Universities (Oldest, Nalanda, Aryabhata, Nagarjuna, Takshashila)

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  • In Indian Society Education has always been great prominence since the times of the Vedic Civilization.
  • People used to learn in the learning centers like Gurukuls and Ashrams.
  • Some of the popular and most important oldest Universities Include Nalanda, Taksasila, Vikramashila, Valabhi.
  • The Modern Universities are Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) , New Delhi, Banaras Hindu University (BHU) , Varanasi, Jadavpur University, Kolkata, University of Delhi, New Delhi.
  • Some of the distance learning Universities is Indira Gandhi National Open University, Sikkim Manipal University (SMU DDE) , Annamalai University (DDE) .
  • The Deemed Universities are Gandhi Institute of Technology and Management, Indian Agricultural Research Institute, National Institute of Educational Planning and Administration, Birla Institute of Technology, Mesra.
  • Some of the Autonomous College are College of Engineering, Pune, Government College for Women, Guntur, Kristu Jayanti College, Bangalore, St. Xavier՚s College, Ranchi.
  • Some of the Open Universities are Karnataka State Open University, Tamil Nadu Open University etc.

Oldest Universities


Ancient Universities of India
  • Nalanda is located in the Indian state of Bihar about 55 miles south-east of Patna (Capital of Bihar)
  • This University was a Buddhist centre of learning from 427 to 1197 CE.
  • This University was established by a ruler form Gupta Dynasty named Shakraditya during the early 5th century.
  • The library contained thousands of volumes of manuscripts on subjects like grammar, logic, literature, astronomy, and medicine.
  • Students from China, Greece and Persia used to study at Nalanda University.
  • Nalanda flourished under the patronage of the Gupta Empire in the 5th and 6th centuries, and later under Harsha (emperor of Kannauj) .
  • Recently in 2014 Nalanda University was restored as Nalanda International University (international and research-intensive university) .
  • Some of the Scholars/Historical figures associated with Nalanda are:


  • He was born in Kerala and lived from 476 AD to 550 AD.
  • He was one of the greatest Mathematicians.
  • He setup an observatory at the Sun temple in Taregana, Bihar
  • He discovered an approximation of pi, 62832/20000 = 3.1416.


  • He was one of the greatest Buddhist Philosophers and a monk born in 150CE and died in 250CE.
  • He founded Madhyamaka school of Mahayana Buddhism.
  • Bodhicittavivaraį¹‡a (Exposition of the awakening mind) , Suhį¹›llekha (Letter to a Good Friend) , VigrahavyāvartanÄ« (The End of Disputes) etc. are some of his popular works.
  • Some of the other attributed work includes Bhavasamkranti, A commentary on the Dashabhumikasutra, Dharmadhatustava (Hymn to the Dharmadhatu) etc.


  • Taxila is an important archaeological site located in the Punjab state of Pakistan.
  • This University was founded in 1000 BCE and was the seat of Vedic learning.
  • This university is considered as a place of religious and historical sanctity by Hindus and Buddhists.
  • Taxila was an important centre of learning that included the religious teachings of Buddhism and continued to attract students from around the old world until the destruction of the city in the 5th century.
  • It is believed that the Mahayana sect of Buddhism took shape there.
  • The Ancient Taxila was situated at the pivotal junction of South Asia and Central Asia.
  • The first major settlement at Taxila was established around 1000 BCE.
  • The city was involved in regional commerce by 900 BCE.
  • Some of the Scholars/Historical Figures associated are:

Chandragupta Maurya

  • He was the founded or Mauryan empire in India.
  • His reign extended from c. 321 ā€“ c. 297 BCE.
  • His life and accomplishments are described in ancient Hindu, Buddhist, and Greek texts.
  • He established a strong central administration from Pataliputra now Patna.
  • A memorial of Chandragupta Maurya exists on Chandragiri hill in Shravanabelagola, Karnataka.

Chanakya (Kautilya)

  • He was a teacher, philosopher, economist, jurist and a royal advisor of the Chandragupta Maurya who was born in the Golla region (Andhra Pradesh) and died in Pataliputra.
  • He was also identified as Kautilya or Vishugupta.
  • He is considered as the pioneer of the field of political science and economics in India.
  • He got immense popularity and praise for Arthashastra an ancient Indian treatise on statecraft, economic policy and military strategy, written in Sanskrit.


  • The City of Taxila came under the rule of the Kusahan during 76 CE.
  • The great Kushan ruler Kanishka founded Sirsukh which is considered to be the most recent of the ancient settlements at Taxila.
  • The Kushan dynasty had diplomatic contacts with the Roman Empire, Sasanian Persia, the Aksumite Empire and the Han dynasty of China.


  • Indo-Greeks (Kingdom of Bactria) annexed Taxila in the 2nd century BCE.
  • Sirkap was the new capital built by the Indo-Greeks on the opposite bank of the river from Taxila.
  • Around 90 BCE the last Greek king of Taxila was overthrown by the Indo-Scythian chief Maues (was the first Indo-Scythian king, ruling from 98/85 to 60/57 BCE) .


  • The Gupta Empire occupied the territories in Eastern Gandhara establishing a Kumaratya՚s post at Taxila during the mid-fourth century CE.
  • During Gupta Period the City became well known for its Trade links- including Silk, Sandalwood, Horses, Cotton, Silverware, Pearls, and Spices.
  • The City also flourished in Classical Indian Literature- both as a centre of Culture as well as a militarized border City.