Which Was the Most Famous Indian Universities During Ancient Times?

India has a rich history of education, with some of the oldest universities in the world. These universities were centers of learning for various fields like mathematics, astronomy, medicine, and philosophy. Let’s take a look at some of the most famous Indian universities during ancient times.


Takshashila was one of the oldest and most famous universities in ancient India. It was located in present-day Pakistan and dates back to 700 BC. Takshashila was a place where students from all over the world came to study various subjects like mathematics, medicine, politics, and warfare.

The university had many renowned teachers like Chanakya (also known as Kautilya), who is best known for writing the book ‘Arthashastra’ – an ancient Indian treatise on statecraft, economic policy, and military strategy.


Nalanda was another famous university that dates back to the Gupta period (5th century AD). It was located in present-day Bihar, India and was considered one of the largest residential universities in the world at that time. Nalanda had over 10,000 students from all over the world and offered courses in various fields like astronomy, medicine, philosophy, and religion.

One of its most famous teachers was Aryabhata – an astronomer who is known for his contributions to mathematics and astronomy.


Vikramashila was another prominent university that flourished during the Pala Empire (8th-12th century AD). It was also located in present-day Bihar, India and had many renowned teachers like Atisha – a Buddhist philosopher who introduced Tibetan Buddhism to India.

Vikramashila offered courses in various fields like grammar, logic, tantra (esoteric practices), and philosophy. It also had a large library that housed many ancient texts.


These universities were not only centers of learning but also cultural hubs that attracted students and scholars from all over the world. They played a significant role in shaping India’s intellectual and cultural heritage. Even today, their legacy lives on, and they continue to inspire and influence generations of students and scholars around the world.