Famed Buddha of Bamian [Bamiyan] (left) in northern Afghanistan overlooks beautiful valley which centuries ago was the home of thousands of Buddhist priests and a shrine for Buddhist world. It is 175 feet high, carved into the face of a stone cliff 19 centuries ago -- about the time of Christ. Defaced by Moslem invaders and Genghis Khan's hordes who passed by centuries later. Afghanistan.
Two large Buddhas and caves were carved into the cliffs on the north side of the Bamiyan Valley in the 4th and 5th centuries. Attempts to destroy them have taken place over centuries, most recently in 2001 by the then-ruling Taliban regime.