Monday, April 25, 2016

U for University

Welcome to the "Believe it or Not- That's Incredible India!" series. India is home to some of the most astonishing wonders in the world. The rich culture, heritage, food, scriptures, architectural marvels and scores of known and unknown facts come together to create this multicolored melange that is India. Throughout this month, read about the various believe it or not facts about India and know what goes into the making of this incredible country!


Did you know that the world’s first University was established in India?

In as early as the 700 B.C. the ancient kingdom of Gandhara was home to a giant University – Takshashila. The University taught 68 subjects to as many as 10,500 students, from not only India but Babylon, Greece, Syria, and China. Well known scholars like Kautilya (Chanakya), Vishnu Sharma, Charaka, Prasenajit, Jotipala, Panini and Jivak taught diverse subjects like Vedas, languages, grammar, philosophy, medicine, surgery, archery, politics, warfare, astronomy, accounts, commerce, documentation, music, dance and other performing arts, futurology, the occult and mystical sciences, and complex mathematical calculations. The vastness and the diverseness of the subjects taught in Takshashila is mind boggling indeed!

Another well-known university of those times was the Nalanda University which functioned from 500 – 1300 AD. The University was so advanced that it had an observatory called the Ambudharaavlehi for astronomical research, a vast library, laboratories and a 300-seater lecture hall. The university boasted of a strength of 10000 students and more than 200 teachers. In his travelogue, the famous Chinese traveller Huen Tsang makes a mention of how tough it was to gain admission to Nalanda. Students had to write an entrance exam and just 3% of students managed to pass and gain admission! What high standards! 

Isn’t it amazing that Indians pioneered the concept of a University? Makes me proud to know that we not only accorded importance to schooling and college education but were well versed with the need of a University too!

Believe it or not - That's Incredible India!


  1. Another gem post. Very informative and exclusive.

  2. Oh yeah I read about them in school. Amazing how in those days these were international universities.

    A Whimsical Medley
    Twinkle Eyed Traveller

  3. Awesome! Tragically, I've just been reading about the destruction of Nalanda in a book on Emperor Ashoka. :(

  4. Sigh, is that really true?! Unbelievable considering the state of current education systems in our country! Incredible isn't it what geniuses we had in our country, did we stop producing them or have all the geniuses migrated elsewhere in search of greener pastures?
    Great post, forgive my rants!
    @KalaRavi16 from

  5. O yes! I remember Takshashila University from my history books! Reading your blog is always informative and deja vu at the same time :)


  6. Wow! How advanced we were back then!! Totally awe-inspiring and incredible!

  7. And now we are known for the pathetic condition of education... What an absolute shame that we have allowed ourselves to sink to such depths where corruption and depravity rule

  8. I have read so much about Nalanda University in school and till date it seems so incredible.

  9. lovely post. Makes me proud that I am born here. heard a lot of them in history.
    @authorparomita from
    <a href="</a>


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