Students trying to recreate 4th century university using 3-D modeling

Students trying to recreate 4th century university using 3-D modeling

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Kanpur, India, 21 June 2006: A group of students from IIT-Kanpur are trying to look back and ‘‘re-create’’ the Nalanda University that existed between 4th century BC and 12th century AD near what is now Patna, through animation and computer-generated 3-D models to apprise the world more about the ancient seat of learning.

Abhishek Upadhyaya, a Final-Year Master of Design student at IIT-Kanpur, has designed Nalanda University the way it was before the Mughal rulers decided to raze it. Titled ‘‘Information Visualisation and Digital Re-creation of Ancient Nalanda University’’, the project collates and restructures data about the ancient university from vast and varied resources.

Gaurav Shukla, an animation and visual art student who assisted Upadhyaya in the ancient varsity’s 3-D modelling, said technology could open a new vista with its near-perfect visualisation of historical artefacts. ‘‘Computer-generated 3-D models makes possible virtual reconstruction of architectural and structural detail of any historical monument,’’ Shukla said, ‘‘though it is an extremely challenging task to do it practically.’’

Currently, the faculty and students are in contact with senior archaeologist Vidula Jaiswal of IT-BHU, R Pant of Nav Nalanda Maha Vihar and other prominent personalities to take the project further.