Centuries ago, a Chinese traveller, Hsuan Tsang, set out on a spectacular journey in search of the true teachings of the Buddha. Travelling through the central Asiatic regions, he trudged over countless deserts and mountains, braving untold perils to arrive in India. He studied at Nalanda, the most celebrated center of Buddhist learning in India. In his 16 years’ stay, he visited over 130 Indian kingdoms on foot including Kashmir, Kapilavasthu, Mathura, Ayodhya, Bodhgaya, Benares, Sarnath.
He also travelled down south visiting Amaravati and Nagarjunakonda in Andhradesha as well as Kanchi in Tamil Nadu. His profound learning and brilliant oratory earned him the admiration of many a powerful ruler, most notably King Harshavardhana. In fact, his memoirs contain valuable insights into life and culture as it existed in early medieval India.