Gupta Empire Universities: The Gupta rulers gave tremendous importance to education. The Gupta Empire was also popular for offering various educations and learning centers. The capital city of Pataliputra was one of the important learning centers.
Cities like Ayodhya, Mathura, Nasik, and Kanchi were popular education centers. Some of the famous universities of the Gupta period were Nalanda, Takshila, and Vallabi.
Gupta Empire Universities
1) Nalanda University
Nalanda University was established by Kumaragupta I in the 5th century. The university was one of the important learning centers of the Gupta period and it was situated in the present day Bihar. The university offered a variety of courses for the students.
The standard of education of the university was so high that it attracted students from foreign countries like China and Persia. It covered a vast stretch of land and was also known for its infrastructural facilities.
Nalanda University was one of the first universities which provided residential quarters or hostels for the students. The students returned home after the curriculum was completed. Education was imparted orally. The students at the Nalanda University were taught free of cost.
The Nalanda University was also known for its library. The Nalanda university library was known as Dharma Gunj which meant Mountain of Truth. It was also known as Dharmaganja.
The university library had three main buildings known as Ratnasagara or Sea of Jewels, Ratnodadhi or Ocean of Jewels and Ratnaranjaka, meaning a collection of gems. The students would access the libraries for reference purposes. The Nalanda University was however destroyed in invasion attacks led by Turkic Muslims.
2) Takhsila University
The Takshila university was one of the first few centers in the world which offered higher education. The university was however established before the Gupta empire came into existence, somewhere around 700 BC.
Takshila university was a center where a variety of subjects were taught to the students. These included astronomy, medicine, accounts, politics, mathematics, science, law, music, painting, and many other subjects.
The students of Takshila university had to pay the requisite fees in order to obtain an education. Like Nalanda university, Takshila attracted students from foreign countries.
3) Vallabi University
This university was established during the reign of the Gupta ruler Skandagupta. It was founded by the Maitrakas. They were the descendants of General Bhatarka, who was a military governor of Saurashtra during the rule of Skandagupta. The university was a popular center for Hinayana Buddhism. The Vallabi University was funded by the Maitraka kings.
There were some other universities which achieved popularity during the Gupta empire period. One of them was the Ujjaini university. This university was known for providing education in the field of astronomy.