptas

In its middle phase, Nalanda University was nurtured by the Buddhist emperors like Harshavardhana and in the last phase, Pala kings (ruled the south and eastern part of India) took it under their patronage. However, in 1193 it was destroyed by a muslin ruler named Bakhtiyar Khilji and its precious libraries kept burning for over 3 months.