→ 26 Jul 14 at 8 pm
Bamiyan is a province in the central highlands of Afghanistan, locally known as Hazarajat. Its population consists of predominately Hazaras, who make up the third largest ethnic group in Afghanistan.
The province attracts tourists from around the world because of its visual and archaeological beauty, for example its series of six deep blue lakes (one of the few rare natural lakes in the world which are created by travertine systems) - known as the Band-e Amir lakes - and the remains (niches) of the Buddhas of Bamiyan (built in 507 AD and 554 AD). The giant Buddhas were destroyed under a series of attacks by the Afghan King Amir Abdur Rahman Khan and later, the Taliban. In this set of photos, you can see how the Buddhas were gradually destroyed and completely obliterated.
After years of war and mass-murder of its population rooted in ethnic/sectarian violence, the province of Bamiyan is now one of the four most secure provinces in Afghanistan, which stands in stark contrast with Bamiyan’s neighboring provinces in eastern Afghanistan, whom are extremely insecure. The cultural heritage and natural beauty of this province has helped it attract thousands of tourists from all around the world.