Nalanda and the ruins of the ancient Nalanda Mahavihara are almost synonymous. The name Nalanda conjures up a picture of ancient Mahavihara, which was a great seat of Buddhist education for nearly 700 years between the 5th to 12th centuries AD.
The contribution of the Nalanda Mahavihara, Nalanda in the development of Buddhist education is widely recognized. Many great Acaryas of Nalanda had helped in dissemination of knowledge and Buddhist culture throughout the world.
His Excellency, Dr. Rajendra Prasad, the first President of the Republic of India had initiated the idea and declared that the ancient seat of Buddhist learning at Nalanda would be revived and thus had emanated the vision of establishing the Nava Nalanda Mahavihara. On November 20, 1951, the foundation stone of the first building was laid with the following engravig