Every story has a moral, every journey has a destination and every dream has a realization…
Before we begin to unfold the story, we’d like you to know that this blog is an effort to generate awareness about the heritage of Nalanda; bequeathed to us as timeless treasure and we’d like to share it with the world and present it as an invaluable resource to unearthing our past and enriched history. We’d also like to develop an appreciation for the cultural heritage that we are a part of and take pride in our roots.
As you accompany us on this journey, you’ll realize that Nalanda was way ahead of its times and could have been a foundation stone for many forthcoming theories, lifestyle choices, scientific and religious concepts and we already cherish the heritage of Nalanda without knowing it, without may be acknowledging it.
Our commitment lies with the benefit of the community from this heritage.
As the popularity of this place is growing, we have seen an increase in the quest for knowledge that this region offers, tourism has increased multi-folds and pride in our history has increased but the very people who have held it together for centuries are at a disconnect. They haven’t seen a direct impact on their lives from the increased popularity of the area.
Based on our research so far and our communication within the community, we have found that for the long term preservation of this heritage that is scattered in the villages all around, some discovered and other that is still to be unearthed; we need to educate them about the treasure, make them associate with it and most importantly make them see the benefit of preserving it all for the future generation.
A direct benefit that can be achieved by the community would be to have sustainable livelihood based on the tourist activities and other products related to this industry. Our larger purpose of this project is to involve the local community in the already growing tourism industry of the area and partake in the revenues that can be reverted back to enhancing the service industry and improve the overall experience of the tourists and the locals as well.
Here is a map of the journey that we plan to reveal and share with you the subtleties of the area to make your trip more enjoyable:
1. Footsteps of Xuanzang — this is where we share with you the hardships that were met by the initial explorers and how Xuanzang’s eyewitness account helped them see the Buddhist heritage and how they pieced the story to share it with the world.
2. Nalanda – the place is a buried treasure and everything from its name to the ruins have a story to tell, some of these are founded on solid facts and there are others that were built to answer the unknown. We’ll share with you what we have uncovered so far, some myths and more realities.
3. A Journey with the enlightened – As the name suggests this area has attracted various spiritual leaders from Buddha and Mahavir to all the way back to the mythological characters of Mahabharata. We have stories to tell, some based on the discoveries and others based on the belief of local people.
4. Heritage spread in the villages - As we mentioned above, the villages are scattered with lots very significant sculpture that are in dire need for protection. In the last 25 years many have gone missing from these villages and the community needs a comprehensive awareness program to deal with such rampant destruction of our heritage.
As we talk about these heritage pieces that are yet to be documented, we’ll share with you the folklores that have been built around the potsherds, bricks and sculpture found in these areas. These stories have been passed on for generations and make the archeological journey through the local villages very interesting.
5. We’ll end this journey with the discussion on the crux and suggest a plan for the community participation in heritage management and livelihood from tourism based on a Participatory appraisal with the local community.
We plan to discuss an interpretation program, new travel maps (routes) for the tourists and a few newer places and their historic references; with the hope of benefiting both tourists and the locals with this process.
So with the hope that you’ll accompany us on this journey through the end, let’s get the ball rolling…