Monks at the monasteries lived as hermits in small caves carved into the side of the Bamyan cliffs.
Many of these monks embellished their caves with religious statuary and elaborate, brightly-colored frescoes.
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 Hazaristan, and lies approximately 240 kilometres north-west of Kabul, the national capital.
It was the site of several Buddhist and Hindu monasteries, and a thriving center for religion, philosophy, and Indo-Greek art.
Just one month after this photo was taken, Taliban officials began to destroy the mighty carvings as part of a hard-line crackdown on anything they considered anti-Islamic and idolatrous.
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’.
"Only tyrants can take a nation to war without the consent of the people.
The planned war against Iraq without a Declaration of War is illegal.
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.