India had a well developed education system centuries before the westerners arrived and called us uncivilized. Education was always given a great importance in Indian civilisation since times immemorial.

Ancient India had the Gurukulas and Ashramas as the epicentres of the knowledge and enlightenment. Bigger Gurukulas served as the centres of higher education called universities. Besides these universities, temples also emerged as the major learning centres.
Studying the Holy Scriptures, character building, personality development, responsibilities towards self,family and society,discipline and preservation of the ancient culture and heritage were the key embodiments of education.
This kind of education system made ancient India, a centre of knowledge all over the world. Many foreign students came to India for education and India was called the 'Vishwaguru'.
Takshshila and Nalanda were the two prominent universities of ancient India.
But were these only Universities of ancient India?The answer is 'No'.Let's learn about these gems of our education system that flourished across ancient India & be proud.

This was the oldest university of ancient India.Situated in Nalanda distt. of Bihar...
...this University was founded by King Kumaragupta I of Gupta dynasty in the 5th century &it flourished for 600yrs till 12th century.Students from India, China,Korea&Central Asia came to university for studies. Astrology,Astronomy,Medicine, Mathematics,Literature etc. was taught.
It had the largest library in ancient world.Most sacred manuscripts were kept safe there.Muslim invader Bakhtyar Khilji annihilated the University in 1200CE. He set the library on fire and killed many Acharyas and students. Huen Tsang & Itsing were the famous Chinese travellers..
..who visited the Nalanda University and were greatly impressed by it. It was the first of its kind University that provided hostel accommodation for students and teachers. There were approx. 10000 students and 3000 teachers. It is a UNESCO world heritage site.
Founded by the Pala King, Dharamapala(780-820CE), Vikramshila University was located in Antichak village of Bhagalpur Distt. Bihar. Ancient university was a centre of Buddhist learning, a large Buddhist Monastery and a Mahavihara.
Flourished from 8-12th century, university was famous for learnin Tantra Vidya.Philosophy, metaphysics,logic&grammar were other subjects.Also was taught the subject of Blackmagic.

This ancient university was located at Vallabhipur,Bhavnagar distt of Gujarat
It was founded by Bhattarka,King of Maitraka Empire. It flourished from 6-12th century.Due to lack of interest by succesor of Maitraka Empire&continued invasions by Arabs,university lost its significance.
Religious studies,Arthshastra, Nithyashastra&Medicine were subjects taught
Takshashila was a world famous university of the ancient India. It was the first ancient Indian International University(400-550BCE). It was located in the Gandhar region of ancient India( Present day in Rawalpindi, Pakistan).
There r many sources dat have the mention of Takshashila such as Jatakas,Mahabharata&Ramayana etc.Flourished under the Maurya &Kushana empire periods,Takshashila was founded in 1000BCE &destroyed by the Huns of Central Asia in 5thcentury & later by Muslim invaders in 12thcentury.
Mahayana sect of Buddhism formed in Takshashila. The Vedas alongwith art forms like archery,music,dance,hunting were taught. Besides, the subjects of Philosophy, Ayurveda, Grammar & Astronomy were also taught. Takshashila was declared a UNESCO World heritage site in 1980.
10500 students approx. studied in Takshashila and 2000 teachers taught them. Students came from all over India, Egypt, Iraq, Greece, Syria, Turkey & China. Kautilya, Charaka & Panini were the students of Takshashila.
Located in ancient Kalinga(Cuttack & Jaipur distt of Odisha),this ancient university(3-12th century) was discovered in 1995 &the evidence showed that it may be founded by Ashoka himself.The university campus was spread across 3 adjoining hills-Lalitgiri...
...Ratnagiri and Udayagiri. This was one of the most prominent centres of higher education in ancient India alongwith Takshashila, Nalanda and Vikramshila. Chinese traveller Huen Tsang visited it in 639CE and was spellbound by the way it functioned.

Built by King Dharamapala (780-820CE) of Pala Empire, it was located in Paharpur of Nagaon Distt in present Bangladesh. It's Terracotta wall paintings showed that it was a major centre for learning the Dharma traditions of Buddhism, Jainism and Hinduism.
Built in Buddhist architectural style of Cambodia, it was spread over 27 acres of land. Later, due to lack of maintenance and attacks by the Muslim plunderers led to the decline of this important learning centre.
The above mentioned were some of the major learning centres of ancient India but that's not the end of it. There is a very long list. Dharamapala of Pala dynasty is believed to have established 50 major educational centres across his Kingdom.
Most of the universities above were destroyed around 12th century, during the Muslim invasion of India by the fanatic Bakhtyar Khilji from Turkey in 1193CE. The great library of the Nalanda University was ransacked and burnt by Khilji's Army.
Its said that the library was so vast that the manuscripts kept burning for 3 months. Numerous ancient manuscripts preserved for 1000s of years were destroyed in this fire. 1000s of students were burnt alive and beheaded by Khilji's army.
One thing is true about the Muslim invaders,"What they couldn't have,they couldn't build,they destroyed".I can give full marks to them for spreading the death destruction&annihilation across the world.Lastly, I would like to quote a famous American writer and lecturer Mark Twain.
He said, "India is the cradle of the human race, birthplace of the human speech, the mother of history, the grandmother of legend and the great grandmother of tradition. Our most valuable and most instructive materials in the history of man are treasured up in India only".


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