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Villages linked to Nalanda located

INDIA: Researchers have been able to locate 60 of the 200 villages once linked to the ancient Nalanda university where students from across Asia and even Europe studied.

The revenue collected from these villages was used by the Gupta dynasty to maintain the world-famous university which was set up by King Kumar Gupta in the 5th century AD. On any given day 10,000 students coming from as far as Korea, Japan, China, Tibet, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Burma (now Myanmar), Turkey and other countries studied in the residential university.

The location of the villages preceded over a year-long exercise involving scientific and comprehensive exploration of historical sites in Bihar.

The director of the Kashi Prasad Jaiswal Research Institute (KPJRI) and a noted historian Vijay Kumar Choudhary said the first-ever scientific and systematic documentation of historical sites in Bihar commenced in July 2007 with the monetary help of Bihar government.

"We have so far documented 3,500 sites from as many villages in 11 districts. Work also started in 19 other districts two months ago," Choudhary said.

He said that documentation of historical sites and antiquities in the state was unique in the country as hardly any other state had taken up such an exercise on such a comprehensive basis.

Choudhary said excavations done in the period between 1915 and 1935 had yielded a number of inscriptions which carried the names of the villages linked to the university.

He said researchers had so far explored and documented inscriptions, mounds, monuments and sculptures of Chalcolithic period, post-Gupta period (5th century AD) and Pal period (8th to 12th century AD) in the districts of Patna, Nalanda, Bhojpur, Begusarai, Samastipur, Khagaria, Vaishali, Saran, Nawada, Siwan and Gopalganj.

He said sculptures, mounds, inscriptions and images of post-Gupta and Pal periods in large quantity have been found in these 11 districts besides black and red pots and copper tools of Chalcolithic period too have been found in Nalanda and Nawada districts.

PTI

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