Bamyan–Roof of the world, heart of Asia and crossroad of the Western and Eastern ancient civilizations–is the cultural and de facto geographical capital of Hazarajat (Turk word, Hazara Land), homeland to the ethnic Hazara Turko-Mongols. The beautiful valley lies amidst the mountainous highlands of Hindu Kush and Pamir. Center of the ancient Kushan Empire, Bamyan centuries ago used to be an intersection where Eastern and Western civilizations met and co-existed. Thus the land was the center of trade between East and West. Bamyan has rich history of civilizations and tragic memories of brutality. Beauty of this valley had not only impressed Marco Polo, but also Alexander the Great. Bamyan is at the altitude of 9200 (feet), making it roof of the world. Its geographical location highlights the mountainous valley as heart of Asia.
During the brutal Taliban era, Bamyan was a symbol of resistance and sacrifice. Thousands of ethnic Hazaras were massacred in this land.
Bamyan gained international attention in 2001 when Taliban destroyed the giant Buddhas that stood there since centuries. The brutal forces of evil deemed the Buddhas as non-Islamic. They not only destroyed the centuries old Buddhas that represented the Buddhist history of Hazaras, but also committed the worst genocidal war crimes in the history of human beings.
After the ouster of Taliban and during the last seven years of international efforts in Afghanistan, what Bamyan has gained will be reported in this series.
The Editor of Hazaristan Times is visiting the valley. During the one-week trip, you will read different stories ranging from culture, development and tourism to politics and entertainment.