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How To Reach Nalanda
Nalanda used to be among the oldest universities in the world. It was built around the 5th century BC and in its heydays boasted of some 2000 teachers and 10,000 students. The subjects the students studied included philosophy, medicine, metaphysics, astronomy and theology. Nalanda still draws a fair number of visitors although the university was burnt down by a Turk marauder in 1193 AD, after which it never reopened. The best way to reach Nalanda is to fly to the nearest airport which is at Patna, just about 90km away from Nalanda. One can take a cab or bus from Patna.
Nalanda has good road connectivity with Bodh Gaya which is 110 km away, Gaya 95 km away and Patna 90 km away. Bihar Sharif is only 13 km away while Pawapuri is 26 km away. Four-laning of the 93 km long Gaya to Nalanda and beyond to Biharsharif has been approved and the work must have started already. This road will be a great advantage for Buddhists and other tourists who are interested in places that include Nalanda besides Rajgir and Bodh Gaya among others.
Rajgir which is 12 km away from Nalanda, is the railway station that is nearest to Nalanda. However, the more convenient rail head is Gaya which is 95 km away. Rajgir railway station is quite all right for meeting the requirement of mainly daily passengers although connections are available with Patna and Gaya Junction among other stations. The better choice for rail travellers is to take a train to Gaya Junction that offers connections to all major railheads in the country.
Nalanda’s nearest airport is Patna, which is 89 km away from Nalanda. Patna is an International Airport known as Jai Prakash Narain Airport. As per eight years old statistics Patna airport handles more than 8 lakh passengers annually. The footfalls, obviously, have grown exponentially ever since. Domestically Patna is connected with Lucknow, Delhi and Kolkata, Chennai, Srinagar, Hyderabad, Bangalore and Mumbai among several other cities. Patna airport is the twenty third busiest airport in the country. The Airports Authority of India proposes to carry out an extension over 11.5 acres of land for the sustenance of operations till the year 2035.
According to information available, the main method of getting around in Nalanda is by horse drawn carts or tonga. However, it is understood that cycle rickshaws and auto rickshaws are also available although taxis may not be easy to get. This will not be a problem since Nalanda is a small place and one will be able to cover the places for sightseeing on foot. It should be possible to hire other conveyances such as taxis and tourist buses by tapping online resources.