Wednesday, February 20, 2013


The Bamiyan Valley is located in the region of Hazarajat, central Afghanistan, about 260 km west of Kabul, at an altitude of about 2,500 m. Bamiyan lies on the ancient Silk Road, at the crossroads between the East and West. From the 2nd century up to the time of the Islamic invasion in the 9th century, Bamiyan was an important Buddhist monastic complex. The Valley contains numerous Buddhist monastic ensembles, sanctuaries, chapels and caves (some with frescoes), as well as fortified edifices from the Islamic period. The most famous landmarks of the site were the two giant standing Buddha statues carved into the sandstone cliff face of the Bamiyan Valley in the 6th-7th centuries by Buddhist monks. Measuring 38 and 53 meters in height, they were the largest examples of standing Buddha carvings in the world. In March 2001, the two Buddha statues were intentionally dynamited and destroyed by the Taliban after the Taliban government declared that they were "idols".
Date of inscription: 2003 - Inclusion on the List of World Heritage in Danger in 2003

Top : Bamiyan Valley
Bottom left: the 53m-high Statue of Buddha - Bottom right: the 35m-high Statue of Buddha
Photo House Samad Asefi

Bamiyan Valley - Smaller Buddha before its destruction
Photo Sattar Zade

Taller Buddha before its destruction
Photo Spach Photo Collection

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