History of the Buddhas of Bamiyan
Bamyan (or Bamiyan), situated 240 kms northwest of Kabul between the
snow-covered ranges of Koh-i Baba and Hindu Kush, is a small city lying in a
beautiful valley containing the remarkable statues of the Buddhas of Bamiyan. The
kingdom of Bamiyan was a Buddhist state positioned at a strategic location along
the silk road betwenn China and Europe.
The construction of the two statues was begun in the second century A.D. under the
patronage of Emperor Kanishka and probably finished around the fifth century A.D.
The height of the Small Buddha was 38 m, that of the Large Buddha 55 m. The
figures of the two Buddhas were decorated with gold and fine jewels. Many caves
were carved in the Bamiyan's cliffs in the same periods as the Buddhas. They were
used as chapels and many monks lived there.