Gift of God Destroyed by Human
I visited to Bamyan for my official mission on 3rd week of July 2012. The objectives of the mission were to observe and monitor ongoing programme activities which is implementing by National Area based Development Programme (NABDP). In this article aim is to share my personnel observation about one of the very historical place; shape of deity Budhha’s in Bamyan centre and naturally beautiful places Bande E Aamir Lake and Satu Mountains of Yaklawang and Punjab districts of Bamyan.
Before arrival to Afghanistan, Bamyan and Kandahar were my dream place to visit. I was so fascinating to know about brave Pathan “Pashtu’s” in Kandahar. Kashmiri Pakistani hijackers were hijacked an Air Bus of Air India from Kathmandu and brought to Kandahar. Due to these reasons I was keen to visit in these two places respectively. I was so interested to see the breaker of an idol or image of Buddha’s was destroyed by the Taliban in 2001. Buddha was born and grown up in Nepal and letter on when he had knowledge and wisdom he moved to India and letter on his ideology was spread out in all over the world. I was so eager to see myself Monuments of Buddhhas, nearby caves where more than 5000 Monks were used to stay. It can be counted as “Valley of God”.
The Monumental Buddha statues of Bamyan were until their destruction, one of the best known historic and cultural sights of Afghanistan carved from the cliff in the early 6th and 7th centuries AD, the date to an era when Buddhism was an dominant religion in the region and when Bamyan was in important centre of trade route between China, Europe and India and Central Asia. The Astern Buddha (38 mit. high) was craved first, in the middle of the 6th century and the western Buddha (55 mit. high) in the early 7th century. The statuses were once brightly decorated. The Chinese Buddhist pilgrim Xuan Zang, who visited Bamyan in about AD 630, recorded the first description of the Buddhas. He wrote that the large Buddha’s “golden hues sparkle on every side and its precious ornaments dazzle the eyes by their brightness.” The hundreds of hereby caves were used by monks and were once decorated with elaborated wall paintings. The Buddha’s were destroyed by the Taleban authority in 2001. (UNESCO)
In reality dismantle of Buddha’s monument was started from earlier Islamic kings. As per local residents it was and historical photos shows giant Buddha was leg and partial part of the face destroyed in 18th century. The Taliban claimed that the local Hazara community are not Islam. They claimed these monuments looks like Hazara and destroyed in March 2001.
I observed along with my office colleagues and climb up to second largest Buddha. Now there are all empty monuments but it is pretty clear shape. I observed amazing architect and designing of those caves in such places like Bamyan. It was a civilization which shows great historical link up with Alexander and Genghis Khan, who were used to travel through this trade silk route. There is strong belief that, there is 300 mitre sleeping Buddha’s monuments is lying down. Dr. Tarzi renounced archaeologist start to renovate and explore sleeping monument. I hope this will be found out in near future. Right now this renovations works is stopped. More than three decades war of the Afghanistan, it destroyed fascinating history and culture of the country.
I observed virgin lake called Band E Aamir, which I did not know before coming to Afghanistan. This is located around 120 KM west of Bamyan centre and having good connectivity to reach to lake. The Islamic Republic of Government of Afghanistan in year 2009 declared first National Park. It was glad to know that this park was technically supported by Nepali forester Mr. Uday Raj Sharma. There are beautiful seven lakes, which are located north to west. The natural spring water makes everyone to fulfil their thrust. Government is providing basic facilities for boating in the lake site. The blue and crystal clear water you can see up to deep of the lake. It’s “God Gifted” places. Local communities are managing motel and resorts with basic facilities. If you are beginners of writing your poems or novel, you will please to think or write something. There is beautiful and wonder palace called ‘Dragon valley’ where you can observe about the sulphur water is coming from the cave of stones in the small peak of mountains. Local people have beliefs that, it came from the mouth of Dragon. There could be study site for zoologist students. When I visited these three places, I feel the Bamyan is “Gift of God destroyed by Human”.
I visited rural site of the province Yakalawang, Punjab and Waras districts. There is huge pasture land and thin and scattered settlement which is hard to provide basic facilities to the rural people. It seems some hope is reaching to their villages. Now schools are opening, girls and boys are going to school. Pave roads are operating Dubai and Pakistani sold second hand vehicles. MRRD is supporting to culverts, bridges, drinking water supply and more importantly micro hydro power projects. In Bamyan there is very encouraging active participation of women were observed in the local institutions like; District Development Assemblies (DDAs) and Community Development Councils (CDCs).
Bamyan is one of the highest potential for domestic and international tourism. The proposed national highway may open more opportunities to the local people for promotion tourism and development but main question is Peace and stability. Peace which Buddha advocates in his whole life and his millions of followers are following nowadays as well, it required to Afghan people as well. Only Peaceful Afghanistan can move for further betterment of its citizens.
 . Nahakul KC is development worker, and working for Ministry of Rural Rehabilitation and Development (MRRD/UNDP) of Afghanistan since November 2009 and this article is written based on his personnel observation of Bamyan visit from 17th to 22nd July 2012.