Nalanda Mahavihara Archaeological Site

Nalanda Mahavihara Archaeological Site (World Heritage)

According to neovideogames, Nalanda is a small town in the east of India. In the Middle Ages, one of the largest scientific sites in the world was located here. Your library had nine million books. Of the Buddhist monastery complex and educational establishment (Mahavihara), which contributed significantly to the spread of Buddhism outside of India, only ruins are preserved today.

Nalanda Mahavihara Archaeological Site: Facts

Official title: Nalanda Mahavihara archaeological site
Cultural monument: archaeological remains of a Buddhist monastery and educational establishment (Mahavihara), which flourished in the 7th century; On the approximately 12 hectare site there were several temples and monasteries, stupas, shrines, viharas (Buddhist living and teaching buildings) as well as works of art made of stucco, stone and metal
Continent: Asia
Country: India, Bihar State
Location: Nalanda, around 13 km north of Rajgir
Appointment: 2016
Meaning: important ruins that testify to the evolution of Buddhism into a religion and the development of monastic and teaching traditions

Nalanda – “giver of knowledge”

According to tradition, Mahavihara was founded during the Buddha’s lifetime (around 500 BC). Some historical sources date the emergence to the 3rd century BC. When the Indian emperor Ashoka had a stupa built in Nalanda for the remains of Sariputta, one of the Buddha’s two main disciples. However, the center of learning probably arose in the 5th century under the auspices of the Gupta dynasty. During its heyday in the 7th century, Nalanda was home to up to 10,000 students and 1,000 professors from India, Tibet, China and Southeast Asia. In addition to studying Buddhist teaching and philosophy, the curriculum also included mathematics and logic, literature and rhetoric, astrology and astronomy.

After the complex was largely destroyed in the course of Islamic conquests at the end of the 12th century, Nalanda fell into oblivion for a long time. The excavation work did not begin until 1915. The finds made during the excavations – including sculptures, bronze figures and the university seal – have been in the Archaeological Museum at the entrance to the ruins since 1971. Some distance away is the memorial to the Chinese scholar Xuanzang, who spent several years in Nalanda in the 7th century and left an impressive depiction of the monastery and educational establishment.

Nalanda Mahavihara Archaeological Site

Great Himalaya National Park (World Heritage)

Located in the north Indian state of Himachal Pradesh, this national park in the west of the Himalayan Mountains is characterized by its high alpine peaks, mountain meadows and forests crossed by rivers.

In this 90,540 hectare area there are several high-altitude snow and meltwater sources from various rivers, which ensure the water supply for millions of people in the wider catchment area. The Great Himalayan National Park protects the monsoon-affected forests and mountain meadows on the Himalayan flanks that are exposed to the weather. As part of the Himalayan biodiversity hotspot, where there is a large selection of partly endangered animals and 25 different forest types, this world heritage is of outstanding importance for the preservation of biodiversity.

Great Himalayan National Park: Facts

Official title: Great Himalaya National Park
Natural monument: National park between 2000 and 6000 m altitude with snow and melt water sources of a complex river system that flows into the Indus; Home to many endemic animal and plant species; 25 different forest types
Continent: Asia
Country: India
Location: Himachal Pradesh state in the western Himalayas
Appointment: 2014
Meaning: Of paramount importance for the biodiversity of the region, both in terms of flora and fauna

Kangchenjunga National Park (World Heritage)

The national park, founded in 1977, is located on the rainy side of the eastern Himalayas in the Indian state of Sikkim. It was named after the Kangchenjunga, at 8,586 meters the third highest peak on earth. In the 178,400 hectare area (one third of the area of ​​Sikkim) at the foot of the five-peaked Kangchenjunga, there are deciduous and mixed forests of oak, fir, birch and maple, and at higher altitudes alpine grasses and mats. Snow leopards, cat bears, sloths, civets, seraues, gorals and blue sheep, blood pheasants, bearded vultures and snow pigeons live here.

Kangchenjunga National Park: facts

Official title: Kangchenjunga National Park
Natural and cultural monument: The national park has existed since 1977, initially with an area of ​​850 km², expanded to 1784 km² in 1997; with plains, valleys, lakes, 18 glaciers and snow-capped mountains; Habitat of five different mountain goat species
Continent: Asia
Country: India; State of Sikkim
Location: Himalayas, on the border between Nepal and India
Appointment: 2016
Meaning: Combination of nature, worship of nature and Buddhist doctrine, which form the basis of the cultural identity of the indigenous people of Sikkim

Divine nature

Of all the mountains, the Himalayas are the largest, the highest and the most powerful. At the awe-inspiring sight of its peaks ruled by ice and snow, one can empathize with the Sanskrit words that “even a hundred divine ages would not suffice to describe all the wonders of the Himalayas”. The people living here – regardless of what religion they belong to – have therefore reserved them for the gods and demons. The snow- and ice-covered Kangchenjunga (“five treasures of the great snow”) is venerated as sacred by the indigenous population of Sikkim. Out of respect for the divine nature, they never felt the urge to climb the five-peaked mountain range.