XUANZANG MEMORIAL HALL
Ven. Xuanzang, a Buddhist monk scholar who travelled from China to India in the Seventh Century along the famous Silk Road, strenghtenins the bond between the two countries. By acting as a diplomat, he threaded together estates and kingdoms he traveled through. He was a luminary who traveled beyond boundaries, with the desire for ultimate wisdom and his passion inspired every person he met on his journey.
Ven. Bhikkhu Jagadish Kashyap, the founder Director of Nava Nalanda Mahavihara first proposed the establishment of a Memorial Hall as a symbol of Indo-China friendship dedicated to the great Monk, scholar Ven Xuanzang to pay homage to his spirit of freedom and quest for knowledge, and also, to strengthen the friendship between the India and China. With the help of Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, India's first Prime Minister and Chinese Premier Zhou Enlai, work for the establishment of the Xuanzang Memorial Hall was initiated in January 1957. The Government of India received the relics of Ven. Xuanzang along with an endowment for the construction of the Xuanzang Memorial Hall and some Chinese Buddhist texts, from the Chinese Government at a function at Nava Nalanda Mahavihara, Nalanda. The construction of Xuanzang Memorial Hall was completed in 1984.
In the year 2001, the Memorial Hall was handed over to the Nava Nalanda Mahavihara, Nalanda for its renovation, restoration and creative development. Though the construction of the Museum started in 1961, but due to unforeseen circumstances, it was not completed. In the year 2001, efforts were made to revive the construction and the site plan was handed over to the Director of Nava Nalanda Mahavihara, Nalanda, Dr. Ravindra Panth. His proposal to Ministry of Culture, Government of India resulted in a resource committee to execute the renovation work of the hall and to do creative art work. In 2005, a team of experts from both sides of the border made recommendations for reconstruction and creative art work for the Memorial Museum. The work was accomplished in the year 2006 and the memorial museum was jointly inaugurated by dignitaries from India and China on the 12th February 2007. The Xuanzang Memorial Museum is a fine blend of cultural subtleties of both countries which signifies the close knit roots of a common origin. It opens up a window of opportunities for further exchange of culture and ideology, not only between the two nations but also among others that are strung in a similar thread and want to strengthen friendship in the region.
Nava Nalanda Mahavihara, Nalanda is particularly thankful to the Ministry of Culture, Government of India, the Government and the people of China, and various Buddhist organizations for supporting this noble project. The Xuanzang Memorial symbolizes the age-old ties between the two great civilizations of India and China and is a befitting tribute to Indo-China friendship. The essential components of the creative works to shape it in a Memorial Museum were carried out subsequently.