It was the site of several Buddhist monasteries, and a thriving center for religion, philosophy, and Indian art.It was a Buddhist religious site from the 2nd century up to the time of the Islamic invasion in the 9th century.The Chinese Buddhist pilgrim Xuanzang passed through the area around 630 and described Bamyan as a flourishing Buddhist center “with more than ten monasteries and more than a thousand monks”.He also noted that both Buddha figures were “decorated with gold and fine jewels” (Wriggins, 1995).Japan and Switzerland, among others, have pledged support for the rebuilding of the statues.Bamyan lies on the Silk Road which lies in the Hindu Kush mountain region, in the Bamiyan Valley.The larger statue reappears as the malevolent giant Salsal in medieval Turkish tales.When Mahmud of Ghazni attacked Afghanistan and part of west India in the 11th century, the physical destruction of the Buddhas and frescoes were beyond his capability.
International opinion strongly condemned the destruction of the Buddhas, which was viewed as an example of the intolerance of the Taliban and of Islamism.
Because Afghanistan’s Buddhist population no longer exists, which removed the possibility of the statues being worshiped, he added: “The government considers the Bamyan statues as an example of a potential major source of income for Afghanistan from international visitors.
The Taliban states that Bamyan shall not be destroyed but protected.” However, Afghanistan’s radical clerics began a campaign to crack down on “un-Islamic” segments of Afghan society.
“They came out with a consensus that the statues were against Islam,” said Jamal.
According to UNESCO Director-General Koïchiro Matsuura, a meeting of ambassadors from the 54 member states of the Organisation of the Islamic Conference (OIC) was conducted.