Vikramshila Ruins are a unique and popular tourist site in the city of Bhagalpur. Located at Kahalgaon Block, it is situated at a distance of 40 kms from Bhagalpur District, Bihar and can be reached in about 2 hours via NH-33 by a personal vehicle. The ruins of this great monument are famous for its rich and tragic history.
Vikramshila Ruins are the ruins of one of the oldest universities in the whole world. It was one of the two most important centres of learning in ancient India, other being the infamous Nalanda University established in the 5th century. The Vikramshila University was established by King Dharmapala during the rule of Pal dynasty in the 8th Century. It served as a centre for learning Tantric Buddhism at the time. It was destroyed by Bakhtiyar Khilji and his army after the fall of the city's rulers. The university is surrounded by the confluence of the rivers Kosi and the mighty Ganga. It is surrounded by 108 temples dedicated to Lord Shiva and Goddess Maa Kali. The infamous rock cut caves are also present in its premises. The University was once a repository of several Tibetan texts and is still linked with theology. The Mahayana School of Buddhism also began at this place during the Pal era. Unfortunately, the university was destroyed in the Khilji Invasion and was buried underground for many centuries. It was recently excavated by the government in the 1970s and was declared a heritage site.
Vikramshila Ruins is one of the most interesting visiting places near Bhagalpur and is ideal for history buffs and shutterbugs. The university was a highly acclaimed pilgrimage centre in ancient India and its ruins remind us of the glorious yet tragic past of the country. There are extensive carvings on the buildings and there is the main stupa in the centre of the ruins made entirely of stones. There is a small museum near the premises depicting the history of this ancient University and also has idols and statues of Buddhist Gurus.
Vikramshila Ruins and the history attached to it entice a large number of tourists from all over the world to visit this epic piece of Indian history. Visitors ideally spend 3-4 hours exploring these ruins and caves and diving into its epic history. Vikramshila Ruins has visiting timings 10. 00 AM - 5. 00 PM on all days of the week. The entry fee is 5 INR for Indian tourists and 100 INR for foreign tourists. The best time to visit the place is during the winters on a non-holiday to avoid the summer heat and large crowd.