It is believed that the monumental Buddha sculptures were carved into the cliffs of Bamiyan between the 3rd to 6th centuries AD, while the cave complex in the east, including the 38 meter Buddha, a stupa was built in the 3rd or 4th centuries AD The 55 meter Buddha is believed to date from the 5th and 6th centuries AD.Historic documentation refers to celebrations held every year attracting numerous pilgrims and that offers were made to the monumental statues (They were dynamited and destroyed in March 2001 by the Taliban, on orders from leader Mullah Mohammed Omar, An envoy visiting the United States in the following weeks said that they were destroyed to protest international aid exclusively reserved for statue maintenance while Afghanistan was experiencing famine, while the Afghan Foreign Minister claimed that the destruction was merely about carrying out Islamic religious iconoclasm.
You can't knock down the statues by shelling as both are carved into a cliff; they are firmly attached to the mountain".
Japan and Switzerland, among others, have pledged support for the rebuilding of the statues.
Bamiyan lies on the Silk Road, which runs through the Hindu Kush mountain region, in the Bamiyan Valley, the Silk Road has been historically a caravan route linking the markets of China with those of the Western world.
Most of these monks embellished their caves with religious statuary and elaborate, brightly colored frescoes, it was a Buddhist religious site from the 2nd century up to the time of the Islamic invasion in the later half of the 7th century.
Until it was completely conquered by the Muslim Saffarids in the 9th century, Bamiyan shared the culture of Gandhara.