Intriguingly, Xuanzang mentions a third, even larger, reclining statue of the Buddha.
A monumental seated Buddha, similar in style to those at Bamyan, still exists in the Bingling Temple caves in China's Gansu province.
When Mahmud of Ghazni attacked Afghanistan and part of west India in the 11th century, the destruction of the Buddhas and frescoes were beyond his understanding.
Therefore he moved on to looting Buddhist monasteries and other important artifacts.
The rows of holes that can be seen in photographs were spaces that held wooden pegs which served to stabilize the outer stucco.The destruction of the Bamyan Buddhas became a symbol of oppression and a rallying point for the freedom of religious expression.Despite the fact that most Afghans are Muslim, they too had embraced their past and many were appalled by this destruction.The Taliban states that Bamyan shall not be destroyed but protected." Afghanistan's radical clerics began a campaign to crack down on "un-Islamic" segments of Afghan society.The Taliban soon banned all forms of imagery, music and sports, including television, in accordance with what they considered a strict interpretation of Islamic law.It was the site of several Buddhist monasteries, and a thriving center for religion, philosophy, and Indian art.It was a Buddhist religious site from the 2nd century up to the time of the Islamic invasion in the 9th century.The Chinese Buddhist pilgrim Xuanzang passed through the area around 630 and described Bamyan as a flourishing Buddhist center "with more than ten monasteries and more than a thousand monks".He also noted that both Buddha figures were "decorated with gold and fine jewels" (Wriggins, 1995).monumental statues of standing buddhas carved into the side of a cliff in the Bamyan valley in the Hazarajat region of central Afghanistan, situated 230 km (143 miles) northwest of Kabul at an altitude of 2500 meters (8,202 ft).Built in 507, the larger in 554 The main bodies were hewn directly from the sandstone cliffs, but details were modeled in mud mixed with straw, coated with stucco.