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The Mahavihara is a special tile improvement in Civilization VI. It can be built by a player that is the Suzerain of the Nalanda city-state.


With few placement restrictions, the Mahavihara can make for educated pious cities that make Saladin envious. While the housing bonus is also helpful, the biggest bonus of the Mahavihara is the free technology upon initially building one. This alone makes it worthwhile to work for Suzerainty of Nalanda, even if only for a few turns.

Civilopedia entry[]

A vihara is the Sanskrit and Pali term for a Buddhist monastery; “Maha” simply means “great,” so the “mahavihara” just means a large center for monastic life. Buddhist monks in a vihara are not the stereotype of silent worshippers simply seeking enlightenment via meditation. Rather, many monasteries are places of active learning – devotees are exposed to a wide variety of knowledge and encouraged to debate religious and scientific truths. The mahavihara of Nalanda was a massive complex that brought visitors from all across Asia precisely for this discussion and exchange. It contained within it a library that contained knowledge both of Buddhism as well as literature and science, including several famous texts: Nagarjuna’s Madhyamaka, or the doctrine of emptiness; as well as the Four Vedas – Sanskrit texts that are vital to both Buddhism and Hinduism. Vihara are still present today – the terms “wihan” and “vihear” in Thai and Cambodian, respectively, refer to the main functional structure in a Buddhist temple.


Civilization VI Improvements [edit]
Standard AirstripCampFarmFishing BoatsFortGeothermal Plant GS-Only.pngLumber MillMineMissile SiloMountain Tunnel GS-Only.pngNational ParkOffshore Oil RigOffshore Wind Farm GS-Only.pngOil WellPasturePlantationQuarryRailroad GS-Only.pngSeaside ResortSeastead GS-Only.pngSki Resort GS-Only.pngSolar Farm GS-Only.pngWind Farm GS-Only.png
Unique ChâteauChemamull R&F-Only.pngFeitoria1Golf Course R&F-Only.pngGreat WallHacienda1Ice Hockey Rink GS-Only.pngKampung1KurganMekewap R&F-Only.pngMissionNubian Pyramid1Open-Air Museum GS-Only.pngOutback Station1 GS-Only.pngPairidaeza1Polder R&F-Only.pngQhapaq Ñan GS-Only.pngRock-Hewn Church1Roman FortSphinxStepwellTerrace Farm GS-Only.pngZiggurat
City-state Alcázar1Batey1Cahokia Mounds GS-Only.pngColossal HeadsMahavihara1Moai GS-Only.pngMonastery1Nazca Line GS-Only.pngTrading Dome1
Governor R&F-Only.png City Park R&F-Only.pngFishery R&F-Only.png
Modes only Barricade4Corporation3Industry3Modernized Trap4Reinforced Barricade4Trap4Vampire Castle2
1 Requires a DLC2 Secret Societies mode only • 3 Monopolies and Corporations mode only • 4 Zombie Defense mode only

R&F-Only.png Added in the Rise and Fall expansion pack.
GS-Only.png Added in the Gathering Storm expansion pack.