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UNESCO declares Nalanda Mahavihara(Nalanda University) as World Heritage Site

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The 5th Century ancient seat of learning, ‘Nalanda Mahavihara(Nalanda University) has been declared as a Heritage Site by UNESCO finally. This will be 33rd site to get this tag.


  • This decision was taken at the UNESCO World Heritage Committee’s 40th session, at Istanbul, Turkey. All 21 Member countries of UNESCO agreed and voted in favour of Nalanda unanimously.
  • Nalanda University gets the heritage tag which made India’s official entry in the ‘Cultural Category‘ for 2016 became the country’s 33rd archaeological site to win the prestigious title.
  • The University stands out as the most ancient university of the Indian Subcontinent. It involved in the organised 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.
  • This would be the second UNESCO heritage site in Bihar after Mahabodhi temple in Bodh Gaya.

Tentative List of World Heritage:

  1. Zuojiang Huashan Rock Art Landscape (China),
  2. Persian Qanat (Iran),
  3. Nan Madol (Eastern Micronesia)
  4. Nalanda Mahavihara (India).

Nalanda Mahavihara – ‘Medieval School of Discussion and Logic’

  • It was founded by Kumargupta I of the Gupta dynasty in 5th century CE.
  • It was patronized by various rulers including King Harshavardhana of Kannauj (7th century CE) and the Pala rulers (8th – 12th century CE) as well as various scholars.
  • Nalanda attracted scholars from the Indian subcontinent and beyond and received patronage of local rulers and foreign kings for unbroken period of 800 years.


♦ Headquarters: ‎Paris, France
♦ Formation: ‎16 November 1945
♦ Membership‎: ‎195 member states