Nalanda means "insatiable in giving."
The Nalanda, is the name of an ancient center of higher learning in Bihar. The site is located in the state of Bihar, about 55 miles south east of Patna, and was a Buddhist center of learning from the fifth or sixth century CE to 1197 CE partly under the Pala Empire. It has been called "one of the first great universities in recorded history.". According to historical studies the University of Nalanda was established 450 C.E under the patronage of the Gupta emperors, notably Kumaragupta. Nalanda, considered as the world's first residential university, had dormitories for students and had accommodated over 10,000 students and 2,000 teachers.
The university was considered an architectural masterpiece, and was marked by a lofty wall and one gate. Nalanda had eight separate compounds and ten temples, along with many other meditation halls and classrooms. On the grounds were lakes and parks. The library was located in a nine storied building where meticulous copies of texts were produced. The subjects taught at Nalanda University covered every field of learning, and it attracted pupils and scholars from Korea, Japan, China, Tibet, Indonesia, Persia and Turkey. The Tang Dynasty Chinese pilgrim Xuanzang left detailed accounts of the university in the 7th century.
The complex was built with red bricks and its ruins occupy an area of 14 hectares. At its peak, the university attracted scholars and students from as far away as China, Greece, and Persia. The library of Nalanda, known as Dharma Gunj (Mountain of Truth) or Dharmaganja (Treasury of Truth), was the most renowned repository of Buddhist knowledge in the world at the time. Its collection was said to comprise hundreds of thousands of volumes, so extensive that it burned for months when set aflame by Turkish Muslim invaders under Bakhtiyar Khilji in 1193. The library had three main buildings as high as nine stories tall, Ratnasagara (Sea of Jewels), Ratnodadhi (Ocean of Jewels), and Ratnaranjaka (Delighter of Jewels). In 2006, Singapore, China, India, Japan, and other nations, announced a proposed plan to restore and revive the ancient site as Nalanda International University.