Bamiyan - The valley of the giant Buddhass
For fifteen hundred years, two gigantic Buddha statues stood in their niches cut in the cliff flanking the remote Bamiyan valley of present day Afghanistan. The smaller of the two statues, thirty-five metres high and referred to as "Shamama" (Queen Mother), was hewn into the soft conglomerate of the two kilometre long rock face in the year 507. Painted blue and with a golden face, the figure was supposed to represent
the Buddha Sakyamuni. The second statue - the "Salsal" Buddha ("light shines through the universe") - was built fifty years later. At fifty-five metres, this was the greatest standing Buddha statue in the world.