For lack of extensive exploration and excavation the entire rich heritage of this place is still a riddle for the rest of the world. Most of the literatures available to the tourists visiting Nalanda are just an estimate and supposition.
Exploration and excavation work in the area has taken place in parts without any continuity or link. No efforts have ever been made to obtain a bird’s eye view of events, sites and its significance.
Most of the exploration work was carried out by Cunningham and Broadlay and the excavation work followed those findings. The identification of important places associated with Lord Buddha and the ancient University could not be completed then for various reasons like,
1- limitation of scientific tools available at that time
2- Habitation (not very supportive) at the sites
3- High migration and repopulation of various sites, old names got corrupted. Hence leading to various interpretations.
Mapping of Nalanda is important in the present context because the work initiated by Cunningham and Broadlay is still half way. Identification of places associated with Sariputta, Mogllayan and Mahakashayapa are must, for Nalanda is also important to the world because it has given these important pillars of Buddhism. Interpretation of Ancient Nalanda University is incomplete without knowing its Gate, Library and its extension. What we have now is just 10 % of what has been mentioned.
The Mapping project is initiated to complete the unfinished task. This vicinity is full of Mounds and remains, all such places are under threat, and lots of damage has already been done by habitation, by removing earth and bricks. If nothing is done now for its preservation we will loose a part of heritage which was preserved for last many centuries. This project is also necessary because there is need to look beyond the popular sites around Nalanda. Most of the past studies have been concentrated around sites discussed by Cunningham and Broadlay. There are many site which are still not discussed or explored , all such sites in the radius of 16 km are important till all important discoveries are done. Many villages in the radius of 16Km have small or big mounds, scattered stone images and pottery. We are losing all such evidences very fast, this project shall help in documenting the present state of all such sites and shall take measures to protect and preserve such sites. The project will end with publications fulfilling objectives of the project.
1- Discovering the places of significance shall make the interpretation more authentic
2- This will enrich the visitors experience and tourists will have more places to visit
3- A complete chronology of events, development of art and culture in and around Nalanda shall be established
4- A complete picture of art and culture of this area through periods could be documented. This will further help in establishing and promoting Nalanda Art through pottery and stone work.
5- Development of conjectural images of ancient sites through various periods.