Explore a different destination UNESCO World Heritage Site Cultural Landscape and Archaeological Remains of Bamiyan Valley, Afghanistan


Bamiyan Valley, Afghanistan
Bamiyan Valley, Afghanistan
Author: Hazaraboys (public domain)

Ancient Buddha statue of Bamiyan Valley, before the 2001 destruction
Ancient Buddha statue of Bamiyan Valley, before the 2001 destruction
Author: David C. Thomas (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 2.5)





The cultural landscape and archaeological remains of Bamiyan Valley are a World Heritage Site in Afghanistan that was inscribed in 2003. It is located in Bamyan Province, alternatively spelled Bamiyan, in central Afghanistan. The heritage site at Bamiyan Valley encompasses a 158.9265 hectare core zone and a 341.95 hectare buffer zone.

What to See in Bamiyan Valley

The Bamiyan Valley is famous for its ancient Buddhist remains such as monasteries, cave art and particularly gigantic Buddhist statues. Two of the biggest Buddhist statues in Bamiyan Valley, measuring 55 meters and 37 meters respectively, were deliberately destroyed by the Taleban in 2001. They were the largest standing Buddha statues in the world. Their destruction shocked the world and brought much exposure and attention to Bamiyan Valley.

In addition to the ancient Buddhist remains, Bamiyan Vally also holds remains of forts dating from various Islamic periods.

Visitors to Bamyan Province should visit Bande Amir, a place with five picturesque lakes and gorgeous landscape.

Location

Bamiyan Valley is located in Bamyan Province, whose capital is also called Bamyan. During ancient times, this area was part of the Silk Road. As a result, it received influences from Greek, Persian and Buddhist art to produce a unique art style known as Greco-Buddhist art.

Etymology

The name Bamiyan, also written Bamyan and Bamian, is derived from the Sanskrit word varmayana, which means "coloured". It is in central Afghanistan.

History

The remains of Bamiyan is believed to date back to the 4th or 5th century.

Panoramic view of Bande Amir, Bamyan Province
Panoramic view of Bande Amir, Bamyan Province
Author: Sqamarabbas (public domain)

World Heritage Site Inscription Details

Location: N34 50 48.984 E67 49 30.9
Inscription Year: 2003
Type of Site: Cultural
Inscription Criteria: I, II, III, IV, VI


View of Bamiyan Valley, Afghanistan
View of Bamiyan Valley, Afghanistan
Author: Sqamarabbas (public domain)

Threats & Issues

The political volatility of Afghanistan required the World Monuments Fund to place the Buddhist remains of Bamiyan Valley on the 2008 World Monument Watch List, as one of the 100 Most Endangered Sites of the World.

Location Map

I am using satellite view as the usual map view would render the site meaningless.


View Bamiyan Valley in a larger map

Getting there

Travel to Afghanistan remains risky, if not outright dangerous. You should get a reliable travel agent to arrange your passage.

More Photos


Local mosque, Bamiyan Valley
Author: davidadamex
Photos provided by Panoramio are under the copyright of their owners



Where the Buddha statue was, Bamiyan Valley
Author: csugarte
Photos provided by Panoramio are under the copyright of their owners



Bamiyan Valley
Author: © Morrique
Photos provided by Panoramio are under the copyright of their owners



Band-e Amir Lake, Bamiyan Valley
Author: davidadamex
Photos provided by Panoramio are under the copyright of their owners



Band-i-Amir Canyon West
Author: davidadamex
Photos provided by Panoramio are under the copyright of their owners



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