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Art and Culture of Nalanda

Considered to be ‘The Land of Knowledge’, Nalanda has always been a center of learning and meditation since time immemorial. The city once as a seat of Nalanda University helped in the spread of Buddhism across Asia and beyond. Woven in traditions Nalanda is a fast developing city of Bihar. A tiny hamlet located in the north-east part of India, this place still remains untouched by Western influence, thus preserving within itself, a piece of India’s glorious past with its rich culture and heritage intact.

Religions in Nalanda

Culture of Nalanda

Associated with Lord Buddha and Lord Mahavira, Nalanda once was a part of Buddhist learning which is reflected in the ruins of the Nalanda University. The city is a melting pot of different traditions and cultures. Apart from Buddhism, Jainism, Sufism and Hinduism have also flourished in this region with the patronage from the generations of benevolent rulers. Today the city has a considerable populations of Hindus and other religions including the followers of Islam. The age old city till date has retained its secular nature which is reflected in the lifestyle of the city.

Costumes and Handicrafts in Nalanda

Culture of NalandaAs in every other part of the country, sari is the most popular attire for women. Nowadays, the salwar-kameez is also gaining popularity, especially among the younger generation. The traditional attire for men includes dhoti, kurta and kharaun-wooden sandals. However, nowadays men prefer to dress themselves in shirts and pants. This change may be attributed to the influence of increasing in number of tourists visiting this place. From Nalanda one can buy souvenirs and trinkets. Nalanda is also famous for low cost handicrafts. The minute handiwork of Bihari designers is displayed in their handicrafts and embroidery. Handicrafts and gifts symbolizing the Bihari tradition are very popular among the tourists. Especially, those gifts, pottery and art pieces that are made of sandalwood and marble, items made from stones and sea-shells are in great demand in Nalanda. One can even get very good Stone Sculptures and bowls in and around the region. Madhubani paintings and hand-painted wall-hangings are also quite famous and are in demand here.
Hindi, Bhojpuri and Urdu are the languages spoken by the local people of Nalanda. In addition, English is spoken by few selected tourists.

Festivals in Nalanda

A unique feature of Nalanda region is the Chatth Puja-the worship of Sun God. The most famous one is at the Sun temple in Baragaon near Nalanda, where new paddy, sweets, and fruits are offered in worship. It is celebrated in the month of Vaishakha (April-May) and in Kartika (October - November). Buddh Purnima is yet another famous fetivals in Nalanda. It is believed that Lord Buddha was born attained enlightenment and attained nirvana all on the same full moon day of April/May. Thus, Baisakhi Purnima is celebrated as Buddha Jayanti here.

Culture and traditions of Nalanda

Also, many other festivals like Gajalakshni Puja, Makar Sankrathi, Holi, Dussehra etc are celebrated with great zeal and gusto in this region.The Rajgir Dance Festival organised every year, generally in the month of October by the Bihar State Tourism Depatment attracts a huge number of visitors from far and wide.

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