Bamiyan monastery, (in) Bamian, Velayat-e Bamian, AF

Raw data

Bamiyan, AF  - a Mahasanghika site?  - Foltz (1999:40)
Input by: tmciolek,  Apr 25, 2009

"The Silla monk Hui Chao ["Hyecho (704-787 CE), Sanskrit: Prajñāvikram; Hui Chao in Chinese Pinyin, was a Korean Buddhist monk from Silla, one the three Korean kingdoms of the period."-], the last to describe Bamiyan's appearance as a Buddhist city, writes that when he arrived in Bamiyan from Ghazni in 726, the ruler belonged to an ethnic group called Hu, with no allegiance to any other nation, but strangely enough, he makes no mention of the colossal Buddhas seen by Xuan Zang. Nearly a century after Xuan Zang's visit, Bamiyan was still a Buddhist city, but Hui Chao notes that both the Hinayana and Mahayana traditions were being practiced in contrast to Xuan Zang's time, when the teachings had been exclusively Hinayana." - Maeda (n.d.)

Bamian - "Opinions about the dates differ: the colossi probably date to the 6th century, and the monastic complex to the 7th and 8th centuries (Godard et al.; Hackin and Carl; Tarzi, 1977; Klimburg-Salter)." [Cited literature: A. Godard, Y. Godard, and J. Hackin, Les antiquités bouddhiques de Bamiyan, MDAFA 2, Paris, 1928.; J. Hackin and J. Carl, Nouvelles recherches archéologiques a Bqmiyqn, MDAFA 3, Paris, 1933.; Z. Tarzi, “Hadda à la lumière des trois dernières campagnes de fouilles de Tapa-e-Shotor (1974-1976),” Comptes rendus de l’Académie des Inscriptions et Belles-lettres, 1976, pp. 381-410.; D. Klimburg-Salter, The Kingdom of Bamiyan. Buddhist Art and Culture of the Hundu Kush, Naples and Rome, 1989.] - Melikian-Chirvani (n.d.)

Lokottaravādin, a Hināyāna school, was popular in Bāmiān; there were also preachers of the Mahāsāmghika school there; and Huei-ch’ao reported about Mahāyāna and Hināyāna supporters." - Melikian-Chirvani (n.d.)

Input by: tmciolek,  May 17, 2009

Final data (and their sources)

Last updated: 17 Jul 2014

Lat/Long coordinates' accuracy:
The monastery in question is assumed to be situated actually no farther than 200 m from the point defined by the coordinates below.

Location of Bamiyan monastery, AF.

General location of the Bamiyan monastery, AF.
Lat 34.8315 Long 67.8265
Mapping & images: Falling Rain Genomics (, 2009.

Google Map link:,%20AF)&ll=34.8315,67.8265&spn=05.0,05.0&t=k&hl=enn

Final data - explanatory notes

1. Monastery's name

  • Bamiyan monastery - Foltz (1999:40)

2. Monastery's modern country & province

  • Afghanistan:Velayat-e Bamian

3. Monastery's alternative/historical names

  • [missing data]

4. Monastery's lat/long coordinates

  • Approx, Lat 34.8315 Long 67.8265 - visual identification of the site in, tmciolek, 10 Jun 2010.

5. Other known nearby Buddhist monasteries

6. Modern name of the known nearest city, town, or village

7. The settlement's alternative/historical names

8. The settlement's coordinates

9. Monastery's major Buddhist tradition

  • Hinayna (= Theravada) - Melikian-Chirvani (n.d.)
  • in 630 Xuanzang notes the presence of solely Theravadin monasteries - Maeda (n.d.)
  • in 726 - Huichao notes the presence of both Theravada and Mahayana monasteries - Maeda (n.d.)
  • Both Theravada and Mahayana monasteries - Melikian-Chirvani (n.d.)
  • In Bamiyan probably there was some centre of early Theravada Buddhism -

10. Monastery's Buddhist sub-tradition

  • Lokottaravāda - Melikian-Chirvani (n.d.)
  • Mahāsāmghika - Melikian-Chirvani (n.d.)

11. Date-early

  • MBM chrono-tag: 0367-99p 0400-32c 0433-66c - tmciolek 13 Dec 2012
  • 0367-99p 0400-32c 0433-66c 0467-99c 0500-32c 0533-66c 0567-99c 0600-32c 0633-66c 0667-99c 0700-32c 0733-66c 0767-99c 0800-32c 0833-66c 0867-99p dated-el

12. Date-intermediate

  • 630 - Xuanzang - Maeda (n.d.)
  • 726 - Huichao - Maeda (n.d.)

13. Date-late

  • Buddhism in Bamian was "still active as late as the 8th or 9th centuries" - Emeric (n.d.)
  • "Islam came into existence in the region in 7th century. The city bloomed in the reign of Kanishka. Muslim conquerers captured Bamiyan in 871AD. Genghis Khan devastated the city in 1221." -
  • MBM chrono-tag: 0800-32c 0833-66c 0867-99p - tmciolek 13 Dec 2012

14. Details of contacts with other monasteries

  • In 726 Bamiyan was visited by "Hyecho [C. Huichao] (704-787 CE), a Korean Buddhist monk from the Kingdom of Silla."-

15. Type of evidence regarding the monastery

  • archaeological, pilgrimage accounts, chronicles

16. Additional notes

  • [missing data] (incl. details of the size of the monastic population)

17. Corrections & addenda to this page were kindly provided by

  • [missing data]

18. Known monks and nuns associated with this monastery

19. Available Printed Literature

  • [bibliographical details of the Book/Article 1]
  • [bibliographical details of the Book/Article 2]
  • [bibliographical details of the Book/Article 3]

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