and Mahavira often stayed at Nalanda during the rainy season. Buddhist
scriptures reveal that they once stayed at Nalanda at the same time, but
there is no record of them meeting one another.
Buddhist sources say that Asoka, the Mauryan emperor (Third Century B.C)
built a temple at Nalanda. It was a flourishing hub where the
philosopher and alchemist, Nagarjuna, studied and taught in the Second
Century A.D. However, excavations have not revealed anything to suggest
that the site was occupied before the Gupta period (Fifth Century A.D.),
the earliest finds being a copper plate of Samudragupta and a coin of
Kumaragupta (414-455 A.D.). Fa-Hien who visited in the Fifth Century
A.D. makes no mention of the massive monastic establishments at Nalanda.
But Hiuen Tsang who came in A.D 637 during Harsha's reign (606-647 A.D.)
refers to the great monastery that Harsha endowed with liberal grants.
District of Nalanda with HQ Biiharsharif was established on Nov 9, 1972.
Earlier it was Biharsharif sub-division of Patna district.