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Haryana plans First ever International Gita Mahotsav in Kurukshetra this December

The first ever International Gita Mahotsav is organised by the Haryana government in Kurukshetra from December 6 to 10 this year

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Painting of Krishna and Arjuna. (Representational image)
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December 1, 2016: The first ever International Gita Mahotsav is organised by the Haryana government in Kurukshetra from December 6 to 10 this year.

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According to The Indian Express, “Haryana government is aiming to set a world record with the recitation of Ashtadash Shaloki Gita by as many as 18,000 students at one go. It shall also be simultaneously chanted by hundreds of people in countries across the world.”
The mega event will be inaugurated by President Pranab Mukherjee on December 6.

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During the event, from around 574 districts young men and young women will come to Kurukshetra and showcase one shloka each scripted on their dresses.

Haryana CM, Khattar said, “They would also bring along the sand from their respective districts which would be utilised to make an idol of Lord Krishna to symbolise unity and integrity of the country.”

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Khattar said that the main aim of the event is to spread Gita’s eternal message of to the world community. Global chanting of Srimadbhgvad Gita will be held before the final deepdan ceremony at Brahamsarovar in Kurukshetra, from 6 pm to 6:15 pm on Gita Jayanti Day.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, eminent writers, poets, scientists and other personalities shall be invited to the event.

The global chanting will be taking place in India, Bahrain, Canberra-Australia, Paris-France, Vancover-Canada, Hong Kong, Kenya, Kuwait, Jakarta-Indonesia, Malaysia, Mauritius, Nepal, Newzealand, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Singapore, Spain, South Africa, Sri Lanka, UAE, UK, Switzerland, California, Arizona, Chicago and New York in USA.

Haryana CM further added, “Bhagvad Gita is not confined to any particular region, but it gives a universal message of an essence of life to the mankind. International Gita Mahotsav has nothing to do with the issue of promotion of Hinduism.”

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On December 10, that is on Gita Jayanti , a dance drama will be performed on Draupadi in Kurukshetra and renowned Bollywood actress Hema Malini will be performing. The festival will also feature Saras mela and a grand crafts mela on the banks of the Brahamsarover in Kurukshetra.

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Nalanda University: 5 Lesser-Known Facts About The Ancient University

The great library of the Nalanda University was called as Dharma Gunj, which means the Mountain of Truth

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Nalanda University was the first International University. Wikimedia Commons
Nalanda University was the first International University. Wikimedia Commons

Nalanda University, an ancient university, was a completely residential university believed to have 2,000 teachers and 10,000 students. The Nalanda ruins reveal through their architectural components the holistic nature of knowledge that was sought and imparted at this University. It suggests a seamless co-existence between nature and man and between living and learning.

The profound knowledge of the Nalanda teachers attracted scholars from places as distant as China, Korea, Japan, Tibet, Mongolia, Turkey, Sri Lanka and South East Asia.

ALSO READ: India’s lost pride on its way to revival – Nalanda

The famous song “O Mere Raja” from the film ‘Johny Mera Nam’ starring Dev Anand and Hema Malini was shot at the ruins of Nalanda and the Vishwa Shanti Stupa in Rajgir, Bihar. Wikimedia Commons
The famous song “O Mere Raja” from the film ‘Johny Mera Nam’ starring Dev Anand and Hema Malini was shot at the ruins of Nalanda and the Vishwa Shanti Stupa in Rajgir, Bihar. Wikimedia Commons

Here are some lesser-known facts about Nalanda University History: 

1. Nalanda University was an ancient university and also, the first International University. It was built under the patronage of the Gupta Empire in the 5th century AD and remained the best center for learning for over 800 years with around 10,000 students. In fact, 2,000 teachers came from all over the world such as Korea, Japan, China, Tibet, Indonesia, Persia, and Turkey.

2. Nalanda University had the basic purpose of creating a place fit for meditation, for which it was founded by the Buddhist monks. Highly formalized Vedic learning methods helped inspire the creation of large teaching institutions such as Nalanda University, as well as Taxila and Vikramashila.

3. The great library of the Nalanda Vishwavidyalaya was called as Dharma Gunj, which means the Mountain of Truth. The library was said to house hundreds and thousands of volumes of books. The library was attacked several times in past and then later restored by Harshavardhan, the Buddhist king. But the army led by Turkish leader Bakhtiyar Khilji destroyed the complex, massacring all the Buddhist monks in the area.

4. The famous song “O Mere Raja” from the film ‘Johny Mera Nam’ starring Dev Anand and Hema Malini was shot at the ruins of Nalanda Vishwavidyalaya and the Vishwa Shanti Stupa in Rajgir, Bihar.

5. Nalanda Vishwavidyalaya attracts a huge number of tourists every year. It is well connected by road or rail. Rajgiri is the nearest train station. However, the frequency of trains is higher at Patna and Gaya. The best time to visit Nalanda is between October and March.