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    (Wikipedia) - Bamyan   (Redirected from Bamian) For the province, see Bamyan Province. Bamyan بامیان Country Province Elevation Population (2006)  • Total Time zone
    BamyanLocation in Afghanistan
    Coordinates: 34°49′N 67°49′E / 34.817°N 67.817°E / 34.817; 67.817Coordinates: 34°49′N 67°49′E / 34.817°N 67.817°E / 34.817; 67.817
    Bamyan Province
    2,550 m (8,370 ft)

    Bamyan (Dari: بامیان Bāmyān), also spelled Bamiyan and Bamian, is the capital of Bamyan Province in central Afghanistan. With an altitude of about 2,550 m and with a population of about 61,863, Bamyan is the largest town in the central Afghan region of Hazarajat, and lies approximately 240 kilometres north-west of Kabul, the national capital. Bamyan was the site of an early Hindu–Buddhist monastery from which Bamyan takes its name (Sanskrit varmayana, "coloured"). Bamyan''s name is translated as ‘The Place of Shining Light’. 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 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, Turkish, Persian, Chinese and Indian influence.

    • 1 Geography
    • 2 Climate
    • 3 History
      • 3.1 Buddhas
      • 3.2 Demography
    • 4 Education
    • 5 See also
    • 6 Notes
    • 7 References
    • 8 External links

    GeographyHistorical reconstruction work in the valley.

    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, Shar-i-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 Shar-i-Zohak 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.

    Bamyan is a small town with a bazaar at its center. It has no infrastructure of electricity, gas, or water supplies. According to Sister Cities International, Bamyan has established a sister city relationship with Gering, Nebraska, United States. It has an airport with a gravel runway.

    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.

    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.


    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 Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year Record high °C (°F) Average high °C (°F) Daily mean °C (°F) Average low °C (°F) Record low °C (°F) Precipitation mm (inches) Avg. rainy days Avg. snowy days  % humidity Mean monthly sunshine hours
    12.0 (53.6) 12.5 (54.5) 20.6 (69.1) 28.7 (83.7) 29.4 (84.9) 31.2 (88.2) 33.2 (91.8) 32.2 (90) 31.4 (88.5) 26.2 (79.2) 20.6 (69.1) 13.0 (55.4) 33.2 (91.8)
    1.0 (33.8) 2.0 (35.6) 7.9 (46.2) 15.6 (60.1) 19.9 (67.8) 24.1 (75.4) 26.3 (79.3) 26.1 (79) 22.9 (73.2) 17.4 (63.3) 11.0 (51.8) 5.1 (41.2) 14.94 (58.89)
    −6.4 (20.5) −4.8 (23.4) 1.4 (34.5) 8.6 (47.5) 12.4 (54.3) 16.3 (61.3) 18.4 (65.1) 17.4 (63.3) 12.8 (55) 7.8 (46) 1.6 (34.9) −2.8 (27) 6.89 (44.4)
    −10.1 (13.8) −6.1 (21) −3.8 (25.2) 2.9 (37.2) 5.7 (42.3) 8.5 (47.3) 10.0 (50) 8.8 (47.8) 4.2 (39.6) 0.0 (32) −4.9 (23.2) −8.6 (16.5) 0.55 (32.99)
    −30.5 (−22.9) −28.4 (−19.1) −21.2 (−6.2) −6.5 (20.3) −2.5 (27.5) 0.6 (33.1) 5.4 (41.7) 3.0 (37.4) −2.6 (27.3) −7.9 (17.8) −14.5 (5.9) −25 (−13) −30.5 (−22.9)
    8.3 (0.327) 15.7 (0.618) 27.4 (1.079) 29.8 (1.173) 26.0 (1.024) 5.7 (0.224) 1.0 (0.039) 0.0 (0) 3.1 (0.122) 4.2 (0.165) 7.5 (0.295) 4.3 (0.169) 133 (5.235)
    0 0 2 7 6 1 1 0 0 2 2 0 21
    5 7 6 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 3 24
    43 54 52 52 52 46 45 45 43 44 48 52 48
    196.7 174.6 210.7 239.4 no data 356.9 372.9 357.8 325.3 276.7 245.5 198.0
    Source #1: Hong Kong Observatory
    Source #2: NOAA (1960-1983)
    HistoryStatue of a bearded man with cap, probably Scythian, Bamyan, 3-4th century. History of Afghanistan
    Indus valley civilization 2200–1800 BC
    Oxus civilization 2100–1800 BC
    Aryans 1700–700 BC
    Medes 728–550 BC
    Achaemenids 550–330 BC
    Seleucids 330–150 BC
    Mauryans 305–180 BC
    Greco-Bactrians 256–125 BC
    Indo-Greeks 180–130 BC
    Indo-Scythians (Sakas) 155–80? BC
    Indo-Parthians 20 BC – 50? AD
    Kushans 135 BC – 248 AD
    Sasanians 230–651
    Kidarites 320–465
    Hephthalites 410–557
    Kabul Shahi 565–879
    Principality of Chaghaniyan 7th–8th centuries
    Rashidun Caliphate 652–661
    Umayyads 661–750
    Abbasids 750–821
    Tahirids 821–873
    Saffarids 863–900
    Samanids 875–999
    Ghaznavids 963–1187
    Ghurids before 879–1215
    Khwarezmids 1215–1231
    Ilkhanate 1258–1353
    Chagatai Khanate 1225–1370
    Khiljis 1290–1320
    Karts 1245–1381
    Timurids 1370–1506
    Arghuns 1479–1522
    Mughals 1501–1738
    Safavids 1510–1709
    Hotaki Empire 1709–1738
    Durrani Empire 1747–1826
    Emirate of Afghanistan 1826–1919
    Kingdom of Afghanistan 1919–1973
    Republic of Afghanistan 1973–1978
    Democratic Republic of Afghanistan 1978–1992
    Islamic State of Afghanistan 1992–2001
    Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan 1996–2001
    Interim/Transitional Administration 2001–2004
    Islamic Republic of Afghanistan since 2004
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    The city of Bamyan was part of the Buddhist 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 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 first European to see Bamyan was William Moorcroft (explorer) about 1824.

    For decades, Bamyan has been the center of combat between zealous 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.

    Buddhas Main article: Buddhas of Bamiyan

    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. 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 partially destroyed colossal 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 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.

    Since about 2002, a Provincial Reconstruction Team has been based in Bamyan, first manned by U.S. forces, and, since about 2003, by personnel from the New Zealand Defence Force.


    Hazaras form 95.4% of the city, Tajiks 4.1% (ind. Qizilbashs and Sadat), 0.9% Tatar, and 0.1% Pashtun.


    Bamyan is home to the region''s only university, Bamiyan University. The school was founded in the mid-1990s, and largely destroyed under the Taliban. It was renovated following the fall of the Taliban.

    Tags:Afghan, Afghanistan, Bamyan, Buddha, Caliphate, China, Chinese, Christian, Dead Sea Scrolls, Genghis Khan, Greco, Greek, Hong Kong, Hotaki, Ilkhanate, Indus, Islam, Islamic, Islamic Republic, Kabul, Khan, Khanate, Medes, Middle East, Mughals, New Zealand, Observatory, Oxus, Oxus civilization, Pashtun, Persian, Politics, Rashidun, Sanskrit, Shahi, Silk Road, Taliban, Tatar, Timurids, Turkish, Turks, United States, Wikipedia

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