Bamyan Afghanistan



Bamyan Afghanistan is a historical site and one of the thirty-four provinces whish is located in the center of Afghanistan with the estimated population of 387,300 people. Around 95% of the Bamyan city population are Hazaras, and 5% are a variety of other ethnicities in the region.

    

The capital of the province is called Bamyan as well. It is the largest province in the Hazarajat region and the cultural center of the Hazara ethnic group.

Bamyan Afghanistan was strategically placed to thrive from the Silk Road caravans which crossed the region trading between the Roman Empire, China, Central and Southern Asia. Bamyan city was a stopping point for many travelers and caravans that were passing the region. The elements of Greek, Persian and Buddhist art exists here and when combined into this unique classical style it known as Greco-Buddhist art.

Bamyan Afghanistan was the site of an early Buddhist monastery. Bamyan province takes its name from Sanskrit word varmayana. Many statues of Buddha are carved into the sides of cliffs facing the city. The two most prominent of these statues were standing Buddhas, now known as the Buddhas statues of Bamyan. Measuring 55 and 37 meters high, they were considered as the largest standing Buddha carvings in the world. They were probably erected in the 4th or 5th century C.E. They were cultural landmarks for many years and are listed as one of UNESCO's World Heritage Sites.

In March 2001 the agent of (ISI Pakistan) the Leather of the Taliban regime decided that the statues are idols and ordered them to be destroyed. One of the world's greatest and tallest cultural treasures was decimated with artillery and explosives.

After the destruction of the Buddhas, 50 caves were revealed. In 12 of the caves, several wall and ceiling paintings were discovered. In December 2004, Japanese researchers stated that the wall paintings at caves of Bamyan statues were painted between the fifth and the ninth centuries, rather than the sixth to eighth centuries. It is believed that the paintings were done by artists traveling on the Silk Road, (Rah-e-Abrishum) the trade route between China and the West.

Scientists from the National Research Institute for Cultural Properties in Tokyo (Japan), the Centre of Research and Restoration of the French Museums-CNRS (France), the Getty Conservation Institute (United States) and the ESRF (the European Synchrotron radiation facility) in Grenoble analyzed the samples from the paintings, typically less than 1 mm across.

They discovered that the paintings contained pigments such as vermilion (red mercury sulfide) and lead white (lead carbonate). These were mixed with a range of binders, including natural resins, gums (possibly animal skin glue or egg) and oil. Specifically, researchers identified drying oils from murals showing Buddhas in vermilion robes sitting cross-legged amid palm leaves and mythical creatures as being painted in the middle of the 7th century. It is believed that they are the oldest known surviving examples of oil painting, possibly predating oil painting in Europe in the sixth century. Some have cautioned that the oils may in fact be contamination from fingers, as the touching of the painting is encouraged in Buddhist tradition; however, analysis indicates by spectroscopy and chromatography that there is an unambiguous signal for the use of oils rather than any other contaminant. In addition oils were discovered underneath other layers of paint, negating the presence of surface contaminants.

In the beginning of September 2008 archeologists announced that they had discovered a 19-meter-long (62 ft) sleeping Buddha at the site of the destroyed Buddhas. The pose is known to Buddhists as the scene where the Buddha passed into nirvana. This discovery may confirm the Chinese pilgrim Xuanzang's mentioning of a large Buddha in a sleeping posture in this area, which were recorded by Xuanzang one thousand four hundred years ago. Now after several years of the destruction of Buddha Statues, a group of International experts are now in Afghanistan to find the possibility of restoring the Giant Buddha statues of Bamyan Afghanistan.

Bamyan Afghanistan is also known for its natural beauty. Band-e Amir lake is another beauty of the city which is in west of Bamyan valley and one of the interesting places for international tourism.

Currently Bamyan city is one of peaceful and secure province in the country with the existence of New Zealand peace keeping forces ‘NATO’ and Provincial Reconstruction Team known as (PRT). The New Zealand Police are currently working in the region to maintain the security in the area as well as training the Afghan National Police (ANP). The current governor of the province is Habiba Surabi, former minister of Women Affairs of Afghanistan's and Afghanistans only female governor among 33 male governors. She was appointed in 2005 as Bamyan’s first female Governor.

Bamyan province has several districts such as:

  • Bamyan

  • Kahmard

  • Panjab

  • Sayghaan

  • Shibar

  • Waras

  • Yakawlang

Here is the satellite map of Bamiyan city:

The climate of the city is hot in summer and snowy and really cold in winter. The spring and autumn are nicer and similar to the climate of other provinces.


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