Nalanda University was one of the first universities in the world, founded in the 5th Century BC, and reported to have been visited by the Buddha during his lifetime. At its peak, in the 7th century AD, Nalanda held some 10,000 students and 2000 teachers
The library of Nalanda, known as Dharma Gunj (Mountain of Truth) or Dharmagañja (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 Muslim invaders. The library had three main buildings as high as nine stories tall, Ratnasagara (Sea of Jewels), Ratnodadhi (Ocean of Jewel)
Students studied science, astronomy, medicine, and logic as diligently as they applied themselves to metaphysics, philosophy, Samkhya, Yoga-shastra, the Veda, and the scriptures of Buddhism. They studied foreign philosophy likewise. Nalanda university’s library was one of the biggest library of the world at that time. It had large collections of books, manuscripts. It was called as Dharma Gunj (Mountain of Truth) or Dharmagañja (Treasury of Truth). Library was divided into three buildings- Ratnasagara, Ratnadadhi and Ratnaranjaka. Among these buildings, Ratnasagara was nine storied building. The library did not only have religious manuscripts but it also contained large collection of books on literature, astrology, astronomy, and medicine. Vastness of the library can be understood from the fact that it took three months to burn down when invaders set fire to it.
The Nalanda University had a great influence of Buddhism. Many Buddhist used to teach here. It is believed that Buddha also visited the university.