Nalanda University ruins declared world heritage site

Unesco declared the ruins of the ancient Nalanda University (Nalanda Mahavihara), dating back to the third century BC, as a world heritage site on Friday . “Nalanda stands out as the most ancient university of the Indian Subcontinent.It engaged in the organised transmission of knowledge over an uninterrupted period of 800 years,'' a communiqué of Unesco's World Heritage Committee said.
“The historical development of the site testifies to the development of Buddhism into a religion and the flourishing of monastic and educational traditions.'' The Mahavihara was added to the list of world heritage sites with four other sites in China, Iran, and Micronesia at the committee's meeting in Istanbul. It was a large Buddhist monastery as well as an important centre of learning.The Mahavihara was one of the world's oldest universities before it was ruined in the 12th century when Bakhtiar Khilji-led Turkish army destroyed it in 1193 AD.
Earlier, there were doubts regarding declaration of the Mahavihara as a world heritage site due to several flaws in the proposal submitted for it.
Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar's principal secretary Chanchal Kumar, who visited Paris to stake the claim for the Mahavihara`s inclusion on the world heritage list, said the flaws were sorted out at a meeting with a Unesco team. The Mahavihara is the second Unesco world heritage site in Bihar after Mahabodhi temple in Bodh Gaya. Overall, there are 33 such sites in India.Two more sites, Kanchenjunga National Park and Chandigarh's capital complex, are expected to be added to the list.

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