Landscape view, Nalanda 1003189b
Photographer: Caddy, Alexander E.
Medium: Photographic print
Photograph of a landscape view near Nalanda, in Bihar, taken by Alexander Caddy in 1895. Nalanda was originally famous as the sanctuary of Shariputra, one of Buddha's followers. It was visited by Buddha and Ashoka, the Mauryan Emperor, however there are very few archaeological remains from this early period. Nalanda soon achieved the status of a major centre of Mahayana Buddhist studies and by the 7th Century scholars from all over Asia were visiting and studying at the monasteries and university. As time passed it's importance waned until in the 13th century, Muslim influence in the area became stronger and Nalanda was abandoned by Buddhists. Today, the site consists of a row of nine ruined Buddhist monasteries and four two-storey square temples with raised central sanctuaries. The outside of the latter were decorated with pilasters and images set in niches. These raised sanctuaries can be seen in the background of this photograph, buried under centuries of accumulated earth.