Bamyan Province: Famous for its Buddhas; Now Famous for its Governor
Bamyan Province in Central Afghanistan was the site of an early Buddhist monastery from which Bamyan takes its name . Many statues of Buddha are carved into the sides of cliffs facing Bamyan city. The two most prominent of these statues were standing Buddhas, now known as the Buddhas of Bamyan measuring 55 and 37 meters high respectively, that were the largest examples of standing Buddha carvings in the world. They were probably erected in the 4th or 5th century A.D. They were cultural landmarks for many years and are listed among UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites. In March 2001 the Taliban government decreed that the statues were idolatrous and ordered them to be demolished with anti-aircraft artillery and explosives. BBC News South Asia have a number of images of the site where they once stood and of the team dedicated to the possible reconstruction of the site; you can view these images by clicking on the image below.
Bamyam Province is also famous for having Afghanistan’s first and only female governor. Dr Habibi Serabi became Governor of the Province in 2005 and you can view the NATO Channel video profile of her by clicking on the image below.