Ruins of Nalanda University in Bihar, India
Ruins of Nalanda University in Bihar, IndiaWikimedia Commons

Indian archaeologists have discovered what it seems like the ruins of an ancient varsity like the ruins of Nalanda University.

The discovery was made at Buddhist monastery site of Telharain in Nalanda district in the eastern state of Bihar. The ruined site is named Tiladhak.

"We have discovered remains of another ancient university at the Buddhist monastery site of Telhara in Nalanda district," Atul Kumar Verma, director of state archaeology, told IANS.

Dig at the site of Tiladhak began in 2009 and the remains of the university were uncovered during excavation at a 45-foot high mound.

Archaeologists also found bronze statues and over 100 seals.

Verma said that Chinese traveller Heuen Tsang visited Telhar in the seventh century AD, and has mentioned it as "Teleadaka" in his account, which also carries a graphic of about seven Buddhist monasteries flourishing at the site.

According to archaeologists, Tiladhak may take several years to be excavated fully just like Nalanda, which took many years for excavation and where a large part of the university is still buried under the nearby villages.

The state houses remains of two ancient universities, Nalanda and Vikramshila, which were the seat of Buddhist leraning in India in the 12th century.

Nalanda University, a Unesco World Heritage site, was the first residential education centre of the world, established in 450 AD. It could house 10,000 students and had a nine-floor library which is believed to have had a mammoth collection of 9 million volumes. The complex was destroyed and turned into ruins in a fire in 1193 by Islamic invader, Bakhtiyar Khilji.

Finding of a third ancient learning centre in Bihar may hold key to archaeological developments in the state.

"It is a positive development in the field of excavation in Bihar. After discovery of remains of 4th century ancient Nalanda and 8th century Vikramshila University, this is the discovery of remains of third ancient university in the state," Verma said.