Bamyan in afghanistan predating european

Monks at the monasteries lived as hermits in small caves carved into the side of the Bamiyan cliffs.Many of these monks embellished their caves with religious statuary and elaborate, brightly colored frescoes.The Chinese Buddhist pilgrim Xuanzang passed through the area around 630, and described Bamiyan in the Da Tang Xiyu Ji as a flourishing Buddhist center "with more than ten monasteries and more than a thousand monks".He also noted that both Buddha figures were "decorated with gold and fine jewels" (Wriggins, 1995).The two most prominent statues were the giant standing Buddhas Vairocana and Sakyamuni, identified by the different mudras performed, measuring 55 and 37 metres (180 and 121 feet) high respectively.Before being blown up in 2001 they were the largest examples of standing Buddha carvings in the world (the 8th century Leshan Giant Buddha is taller, but the statue is sitting).The destruction of the Bamyan Buddhas became a symbol of oppression and a rallying point for the freedom of religious expression.

Bamiyan lies on the Silk Road which lies in the Hindu Kush mountain region, in the Bamiyan Valley.

Since then the Spring Temple Buddha has been built in China, and at 128 m (420 ft) it is the tallest statue in the world.

Plans for the construction of the Spring Temple Buddha were announced soon after the blowing up of the Bamiyan Buddhas and China condemned the systematic destruction of the Buddhist heritage of Afghanistan.

Intriguingly, Xuanzang mentions a third, even larger, reclining statue of the Buddha.

A monumental seated Buddha, similar in style to those at Bamiyan, still exists in the Bingling Temple caves in China's Gansu province.

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