Nalanda according to Chinese Students
I also visited this place and then the only way we get to know what it looked like is when you read the autobiography of Huan-Tsang and I-Tsing, so what Huan-Tsang said is that, it was the most beautiful campus he had ever seen. It had a huge gate all around the campus and when he entered, he said the place was full of lakes, ponds; ponds with lotuses blooming in them and they were these were tall buildings. So, they were, for example, the library was nine storied and he said that if he went to the main building the top story, when you looked out, you would see splendid sunsets, you would see brilliant moonlit nights, and he said that you can see the pride hefeels on studying in this place, and then he said that at the entrance there was a big statue of Buddha and there were eight halls in the campus, in the building, and the lecture there would be hundred lectures in a day, and the lecture halls would be full, and students would not miss a single lecture that was the kind of learning, and Nalanda in those days offered a wide range of subjects. So, it had something for everybody.
So, a lot of students they were about 8,500 to 10,000 students, and there were 1,500 teachers. So, you can imagine the student- teacher ratio is so good,and not to forget the admission tests,which was so hard that only 20% students would make it, 80% would be eliminated, and probably that’s the reason why we have so many universities adjoining the Nalanda. Vikramsila, they’re all at short distance from each other, possibly they came to, you know,to absorb more students because so many were being eliminated. So, the others to universities came near them and they were also coaching centers. So, outside the village, in the villages surrounding Nalanda, there is, there are records of teachers who were preparing students to crack the entrance examination for Nalanda.
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