بامیان بام دنیا
|• President of City Council||Muhammad Tahir Zaheer|
|• Total||35 km2 (14 sq mi)|
|Elevation||2,550 m (8,370 ft)|
Bamyan ( /, -/ ; Dari : بامیان) also spelled Bamiyan or Bamian is the capital of Bamyan Province in central Afghanistan. With an altitude of about 2,550 m and a population of about 100,000 (in 2014), Bamyan is the largest town in the central Afghanistan region of Hazarajat, and lies approximately 240 kilometres north-west of Kabul, the national capital. It also refers to the surrounding valley. Many statues of Buddha are carved into the sides of cliffs facing Bamyan city. In 2008, Bamyan was found to be the home of the world's oldest oil paintings. The city of Bamyan has four districts and a total land area of 3,539 hectares. The total number of dwellings in this city are 4,435.
The valley is the Center of the Hazara settlement area , now known as Hazarajat. At the end of the 10th century AD, there was a Buddhist culture in which several thousand Buddhist monks lived in caves carved into the mountain. The 53 and 35 meters high standing Buddha statues are two of the best known monuments left from the Buddhists, which were then destroyed by the Taliban in 2001. Furthermore, there are several cultural sites left from both the Buddhist and from the later Islamic era of the valley. After the overthrown of Taliban from power in 2002, considerable efforts have been made to preserve the cultural monuments in the valley.
The Bamiyan valley marked the most westerly point of Buddhist expansion and was a crucial hub of trade for much of the second millennium CE. It was a place where East met West and its archaeology reveals a blend of Greek, Turkic, Persian, Chinese and Indian influence. The valley is one of Afghanistan's most touristic places.
Bamyan City joined the UNESCO Creative Cities Network as a Crafts and Folk Art city in 2017.
The 2,500 m high valley is about 230 km northwest of Kabul and separates the Hindu Kush mountain range from the Koh-e Baba mountains. On the north side there is an approximately 1.5 kilometres long, high, almost vertical sandstone cliff that was formed by a glacier. The Buddha statues and most of the caves in the valley were carved into this rock face. In the valley itself and on the slopes, there are numerous ruins from earlier times.
Situated on the ancient Silk Route, the town was at the crossroads between the East and West when all trade between China and the Middle East passed through it. The Hunas made it their capital in the 5th century. Because of the cliff of the Buddhas, the ruins of the Monk's caves, Shahr-e Gholghola ('City of Sighs', the ruins of an ancient city destroyed by Genghis Khan during the 1221 siege of Bamiyan), and its local scenery, it is one of the most visited places in Afghanistan. The Shahr-e Zuhak mound ten miles south of the valley is the site of a citadel that guarded the city, and the ruins of an acropolis could be found there as recently as the 1990s.
The town is the cultural center of the Hazara ethnic group of Afghanistan. Most of the population lives in downtown Bamyan. The valley is cradled between the parallel mountain ranges of the Hindu Kush and the Koh-i-Baba.
Mountains cover ninety percent of the province, and the cold, long winter, lasting for six months, brings temperatures of three to twenty degrees Celsius below zero. Mainly Daizangi Hazara people live in the area. Transportation facilities are increasing, but sparse. Notably Bamyan is now connected by road to Kabul through Parwan province and through Maidan Wardak. The connection between Maidan Shar and Bamyan – 136 km long – makes it possible to reach Kabul in a 2-hour drive. The connection is almost completed missing just 15 km of paving
The main crops are wheat, barley, mushung, and baquli, grown in spring. When crops are damaged by unusually harsh weather, residents herd their livestock down to Ghazni and Maidan provinces to exchange for food.
The city and the province are served by Bamyan Airport. A new airport has been completed in 2015 with an asphalt runway. The project was funded by the Japanese Government and carried out by the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS).
Bamyan's climate is transitional between cold arid (Köppen BWk) and semi-arid (Köppen BSk), with cold winters and warm, dry summers. Precipitation mostly falls in late winter and spring.
|Climate data for Bamyan|
|Record high °C (°F)||12.0|
|Average high °C (°F)||1.0|
|Daily mean °C (°F)||−6.4|
|Average low °C (°F)||−10.1|
|Record low °C (°F)||−30.5|
|Average precipitation mm (inches)||8.3|
|Average rainy days||0||0||2||7||6||1||1||0||0||2||2||0||21|
|Average snowy days||5||7||6||2||0||0||0||0||0||0||1||3||24|
|Average relative humidity (%)||43||54||52||52||52||46||45||45||43||44||48||52||48|
|Mean monthly sunshine hours||196.7||174.6||210.7||239.4||—||356.9||372.9||357.8||325.3||276.7||245.5||198.0||—|
|Source 1: Hong Kong Observatory|
|Source 2: NOAA (1960–1983)|
|History of Afghanistan|
|Related historical names of the region|
The city of Bamyan was part of the Kushan Empire in the early centuries of the Christian era. After the Kushan Empire fell to the Sassanids, Bamyan became part of the Kushansha, vassals to the Sassanids. The Buddhist pilgrim Fa Xian visited Bamyan in the fifth century and recorded that the king summoned the monks of the region for vows and prayers. Fa Xian also records landslides and avalanches in the mountains and the presence of snow during winter and summer. This latter statement suggests climatic change which could have contributed to the historical and economic importance of the area for the years to come. Another Buddhist traveller, Xuanzang, passed through Bamyan in the seventh century. His record shows that the Bamiyan Buddhas and cave monastery near it were already built. He also records that Buddhism in the region was in decay with the people being "hard and uncultivated".The Hephthalites conquered Bamyan in the 5th century. After their Khanate was destroyed by the Sassanids and Turks in 565, Bamyan became the capital of the small Kushano-Hephthalite kingdom until 870, when it was conquered by the Saffarids. The area was conquered by the Ghaznavids in the 11th century. The Ghurid Dynasty then ruled over Bamyan during the late 12th century. In 1221 the city and its population were completely wiped out by Genghis Khan. The Qarlughids established their capital in the city soon thereafter. There is some evidence that Bamyan was somewhat populated and reconstructed during the Timurid period in the 15th century. In 1840, the region was under conflict because of the First Anglo-Afghan War when the British routed Dost Mohammad Khan and his forces. The first European to see Bamyan was William Moorcroft (explorer) about 1824. During 1998–2001, Bamyan has been the center of combat between Taliban forces and the anti-Taliban alliance; mainly Hizb-i-Wahdat – amid clashes among the warlords of local militia. Bamyan is also known as the capital of Daizangi.
Favoured by its location on one of the main trade routes from the West to China and India, the valley was of great strategic importance even in ancient times. In the past it became a stop for trade caravans, a well-known artistic site and was also a major Buddhist center for centuries. Under later Islamic rule, Bamiyan also gained great importance until the valley was destroyed and completely devastated by Genghis Khan.
Several decades passed before a town appeared in the valley again, but it could only acquire regional importance.
The area of Bamiyan belonged to the Persian Achaemenid Empire under Darius I and lay on the southern border of the twelfth satrapy of this empire.
Alexander the Great may have passed Bamiyan when he was born in 329 BC. He had crossed the Hindu Kush on his campaign of conquest . However, this assumption has not yet been historically confirmed.
Ashoka , the ruler of the ancient Indian Maurya dynasty , according to an old inscription, was sent in 261 BC. to convert the area. This was just before the Greco-Bactrian Kingdom declared independence in the northern Hindu Kush region.
Under the rule of the Kushana dynasty, Buddhism gradually established itself in the Hindu Kush area. Between the 2nd and 4th centuries AD, a number of Buddhist sites arose along the trade routes at that. Bamiyan itself was to become the largest and most famous of these Buddhist sites. However, the exact point in time when Buddhism found its way into Bamiyan itself is not known.
On the cliff face of a mountain nearby, three colossal statues were carved 4,000 feet apart. One of them was 175 feet (53 m) high standing statue of Buddha, the world's tallest. The ancient statue was carved during the Kushan period in the fifth century. The statues were destroyed by the Taliban in March 2001, on the grounds that they were an affront to Islam. Limited efforts have been made to rebuild them, with negligible success.
At one time, two thousand monks meditated in caves among the sandstone cliffs.[ citation needed ] The caves were also a big tourist attraction before the long series of wars in Afghanistan. The world's earliest oil paintings have been discovered in caves behind the destroyed statues. Scientists from the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility have confirmed that the oil paintings, probably of either walnut or poppy seed oil, are present in 12 of the 50 caves dating from the 5th to 9th century. The murals typically have a white base layer of a lead compound, followed by an upper layer of natural or artificial pigments mixed with either resins or walnut or poppy seed drying oils. Possibly, the paintings may be the work of artists who travelled on the Silk Road.
The caves at the base of these statues were used by Taliban for storing weapons. After the Taliban were driven from the region, civilians made their homes in the caves. Recently, Afghan refugees escaped the persecution of the Taliban regime by hiding in caves in the Bamiyan valley. These refugees discovered a fantastic[ clarification needed ] collection of Buddhist statues as well as jars holding more than ten thousand fragments of ancient Buddhist manuscripts, a large part of which is now in the Schøyen Collection. This has created a sensation among scholars, and the find has been compared with the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls.
From 2003–13, a Provincial Reconstruction Team was based in Bamyan, first manned by U.S. forces, and, since April 2003, by New Zealand Defence Force personnel which made up the Provincial Reconstruction Team. The 34th Division in the area, part of the 4th Corps, was affiliated with Karim Khalili.Bamiyan was one of the first pilot centres for the Afghan New Beginnings Programme of Disarmament, demobilization and reintegration. On 4 July 2004 disarmament began in Bamiyan, and on 15 July 2004 disarmament was continuing in Bamiyan including soldiers from the 34th and 35th Divisions of the then Afghan Army, often referred to as the Afghan Military or Militia Forces.
The population of this city is estimated to be 100,000 in 2016. Hazaras make up almost the entire population of Bamyan.
Bamyan, located in the central highlands, is one of the oldest cities in the country and is widely known for the giant, ancient Buddha statues that were carved into the side of a cliff. [ citation needed ]
Archaeological exploration of the pre-Islamic period of Afghanistan began in Afghanistan in earnest after World War II and proceeded until the late 1970s when the nation was invaded by the Soviet Union. Archaeologists and historians suggest that humans were living in Afghanistan at least 50,000 years ago, and that farming communities of the region were among the earliest in the world. Urbanized culture has existed in the land from between 3000 and 2000 BC. Artifacts typical of the Paleolithic, Mesolithic, Neolithic, Bronze, and Iron ages have been found inside Afghanistan.
The Hazaras are an ethnic group native to, and primarily residing in, the mountainous region of Hazarajat, in central Afghanistan. They speak the Hazaragi dialect of Persian which is mutually intelligible with Dari, one of the two official languages of Afghanistan.
The Hindu Kush is an 800-kilometre-long (500 mi) mountain range that stretches through Afghanistan, from its centre to Northern Pakistan and into Tajikistan. The range forms the western section of the Hindu Kush Himalayan Region (HKH) and is the westernmost extension of the Pamir Mountains, the Karakoram and the Himalayas. It divides the valley of the Amu Darya to the north from the Indus River valley to the south. The range has numerous high snow-capped peaks, with the highest point being Tirich Mir or Terichmir at 7,708 metres (25,289 ft) in the Chitral District of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan. To the north, near its northeastern end, the Hindu Kush buttresses the Pamir Mountains near the point where the borders of China, Pakistan and Afghanistan meet, after which it runs southwest through Pakistan and into Afghanistan near their border. The eastern end of the Hindu Kush in the north merges with the Karakoram Range. Towards its southern end, it connects with the Spin Ghar Range near the Kabul River.
Hazarajat or Hazaristan is a mountainous region in the central highlands of Afghanistan, among the Koh-i-Baba mountains in the western extremities of the Hindu Kush. It is the homeland of the Hazara people who make up the majority of its population. "Hazārajāt denotes an ethnic and religious zone." Hazarajat is primarily made up of the provinces of Bamyan, Daykundi, Ghor and large parts of Ghazni, Urozgan, Parwan, Maidan Wardak and more. The most populous towns in Hazarajat are Bamyan, Yakawlang (Bamyan), Nili (Daykundi), Lal wa Sarjangal (Ghor), Sang-e-Masha (Ghazni), Gizab (Urozgan) and Behsud. The Kabul, Farah, Hari, Murghab, Balkh and Kunduz rivers originate from Hazarajat.
Freedom of religion in Afghanistan has changed in recent years because the current government of Afghanistan has only been in place since 2002, following a U.S.-led invasion which displaced the former Taliban government. The Constitution of Afghanistan is dated January 23, 2004, and its initial three articles mandate:
Bamyan Province is one of the thirty-four provinces of Afghanistan, located in the central highlands of the country. Its terrain is mountainous or semi-mountainous, at the western end of the Hindu Kush mountains concurrent with the Himalayas. The province is divided into eight districts, with the town of Bamyan serving as its capital. The province has a population of about 495,557 and borders Samangan to the north, Baghlan, Parwan and Wardak to the east, Ghazni and Daykundi to the south, and Ghor and Sar-e Pol to the west. It is the largest province in the Hazarajat region of Afghanistan, and is the cultural capital of the Hazara ethnic group that predominates in the area.
Gandhāra located in Ancient India, present day north-west Pakistan, is the old name for the valley and district of Peshawar. The region centered around the Peshawar Valley and Swat river valley, though the cultural influence of "Greater Gandhara" extended across the Indus river to the Taxila region in Potohar Plateau and westwards into the Kabul Valley in Afghanistan, and northwards up to the Karakoram range.
The Buddhas of Bamiyan were two 6th-century monumental statues of Gautama Buddha carved into the side of a cliff in the Bamyan valley of central Afghanistan, 130 kilometres (81 mi) northwest of Kabul at an elevation of 2,500 metres (8,200 ft). Carbon dating of the structural components of the Buddhas has determined that the smaller 38 m (125 ft) "Eastern Buddha" was built around 570 AD, and the larger 55 m (180 ft) "Western Buddha" was built around 618 AD.
Dr. Habiba Sarābi is a hematologist, politician, and reformer of the post-Taliban reconstruction of Afghanistan. In 2005, she was appointed as Governor of Bamyan Province by President Hamid Karzai, which made her the first Afghan woman to become a governor of any province in the country. She previously served as Afghanistan's Minister of Women's Affairs as well as Minister of Culture and Education. Sarabi has been instrumental in promoting women's rights and representation and environment issues. She belongs to the ethnic Hazara people of Afghanistan. Her last name is sometimes spelled Sarobi.
Rock-cut architecture is the creation of structures, buildings, and sculptures by excavating solid rock where it naturally occurs. Rock-cut architecture is designed and made by man from the start to finish. In India and China, the terms cave and cavern are often applied to this form of man-made architecture. However, caves and caverns that began in natural form are not considered to be rock-cut architecture even if extensively modified. Although rock-cut structures differ from traditionally built structures in many ways, many rock-cut structures are made to replicate the facade or interior of traditional architectural forms. Interiors were usually carved out by starting at the roof of the planned space and then working downward. This technique prevents stones falling on workers below. The three main uses of rock-cut architecture were temples, tombs and cave dwellings.
Band-e Amir National Park a national park located in the Bamyan Province of central Afghanistan. It is a series of six deep blue lakes separated by natural dams made of travertine, a mineral deposit. The lakes are situated in the Hindu Kush mountains at approximately 3000 m of elevation, west of the famous Buddhas of Bamiyan.
Buddhism in Afghanistan was one of the major religious forces in the region during pre-Islamic era. Buddhism first arrived in Afghanistan in 305 BC when the Greek Seleucid Empire made an alliance with the Indian Maurya Empire. The resulting Greco-Buddhism flourished under the Greco-Bactrian Kingdom and the later Indo-Greek Kingdom in northern Afghanistan. Greco-Buddhism reached its height under the Kushan Empire, which used the Greek alphabet to write its Bactrian language.
Tourism is one of an economic contributor to the union territory of Ladakh in Northern India. The union territory is part of the broader disputed Kashmir region and is sandwiched between the Karakoram mountain range to the north and the Himalayas to the south and is situated at the height of 11,400 ft. Ladakh is composed of the Leh and Kargil districts. The region contains prominent Buddhist sites and has an ecotourism industry. As of 2020, tourism industry in Ladakh was worth ₹600 crore (US$84 million).
Before the Islamic conquest of Afghanistan communities of various religious and ethnic background lived in the land. South of the Hindu Kush was ruled by the Zunbil and Kabul Shahi rulers. When the Chinese travellers visited Afghanistan between 399 and 751 AD, they mentioned that Buddhism was practiced in different areas between the Amu Darya in the north and the Indus River in the south. The land was ruled by the Kushans followed by the Hephthalites during these visits. It is reported that the Hephthalites were fervent followers of the god Surya.
This is a timeline of the background of the Taliban's rise to power, from its first actions in October–November 1994 to its capture of Afghanistan's capital, Kabul in September 1996. It details the Taliban movement's origins in Pashtun nationalism, and briefly relates its ideological underpinnings with that of broader Afghan society. It details the Taliban's consolidation of power, listing persecutions by the Taliban officials during its five years in power in Afghanistan and during its war with the Northern Alliance.
Archaeology of Afghanistan, mainly conducted by British and French antiquarians, has had a heavy focus on the treasure filled Buddhist monasteries that lined the silk road from the 1st c. BCE- 6th c. AD. Particularly the ancient civilizations in the region during the Hellenistic period and the Kushan Empire. The world's oldest-known oil paintings, dating to the 7th c. AD, were found in caves in Afghanistan's Bamiyan Valley. The valley is also home to the famous Buddhas of Bamiyan which were destroyed by the Taliban in 2001.
The persecution of Hazara people refers to discrimination against the Hazaras, who are mostly from Afghanistan, primarily from the central regions of Afghanistan, known as Hazarajat. Significant communities of Hazara people also live in Quetta, Pakistan and Mashad, Iran as part of the Hazara and Afghan diasporas.
Afghanistan is uniquely situated as a throughway of cultures throughout its history due to it geographic placement in South Asia. Afghanistan's location lends porous borders to trade routes between the East and West, while the Silk Road providing a vector for Buddhism and Hellenistic culture and even Egyptian influences from the west, renders an amalgamation of culture and art. Perpetual invasion and conflict has rendered a cyclic continuum of renaissance and destruction of art and culture in Afghanistan.
Gandhāran Buddhism refers to the Buddhist culture of ancient Gandhāra which was a major center of Buddhism in the Indian subcontinent from the 3rd century BCE to approximately 1200 CE. Ancient Gandhāra corresponds to modern day north Pakistan, mainly the Peshawar valley and Potohar plateau as well as Afghanistan's Jalalabad. The region has yielded the Gandhāran Buddhist texts written in Gāndhārī Prakrit the oldest Buddhist manuscripts yet discovered. Gandhāra was also home to a unique Buddhist artistic and architectural culture which blended elements from Indian, Hellenistic, Roman and Parthian art. Buddhist Gandhāra was also influential as the gateway through which Buddhism spread to Central Asia and China.
Minar-i Chakari is a pillar made of carved stones on an elevation of 16 kilometers southeast of Kabul in Afghanistan. It is 28.5 meters high and is one of Buddhist buildings which at the time of the Kushan Empire was built in the area of Kabultals. Minar-i Chakari was built in the 1st century AD. and was heavily damaged during the Afghan Civil war. In 1988 it was subsequently destroyed by the hardline Taliban regime.
|Wikivoyage has a travel guide for Bamiyan .|
|Wikisource has the text of the 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica article Bamian .|