Cultural Landscape and Archaeological Remains of the Bamiyan Valley
The kingdom of Bamiyan was a Buddhist state along the trade routes that for centuries linked China and Central Asia and the west (the Silk Route). The Cultural Landscape and Archaeological Remains of the Bamiyan Valley is an exceptional representation of the Buddhist art of 1st to 13th centuries. Eight separate sites exist within the Bamiyan Valley:
The two niches of the giant Buddha statues (55m and 38m high) carved into the Bamiyan Cliffs were destroyed by the Taliban in 2001. They were probably erected in the 4th or 5th century and were largest examples of standing Buddha carvings in the world.
The Kakrak Valley caves date from the 6th to 13th centuries. These lie some 3km south-east of the Bamiyan cliffs. Qoul-i Akram amd Kalai Ghamai caves are the two main important groups of the Fuladi Valley caves.
Forts of Shahr-i Zuhak and Qallai Kaphari dating from 6th to 8th centuries, under the rule of the Islamic Ghaznavid and Ghorid dynasties.
Shahr-i Ghulghulah is a fortified citadel in the centre of the valley and dates from the 6th to 8th centuries.
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Minaret and Archaeological Remains of Jam
The Minaret and Archaeological Remains of Jam is an exceptional example of Islamic architecture and ornamentation of the Ghurid civilization (1000-1220). During 12th and 13th century, Ghurids controlled Afganistan, eastern Iran, Northern India and parts of Pakistan. Jam is believed to be located at the ancient city of Firuzkudh, the capital of the Ghurid dynasty and an inscription gives the date of construction as 1194.
The 65 metre high minaret is built entirely of baked bricks and is famous for its intricate brick, stucco and glazed tile decoration containing alternating bands of kufic and naskhi calligraphy, geometric patterns, and verses from the Qur’an.
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Kabul Museum was once a well-known archaeological site in Afghanistan containing highly acclaimed antique collection, like miniature paintings related to Gandhara school of art, weapons, manuscripts and art objects. During Taliban regime, Kabul Museum suffered heavy destruction at the hands of the Taliban. However, now the international community is jointly rebuilding the museum.