The ancient ruins are spread over an area of 14 hectares of land and archaeological digs suggest that a large part of the University is still unexcavated.
Known as the longest running university in ancient India, what is left of the site dates back to the Gupta period (5th century AD). Over 2,000 teachers and several thousand students from all over the world lived and studied at Nalanda. Both Lord Buddha (founder of Buddhism) and Lord Mahavira (founder of Jainism) had visited this famous place of learning. A second revival came much later when it became known as the site of a monastic university.
The university remained important until 12 century AD when the Afghans attacked and burnt down this great University.