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Odantapuri (also called Odantapura or Uddandapura) was a Buddhist Mahavihara in what is now Bihar, India. It was established by the Pala Emperor Gopala I in the 8th century.[1] It is considered the second oldest of India's Mahaviharas and was situated in Magadha.

Acharya Sri Ganga of Vikramashila was a student at this Mahavihara. According to the Tibetan records there were about 12,000 students at Odantapuri which was situated at a mountain called Hiranya Prabhat Parvat and by the bank of the river Panchanan.

In the modern era, it is situated in Bihar Sharif, headquarters of Nalanda district.


In a Tibetan history of the Kalachakra tantra[2] by Ngakwang Künga Sönam, 27th Sakya Trizin (Wylie: ngag dbang kun dga' bsod nams,1597–1659), it is mentioned that Odantapuri was administered by "Sendhapas," the Tibetan referent for Theravadins from Sri Lanka.

A number of monasteries grew up during the Pala period in ancient Bengal and Magadha. According to Tibetan sources, five great mahaviharas stood out: Vikramashila, the premier university of the era; Nalanda, past its prime but still illustrious, Somapura Mahavihara, Odantapuri, and Jagaddala.[3] The five monasteries formed a network; "all of them were under state supervision" and there existed "a system of co-ordination among them . . it seems from the evidence that the different seats of Buddhist learning that functioned in eastern India under the Pala were regarded together as forming a network, an interlinked group of institutions," and it was common for great scholars to move easily from position to position among them.[4]

The university perished, along with Nalanda, at the hands of Muhammad bin Bakhtiyar Khilji around 1193.


  1. ^ Sen, Sailendra (2013). A Textbook of Medieval Indian History. Primus Books. p. 34. ISBN 978-9-38060-734-4. 
  2. ^ ngag dbang kun dga' bsod nams. "༄༅།དཔལ་དུས་ཀྱི་འཁོར་ལོའི་ཟབ་པ་དང་རྒྱ་ཆེ་བའི་དམ་པའི་ཆོས་བྱུང་བའི་ཚུལ་ལེགས་པར་བཤད་པ་ངོ་མཚར་དད་པའི་ཤིང་རྟ་". TBRC. Tibetan Buddhist Resource Center. 
  3. ^ Vajrayogini: Her Visualization, Rituals, and Forms by Elizabeth English. Wisdom Publications. ISBN 0-86171-329-X pg 15
  4. ^ Buddhist Monks And Monasteries Of India: Their History And Contribution To Indian Culture. by Sukumar Dutt, George Allen and Unwin Ltd, London 1962. pg 352-3

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