Funds collected from a two day Shri Krishna Mahotsava in Mathura will be used to help farmers who have suffered crop loss due to unseasonal rains, said BJP MP, Hema Malini, and festival convener.
The festival to be held near Chandrodaya temple on 25 and 26 April will also aim to promote Mathura as a global cultural tourism destination.
“The festival is aimed at giving huge impetus to Indian culture and its global following,” Malini told the media. She also mentioned that it will increase both international and nation tourism to Mathura.
The occasion will include celebration of Krishna’s birth place, his childhood, ‘Baal Leela’ and his cultural significance. Many bollywood personalities, like Esha Deol, Shraddha Kapoor, Udit Narayan, Parineeti Chopra, Arjun Kapoor, Huma Qureshi, Govinda, Shankar Mahadevan will also be seen at the event.
Celebrations, which are to be organized for 50,000 people next year as compared to 10,000 – 15,000 this time, will telecast on a private channel on 17 May.
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.
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.