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The ruined gate of the fort at Bihar Sharif in Bihar, thought to have been part of Odantapuri university.

Odantapurī (T. o tan ta pū ri), a.k.a Uḍḍandapura, was a prominent monasitic university that was located in modern-day Bihar, India. It is thought to have been the second oldest monastic university in India, after Nalanda.

Odantapuri was founded by Gopala I (660-705), the first king of the Pala dynasty.[1] The Pala dynasty continued to support Buddhism in this region for centuries.[1]

Odantapuri was highly influential in the Buddhist world in it's day. It is believed to have reached its peak in the eigth century. Tibetan sources indicate that the 8th century Samye monastery, which was the first Buddhist monastery in Tibet, was modeled upon Odantapuri (which in turn was modeled after Sumeru and the four dvipas).[2]

The monastery flourished until the turn of the thirteenth century, when it was attacked and destroyed by Ghurid Muslims who invaded the region in 1199 and 1200 CE.[1] The Muslim armies, under the leadership of Muhammad bin Bakhtiyar Khalji, also destroyed Vikramashila monastery at this time. The monks who survived the destruction of Odantapurī are said to have fled to Nepal and Tibet.[3]

Further reading


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Robert E. Buswell Jr., Donald S. Lopez Jr., The Princeton Dictionary of Buddhism (Princeton: 2014), s.v. Odantapurī
  2. Powers, John (2007-11-09). Introduction to Tibetan Buddhism. Shambhala Publications. p. 148. ISBN 978-1-55939-282-2. 
  3. Scharfe, Hartmut (2002). "From Monasteries to Universities". Handbook of Oriental Studies. BRILL. ISBN 978-90-04-12556-8. 
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