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Buddhism was founded among the royal cities and forest hermitages of northern India in the sixth to fourth centuries BCE. All three major Buddhist doctrinal groups—Theravada, Mahayana, and Vajrayana—had their origins in India. Pilgrims from across Asia would travel to India to visit the sacred sites of the Buddha’s life, or study in the great monastic universities of Nalanda or Vikramashila. From the sixth century CE onward, Buddhism faced increasing competition from Hindu devotional and tantric groups. Muslim invasions and conversions from the eighth century onward destroyed many of the great monasteries. By the end of the thirteenth century, Buddhism had mostly vanished in its homeland, although isolated Buddhist groups survived in peripheral areas. Newar Buddhists continue to practice a form of Indian Buddhism to this day.