Mentioned as a brahmin village in Māgadha, not far from Rājagaha. SN.iv.251 AN.v.120 AN.v.121 SN.v.161
Also mentioned as a town near Rājagaha. The Buddha is mentioned as having several times stayed there during his residence in Pāvārika’s mango grove, and while there he had discussions with Upāli-Gahapati and Dīghatapassī, SN.ii.110 MN.i.376ff. with Kevaṭṭa, DN.i.211ff. and also several conversations with Asibandhakaputta. SN.ii.311–323
The Buddha visited Nāḷandā during his last tour through Māgadha, and it was there that Sāriputta uttered his “lion’s roar,” affirming his faith in the Buddha, shortly before his death.DN.ii.81f. DN.iii.99ff. SN.v.159ff. The road from Rājagaha to Nāḷandā passed through Ambalaṭṭhikā, DN.ii.81 Vin.ii.287 and from Nāḷandā it went on to Pāṭaligāma. DN.ii.84 Between Rājagaha and Nāḷandā was situated the Bahuputta cetiya. SN.ii.220
According to the Kevaṭṭa Sutta, DN.i.211 in the Buddha’s time Nāḷandā was already an influential and prosperous town, thickly populated, though it was not till later that it became the centre of learning for which it afterwards became famous. There is a record in the Saṃyutta Nikāya SN.iv.322 of the town having been the victim of a severe famine during the Buddha’s time.