Indians are aware of the popular ancient Great Universities in the worldwhich are Taxila, Nalanda, Vikramashila and Pushpagiri University. They were well-known for being the best knowledge centers in ancient India. Education has always been of great importance in India since the time of the Vedic civilization when the gurukuls were the topmost centers of learning and knowledge. Before any other country, there were many educational centers in ancient India. They still stand in absolute glory with their tradition and history.
- Nalanda University-It was known as a popular center of higher studies located in Bihar, India. It was established in the 5th century in Northeastern India and survived until 1197. Nalanda was basically dedicated to Buddhist studies along with other subjects such as medicine, mathematics, medicine, astronomy, the art of war and politics. The university had 8 compounds, ten temples, nine-story library, dormitories, classrooms, lakes, and meditation halls. The university attracted thousands of scholars from Japan, Tibet, Korea, Indonesia, Turkey, and Persia, just to name a few. The popular Chinese pilgrim Huang Tsang studied and taught here for five years in the 7th century. At that time, Nalanda had more than 10,000 students along with 3,100 teachers. Nalanda had large public lecture halls with residential quarters for the teaching staffs and students.
- Takshashila University-Known to be the early Buddhist center of learning and one of the Great Universities in the world, Takshashila University was located in Pakistan. It has 10,500 students who were specializing in 65 different subjects or fields including politics, commerce, agriculture, surgery, music, dance, astrology and much more. Some of the famous people who had graduated from this university are Panini, Vishnu Sharma, Chanakya, and Charaka. It is known to be the world’s oldest University. Later in 499 AD, the university was destroyed by the nomadic tribe of Central Asia.
- Vikramashila University-It was founded in the late 8th century or early 9th century by the Pala Dynasty King Dharmapala. It is located in Bhagalpur, Bihar. Vikramashila had over hundred teachers and thousand students. One of the most popular alumni of Vikramashila University was Sri GyanAtishDipankar. Later, the university was destroyed due to a war in the 12th century after lasting four centuries. The Tibetan monk and historian named Taranath has mentioned about this university in his writings in the 16th-17th century. This is one of the largest Buddhist great universities and it produced several well-renowned scholars to spread the teachings of Buddhism all over the world. The special branch of learning was tantrism.
- Pushpagiri University-It was an eminent Buddhist center for learning until the 11th century. The university was situated in the districts of Jaipur and Cuttack in Orissa. The whole campus was spread across three hilltops with lots of monasteries, stupas, sculptures, and temples of the Gupta period. Pushpagiri was known one of the primary institutions of higher learning in the world. The ruins of this university were found much later than the Taxila and Nalanda in 1995 by a local lecturer who first visited the site. It was spread across almost 145 acres of land.