Part of: GS Prelims and GS-I – Culture
- In March 2001, the Taliban began blowing up two monumental Buddha statues in Afghanistan’s Bamiyan Valley.
- Now, 20 years later, on the anniversary of the annihilation, the Bamiyan Buddhas have been brought back to life in the form of 3D projections in an event called “A Night With Buddha”.
Important value additions
- The Bamiyan Buddhas were great examples of a confluence of Gupta, Sassanian and Hellenistic artistic styles.
- They are said to date back to the 5th century AD.
- They were once the tallest standing Buddhas in the world.
- They were called by the locals Salsal and Shamama.
- Salsal means “light shines through the universe”; Shamama is “Queen Mother”.
- UNESCO included the remains in its list of world heritage sites in 2003
- Efforts have been made to restore and reconstruct the Buddhas in their niches with the pieces available.
- It is situated in the high mountains of the Hindu Kush in the central highlands of Afghanistan.
- The valley is set along the line of the Bamiyan River.
- It was once integral to the early days of the Silk Roads, providing passage for merchants, culture, religion and language.