(both: bəmyän`), town (1984 est. pop. 52,000), capital of Bamian prov., N central Afghanistan, on the Kunduz River. The population is predominantly Hazara. It was long a major caravan center on the route across the Hindu Kush between India and central Asia. By the 7th cent. the town was a center of Buddhism; the Chinese pilgrims Fa Hsien and Hsüan-tsangHsüan-tsang
, 605?–664, Chinese Buddhist scholar and translator. He early entered monastic life and later traveled in China, teaching and studying. Between 629 and 645 he made a pilgrimage to India in search of authentic scriptures.
..... Click the link for more information.
 traveled through the town. Bamian was invaded by the SaffaridsSaffarid
, a dynasty of Sistan that flourished in the 9th cent., ruling (867–1495) in E Persia. Its founder, Yaqub ibn Layth, d. 879?, was a coppersmith who raised an army during a time of unrest and instability, conquering his native province of Sistan by 867.
..... Click the link for more information.
 in 871. A Muslim fortress town from the 9th to the 12th cent., Bamian was sacked by Jenghiz Khan in 1221 and never regained its former prominence.

The Bamian valley is lined with cave dwellings cut out of the cliffs by Buddhist monks. Particularly interesting were two great figures (one 175 ft/53 m high, the other 120 ft/37 m) carved from rock and finished in fine plaster. The statues were destroyed, however, in 2001 by the TalibanTaliban
or Taleban
, Islamic fundamentalist militia of Afghanistan and later Pakistan, originally consisting mainly of Sunni Pashtun religious students from Afghanistan who were educated and trained in Pakistan.
..... Click the link for more information.
, which considered them idolatrous. The area also has grottoes decorated with wall paintings in Greco-Buddhist styles.



a town in Afghanistan, located on the banks of the Bamian River (Kunduz River basin) in the northern foothills of the Baba Range.

Bamian is the administrative center of Bamian Province. Its population was 46,000 in 1961. Bamian has been mentioned in sources since the first century A. D. Until the Arab conquest (seventh century), Bamian was a very important Buddhist religious center with temples and monasteries in caves. Bamian has been part of the Afghanistan state since the second half of the 18th century. A Buddhist monastery compound (first to eighth centuries) cut into the cliffs has been preserved near Bamian. The monastery has over 2,000 grottoes (sanctuaries, cells, meeting halls, and so forth) interconnected by staircases and corridors and decorated with statues of Buddha, paintings, and carved ornaments. Enormous statues of Buddha (35 m and 53 m high) were carved in two niches. There is a historical and ethnographic museum in Bamian, and the town is a tourist center.


Masson, V. M., and V. A. Romodin. Istoriia Afganistana, vol. 1. Moscow, 1964 (See the index and references.)
Hackin, J., and J. Carl. Nouvelles recherches archéologiques à Bāmiyān. Paris, 1933.
References in periodicals archive ?
Bordering countries in Central Asia, along with Russia, China and Iran, all need more stability in Afghanistan and fear the spectre of heavy refugee flows into their countries; they should pool funds to support the formation of permanent safe areas inside Afghanistan, in places like Bamian Province that still enjoy relative stability.
Central And North Afghanistan In Four Districts Of Samangan, Bamian And Baghlan Provinces,
Zakia and Anwar -- whose families both use only first names -- are from farm families in a village in mountainous, isolated Bamian province and promptly got lost in the sprawling capital city.
Sarabi, a former governor of Bamian Province, could become the first woman to serve as vice president in Afghanistan.
Sarabi, former governor of Bamian Province, could soon become the first woman to serve as vice-president in Afghanistan.
Shockingly, the documentary also shows Hazara properties and homes looted and burned by Kuchis, when thousands of Hazara families attempt to flee to neighboring provinces like Bamian and Kabul.
Afghan security forces would take over five provinces and 13 districts in this stage, as compared to the first phase when two provinces, Bamian and Panjshir came under the control of security forces.
The German was apparently on his way from the province of Herat in the west to the Bamian province.
Michael Semple, Guest Blog: Why the Buddhas of Bamian Were Destroyed, AFGHANISTAN ANALYSTS NETWORK, Mar.
Take, for example, Bamian (Banyan), 1968/2001: Skeins of creamy white wool, hung from above, cascade over a horizontal bar before they are gathered about a third of the way down and tightly wrapped with red and orange acrylic yarn, only to pool in coils of entwined loops that dangle just inches from the ground.
The magnificent remains of Buddhist culture at Bamian attest to that city's former position as spiritual center for almost half the world.
New Zealand Soldiers from Bamian PRT in Afghanistan send messages to those in Christchurch affected by the Earthquake.