The world’s earliest University was established in Takshila,India and it functioned between 500 and 1300 AD.(?)
“Taxila also known as Takshashila, flourished from 600 BC to 500 AD, in the kingdom of Gandhar. 68 subjects were taught at this university and the minimum entry age, ancient texts show, was 16. At one stage, it had 10,500 students including those from Babylon, Greece, Syria, and China. Experienced masters taught the 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,complex mathematical calculations. The panel of masters at the university included legendary scholars like Kautilya, Panini, Jivak and Vishnu Sharma. Thus, the concept of a full-fledged university was developed in India.
As early as 700 B.C., there existed a giant University at Takshashila, located in the northwest region of Bharat (India).
During the 800 years that the university was operational, it attained great fame. Its campus was one mile in length and a half-mile in width. It also had 300 lecture halls with stone benches for sitting; laboratories and other facilities were also available. For example, the university had a towering observatory called the Ambudharaavlehi for astronomical research. It has boasted a massive library called Dharma Gunj or Mountain of Knowledge that was set up in three buildings named Ratna Sagar, Ratnodavi and Ratnayanjak. The entrance examination was very difficult and the pass rate was 3 out of every 10 students. Despite this hurdle, the Chinese traveler, Hien Tsang wrote in his diary that 10,000 students and 200 professors were at Nalanda University.
Now archeologists have found another University, which, primary studoes indivates,is older than Nalanda.
It is deduced that the remains of the Telhara university can be older than Nalanda and Vikramshila universities, officials said here Sunday.
Based on the key findings, Bihar’s Arts, Culture and Youth Affairs Secretary Anand Kishor said that based on key findings from the excavation, it can be confirmed that Telhara University was older than Nalanda and Vikramshila.
“A team of archaeologists has found four Buddhist monastery seals made of terracotta, bearing the inscriptions – Sri Prathamshivpur Mahavihariyaye Bikshu Sanghas – in Pali language in Nalanda district that indicated the university’s real name, which is usually described as Telhara University,” Kishor said.
Kishor said Chinese traveller Heuen Tsang visited Telhara in the 7th century AD and he mentioned the university as “Teleadaka” in his narrative.
Kishor told IANS that archaeologists have discovered bricks that were used to lay the ancient university’s foundation.
“Bricks’ dimension 42x32x6 cm revealed a Kushan, first century AD, influence. That is a strong evidence that the Telhara University is older than fourth century’s Nalanda University and seventh century’s Vikramshila University.”.
Kishor said the archaeological discovery was a landmark achievement for Bihar.
He said archaeologists based on previous findings placed the Telhara University in the Gupta period between fourth and seventh century. But the new findings cleared all doubts as to the university’s age.
Atul Kumar Verma, director of state archaeology, said: “It is a positive development in the field of excavation in Bihar.”
“After discovery of remains of fourth century ancient Nalanda and eight century Vikramshila universities, this is the discovery of remains of third ancient university in the state,” Verma said.
He said remains of Telhara University were found during excavation of a 45-foot high mound. “We have also found a huge floor, statues in bronze and stone, and over 100 seals.”