The larger figure was also said to portray Dīpankara Buddha.They were perhaps the most famous cultural landmarks of the region, and the site was listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site along with the surrounding cultural landscape and archaeological remains of the Bamiyan Valley. and described Bamiyan in the Da Tang Xiyu Ji as a flourishing Buddhist center "with more than ten monasteries and more than a thousand monks".

Until it was completely conquered by the Muslim Saffarids in the 9th century, Bamiyan shared the culture of Gandhara.

The two most prominent statues were the giant standing Buddhas Vairocana and Sakyamuni, identified by the different mudras performed.

Despite the fact that most Afghans are now Muslim, they too had embraced their past and many were appalled by the destruction. Later, the Mughal emperor, Aurangzeb, tried to use heavy artillery to destroy the statues.

Another attempt to destroy the Bamiyan statues was made by the 18th century Persian king Nader Afshar, directing cannon fire at them.

"Perhaps if we blow something up, the world will pay attention to us," many in the province told Al Jazeera.

monumental statues of standing buddha carved into the side of a cliff in the Bamwam valley in the Hazarajat region of central Afghanistan, 230 km (140 mi) northwest of Kabul at an altitude of 2,500 meters (8,200 feet).

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.

The lower parts of the statues' arms were constructed from the same mud-straw mix while supported on wooden armatures.