Nalanda

Though the Buddha visited Nalanda several times during his lifetime, this famous centre of Buddhist learning shot to fame much later, during 5th - 12th centuries. The Chinese scholar and traveller Hiuen Tsang stayed here in the 7th century, and has left an elaborate description of the excellence, and purity of monastic life practised here. About 2,000 teachers and 10,000 students from all over the Buddhist world, lived and studied in this international university. 

The Gupta kings patronised these monasteries, built in old Kushan architectural style, in a row of cells around a courtyard. Kings Ashoka and Harshavardhana were some of its most famous patrons, who built impressive temples and monasteries. Recent excavations have unearthed elaborate structures. An international centre for Buddhist Studies was established in 1951. The Nalanda Museum and the Nava Nalanda Mahavihar are definitely worth a visit.

Lauria Areraj is a 11.5 m high Ashokan column, erected in 249 BC. The polished sandstone pillar has six edicts on it. Lauria Nandangarh is the site of the famous lion pillar, erected by king Ashoka. The 8.5 m polished sandstone column also has an edict engraved on it. The Nandangarh stupa, nearby, is believed to house the ashes of the Buddha. 

Some of the greatest thinkers of India are
Amaravati
Nagarjunakonda
Bodhgaya
Sanchi
Kushinagar
Sarnath
Nalanda
Vaishali