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8-13th Centuries in Bamiyan

by Mohammad Reza Sharifi last modified Aug 14, 2012 11:51 PM

--> Between the 8-9th Centuries: the Islamic Period

In the early eighth century, the Silla monk Hui Chao visited Bamiyan and described it as an area where Buddhism flourished. At the same time, he wrote that the area was not subject to any other countries and had not been invaded, thanks to Bamiyan’s strong army. Not long after Hui Chao left Bamiyan, however, the king of Bamiyan surrendered to the Abbasid caliphate. After this time, Islam gradually spread over. The latest scientific analysis has revealed that some of Buddhist mural paintings of Bamiyan date back to the fiftieth century. At least until this period, Buddhism, Islam and other religions coexisted in the region. During the late ninth century the Saffarid dynasty (861-910) demolished many Buddhist temples and statues. From that time, Buddhism culture in Bamiyan gradually declined.

--> 13th century: Changgis Khan’s period

After the Saffarid dynasty, Bamiyan was rules by various Islamic dynasties including the Samanids, the Ghaznavids and the Ghurids. According to Arabic and Persian historical texts, Bamiyan remained a major city with a fortress under Islamic rule. The prosperity of Bamiyan come to an end in 1221 when the Mongol armies, lead by Changgis Khan, invaded. During the battle in Bamiyan, the Mongols destroyed the strong fortress completely. The ruins of the fortress are now known as Shahr-i-Gholghola. After the Mongol destruction of the fortress, Bamiyan rarely appeared in the historical texts until the 19th century.

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