Kakrak monastery, (near) Kakrak, Velayat-e Bamian, AF

Raw data

"A long valley called Kakrak stretches out to the east of the great statues [of Bamyan] and over here there is another statue 18 feet high, which is also surrounded by a group of caves. Frescos removed from some of these caves have been exhibited at the Kabul museum. Kakrak itself is one of the beautiful valleys of Bamyan." Wimalaratne (2004)

"Serial no: 208-002
Kakrak Valley caves including the niche of the standing Buddha
Bamiyan District, Bamiyan Province, Afghanistan
N34 48 59.6 E67 51 04.9 [= Lat 34.81655556 Long 67.85136111 - Note, these coordinates ARE NOT correct, see below - tmc, 13 Jul 2010]"

"Kakrak Valley caves are situated ca 3km southeast of the Bamiyan Cliff, and consist of over a hundred caves, dating from 6th to 13th centuries. There are fragments remaining of a 10m tall standing Buddha figure and of a sanctuary with painted decorations from the Sasanian period." UNESCO (2003).

Input by: tmciolek, Jul 6, 2010

"We find a cave in Kakrak valley near Bamiyan in which a huge image of the Buddha has been hewn out of the rock and thereon the walls frescoes are found. Here Vairccana Buddha is painted in a Mandala, which is supposed to be the earliest example of this kind so widely popular in Tibetan form of Buddhism." - http://thanhsiang.org/en/early-buddhism-afghanistan

"A Korean monk Hui-ch’ao who visited Bamiyan in 727 AD mentions that there the monks practice the Great and Little Vehicles."

Input by: tmciolek, 17 Jul 2014

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 200m from the point defined by the coordinates below.

Location of Kakrak monastery, AF.

General location of the Kakrak monastery, AF.
Lat 34.7990 Long 67.8500
Mapping & images: Falling Rain Genomics (http://www.fallingrain.com), 2010.

Google Map link:


Final data - explanatory notes

1. Monastery's name

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 34.7990 Long 67.8500 - based on visual identification of the site on the large scale Map of Archaeological Remains (UNESCO World Heritage Centre 2003), and estimating its coordinates via maps.google.com - tmciolek, 13 Jul 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

  • [missing data]

8. The settlement's coordinates

9. Monastery's major Buddhist tradition

  • Initially Theravada, subsequently Theravada and Mahayana
  • Kakrak "seemed to also follow Mahayana Buddhism, from the evidence of their paintings and sculptures." - Anonymous (1997).

10. Monastery's Buddhist sub-tradition

  • [missing data]

11. Date-early

  • 6th century CE - UNESCO (2003)
  • MBM chrono-tag 0500-32p 0533-66p 0567-99p - tmciolek 20 May 2013
  • 0500-32p 0533-66p 0567-99p 0600-32c 0633-66c 0667-99c 0700-32c 0733-66c 0767-99c 0800-32c 0833-66c 0867-99c 0900-32c 0933-66c 0967-99c 1000-32c 1033-66c 1067-99c 1100-32c 1133-66c 1167-99c 1200=> dated-el

12. Date-intermediate

  • [missing data]

13. Date-late

  • 13th century CE - UNESCO (2003)
  • MBM chrono-tag 1200=> - tmciolek 20 May 2013

14. Details of contacts with other monasteries

  • [missing data]

15. Type of evidence regarding the monastery

  • archaeological

16. Additional notes

  • Over a hundred of caves - UNESCO (2003)

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

  • [missing data]

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