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BAMYAN (Persian : بامیان‎‎ Bāmyān), (Greek : μπάμια which means land of Okra), also spelled BAMIYAN and BAMIAN, is the capital of Bamyan Province in central Afghanistan
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
Hazaristan
, and lies approximately 240 kilometres north-west of Kabul
Kabul
, the national capital. Bamyan was the site of an early Hindu – Buddhist
Buddhist
monastery from which Bamyan takes its name ( Sanskrit
Sanskrit
VARMAYANA, "coloured"). Bamyan's name is translated as ‘THE PLACE OF SHINING LIGHT’. Many statues of Buddha
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 city of Bamyan has a population of 100,000 (in 2014). it has four districts and a total land area of 3,539 hectares. The total number of dwellings in this city are 4,435.

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.

CONTENTS

* 1 Geography * 2 Climate

* 3 History

* 3.1 Buddhas * 3.2 Demography * 3.3 Land use

* 4 See also * 5 Notes * 6 References * 7 Sister Cities * 8 External links

GEOGRAPHY

Historical reconstruction work in the valley.

Situated on the ancient Silk Route
Silk Route
, the town was at the crossroads between the East and West when all trade between China
China
and the Middle East passed through it. The Hunas
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
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. Shar-i-Zohak

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
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
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
Hazara people
live in the area. Transportation facilities are increasing, but sparse. Notably Bamyan is now connected by road to Kabul
Kabul
through Parwan province and through Maidan Wardak. The connection between Maidan Shar and Bamyan – 136 km long – makes it possible to reach Kabul
Kabul
in a 2 hour drive. The connection is almost completed missing just 15 km of paving

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.

The city and the province are served by Bamyan Airport
Bamyan Airport
. A new airport has been completed in 2015 with an asphalt runway. The project was funded by the Japanese Government and carried out by the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS).

CLIMATE

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) 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)

AVERAGE HIGH °C (°F) 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)

DAILY MEAN °C (°F) −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)

AVERAGE LOW °C (°F) −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)

RECORD LOW °C (°F) −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)

AVERAGE PRECIPITATION MM (INCHES) 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)

AVERAGE RAINY DAYS 0 0 2 7 6 1 1 0 0 2 2 0 21

AVERAGE SNOWY DAYS 5 7 6 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 3 24

AVERAGE RELATIVE HUMIDITY (%) 43 54 52 52 52 46 45 45 43 44 48 52 48

MEAN MONTHLY SUNSHINE HOURS 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
Hong Kong Observatory

Source #2: NOAA
NOAA
(1960–1983)

HISTORY

Statue of a bearded man with cap, probably Scythian , Bamyan, 3–4th century.

HISTORY OF AFGHANISTAN

Timeline

Ancient

Indus Valley Civilisation 2200–1800 BC

Oxus civilization 2100–1800 BC

Aryans 1700–700 BC

Median Empire
Median Empire
728–550 BC

Achaemenid Empire
Achaemenid Empire
550–330 BC

Seleucid Empire 330–150 BC

Maurya Empire 305–180 BC

Greco-Bactrian Kingdom
Greco-Bactrian Kingdom
256–125 BC

Parthian Empire
Parthian Empire
247 BC–224 AD

Indo-Greek Kingdom 180–130 BC

Indo-Scythian Kingdom 155–80? BC

Kushan Empire 135 BC – 248 AD

Indo-Parthian Kingdom
Indo-Parthian Kingdom
20 BC – 50? AD

Sasanian Empire
Sasanian Empire
230–651

Kidarite Kingdom 320–465

Alchon Huns
Alchon Huns
380–560

Hephthalite Empire 410–557

Nezak Huns 484–711

Medieval

Kabul
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

Seljuks 1037–1194

Khwarezmids 1215–1231

Qarlughids
Qarlughids
1224–1266

Ilkhanate 1258–1353

Chagatai Khanate 1225–1370

Khiljis 1290–1320

Karts 1245–1381

Timurids 1370–1507

Arghuns 1479–1522

Mughals 1501–1738

Safavids 1510–1709

Afsharids 1738-1747

Modern

Hotak dynasty
Hotak dynasty
1709–1738

Durrani Empire 1747–1826

Emirate of Afghanistan
Afghanistan
1826–1919

Kingdom of Afghanistan
Afghanistan
1919–1973

Republic of Afghanistan
Afghanistan
1973–1978

Democratic Republic of Afghanistan
Afghanistan
1978–1992

Islamic State of Afghanistan
Afghanistan
1992–2001

Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan
Afghanistan
1996–2004

Interim /Transitional Administration 2001–2004

Islamic Republic of Afghanistan
Afghanistan
since 2004

* Book
Book
* Category
Category
* Portal
Portal

* v * t * e

The city of Bamyan was part of the Buddhist
Buddhist
Kushan Empire in the early centuries of the Christian era. After the Kushan Empire fell to the Sassanids
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
Sassanids
and Turks in 565, Bamyan became the capital of the small Kushano-Hephthalite
Kushano-Hephthalite
kingdom until 870, when it was conquered by the Saffarids . The area was conquered by the Ghaznavids in the 11th century. In 1221 the city and its population were completely wiped out by Genghis Khan
Genghis Khan
. The Qarlughids
Qarlughids
established their capital in the city soon thereafter. The first European to see Bamyan was William Moorcroft (explorer) about 1824. People of Bamiyan in 1848

During 1998–2001, Bamyan has been the center of combat between Taliban
Taliban
forces and the anti- Taliban
Taliban
alliance; mainly Hizb-i-Wahdat
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
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
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
Taliban
in March 2001, on the grounds that they were an affront to Islam, even though they were left intact by Muslim rulers for 1200 years. 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
Taliban
for storing weapons. After the Taliban
Taliban
were driven from the region, civilians made their homes in the caves. Recently, Afghan refugees escaped the persecution of the Taliban
Taliban
regime by hiding in caves in the Bamiyan valley. These refugees discovered a fantastic collection of Buddhist
Buddhist
statues as well as jars holding more than ten thousand fragments of ancient Buddhist
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 .

From 2003–13, a Provincial Reconstruction Team was based in Bamyan, first manned by U.S. forces, and, since about 2003, by personnel from the ]. The 34th Division in the area, part of the 4th Corps , was affiliated with Karim Khalili . Bamiyan was one of the first pilot centres for the Afghan New Beginnings Programme of Disarmament, demobilization and reintegration . On 4 July 2004 disarmament began in Bamiyan, and on 15 July 2004 disarmament was continuing in Bamiyan including soldiers from the 34th and 35th Divisions of the then Afghan Army , often referred to as the Afghan Military or Militia Forces.

DEMOGRAPHY

The population of this city is estimated to be 100,000 in 2016. Hazaras form 95.4% of the city, Tajiks
Tajiks
4.1% (Qizilbashs and Sadat), 0.9% Tatar
Tatar
, and 0.1% Pashtun .

LAND USE

Bamyan, located in the central highlands, is one of the oldest cities in the country and is widely known for the giant, ancient Buddha statues that were carved into the side of a cliff. The city of Bamyan is dominated by agriculture at 54% with only 18% of total land classified as built-up.

SEE ALSO

* Hazara people
Hazara people
portal

* Hazara people
Hazara people
* Hazarajat
Hazarajat
* Pashtun * Bamyan Province

NOTES

Wikimedia Commons has media related to BAMIYAN VALLEY .

Wikivoyage has a travel guide for BAMIYAN .

Wikisource has the text of the 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica article BAMIAN .

* ^ e.g. Unesco Archived January 28, 2007, at the Wayback Machine ., BBC * ^ "About this Collection". The Library of Congress. Retrieved 26 April 2016. * ^ http://www.environmentalgraffiti.com/beaten-track/news-afghan-region-where-1500-year-old-buddha-statues-were-destroyed * ^ "Oldest Oil Paintings Found in Caves". Retrieved 26 April 2016.

* ^ "The State of Afghan Cities report2015". Archived from the original on 2015-10-31. * ^ "The State of Afghan Cities report 2015". * ^ "The State of Afghan Cities report2015". * ^ Ring, Trudy;Salkin, Robert M.;Schellinger, Paul E; La Boda, Sharon (1995) International Dictionary of Historic Places: Asia and Oceania, P.79. Taylor & Francis, ISBN 1-884964-04-4 * ^ "Climatological Normals of Bamiyan". Hong Kong SAR Government . Retrieved 2011-01-05. * ^ "Bamiyan Climate Normals 1961–1990" . National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration . Retrieved December 26, 2012. * ^ Marine Cotte, J. Anal. At. Spectrom. , 2008, 23, doi :10.1039/b801358f * ^ European Synchrotron Radiation Facility, "Synchrotron light unveils oil in ancient Buddhist
Buddhist
paintings from Bamiyan", March 24 2011 * ^ Michael Vinay Bhatia
Michael Vinay Bhatia
, Mark Sedra, Afghanistan, Arms and Conflict: Post-9/11 Security and Insurgency, Routledge, 2008, ISBN 113405422X , 283. * ^ "Press Briefing by Manoel de Almeida e Silva, Spokesman for the Special
Special
Representative of the Secretary-General on Afghanistan". UN News Centre. 4 July 2004. Retrieved 26 April 2016. * ^ "Press Briefing by David Singh Senior Media Relations Officer and by UN agencies in Afghanistan". UN News Centre. 15 July 2004. Retrieved 26 April 2016. * ^ "The State of Afghan Cities report 2015". Archived from the original on 2015-10-31. * ^ " Bamyan Province" (pdf). Retrieved 8 July 2013.

REFERENCES

* Dupree, Nancy Hatch (1977) . An Historical Guide to Afghanistan (2nd Edition, Revised and Enlarged ed.). Afghan Tourist Organization.

SISTER CITIES

Langley, British Columbia (city)
Langley, British Columbia (city)

EXTERNAL LINKS

* Bamyan Tourism – Official Website

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