Skip to content

Bamiyan buddha statues

The Bamiyan Buddhas were two giant statues of Buddha carved into the side of a cliff in the Bamiyan Valley in Afghanistan. They were destroyed by the Taliban in 2001.
Bamiyan BuddhasOpens in a new window
Bamiyan Buddhas

The Buddhas were the largest standing Buddha statues in the world, and they were a major pilgrimage site for Buddhists from all over Asia. The larger of the two statues was 55 meters (180 ft) tall, and the smaller was 38 meters (125 ft) tall. They were carved out of the cliff face over a period of several centuries, beginning in the 6th century AD.

The Buddhas of Bamiyan were a symbol of Afghanistan’s rich cultural heritage. They were also a source of national pride, and they were featured on the Afghan national flag until 1973.

In 2001, the Taliban destroyed the Buddhas of Bamiyan because they considered them to be idols. The Taliban believes that Islam prohibits the worship of idols, and they saw the Buddhas as a symbol of a non-Islamic culture.

The destruction of the Buddhas of Bamiyan was a major loss to the world’s cultural heritage. The statues were a unique and beautiful example of Buddhist art, and their destruction was a tragedy.

The Bamiyan Valley is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and there are efforts underway to restore the valley’s cultural heritage. However, the valley remains in danger, and it is important to continue to raise awareness of its plight.