Shotorak monastery, (near) Begram, Velayat-e Parvan, AF

Raw data

"Shotorak - Archeological site in Gandhara located in the Kapisha plain at the foot of the Hindu Kush in Afghanistan. Overlooking the Panshir valley is a 2nd-3rd century Buddhist monastery with bas reliefs displaying an Afghan variant of the Gandhara style. […]
The Bodhisattva Maitreya in the Tushita Heaven - Afghanistan, Kapisa, Shotorak monastery
Kushan period, 3rd-5th century "
Guimet (n.d.), Shotorak,

"193. Shotorak
Alternate Name: Kuh-i Pahlawan
Kapisa Province. On the south bank of the Panjshir River at the foot of the Kuh-i Pahlawan, four kilometers north of Begram.
Date: Kushan, 3rd century AD (architectural, stylistic evidence)
A small Buddhist monastery complex with some seven or eight stupas. The main stupa was surrounded by a cloistered courtyard, and decorated in figures in bas-relief. Finds included many clay stupa models and many schist sculptures.
The site may have been the living quarters of the Kishan King Kanishka's Chinese hostages. Sculptures discovered at the site (carved schist standing figures and bas-relief panel sculptures) during the 1930s are considered some of the most important Buddhist artworks found in Afghanistan. The Buddha Dipankara (3rd c. AD), transferred from Shotorak to the Kabul Museum in the late 1930s, was stolen from the Museum in February 1993 and remains the most important single item still missing from the Museum's collection. […]
Lat 35.00° N Long 69.333333° "
- DoDLRMP and CEMML (2010:#193 Shotorak)

"[Eine..] buddhistische[…] Klöstern, wie Shotorak, Qol-e Nader, Koh- e Pahlawan.[1]"
Input by: tmciolek, Jul 26, 2010

Shotorak (Kapisa province)
The ruins of the monastery of Shotorak are situated a few kilometres north-east of the old city of Begram, on a craggy height, the Kuh-i Pahlawan, with wonderful views over the Panjshir river valley. excavated by Jacques Meunié of DAfA in 1937, it is a good example of a Buddhist settlement. Built and decorated in the local schist (like most buildings in the area), the monastery was near enough to Begram for the monks to walk there for their daily food, but far enough to preserve the quiet and peaceful surroundings.
J. Meunié, 1942, MDAFA, X.
Src: Tissot (2006)
Input by: tmciolek, Aug 01, 2014

Final data (and their sources)

Last updated: 01 Aug 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 Shotorak monastery, AF.

General location of the Shotorak monastery, AF.
Lat 35.00 Long 69.333333
Mapping & images: Falling Rain Genomics (, 2010.

Google Map link:,%20AF)&ll=35.00,69.333333&spn=05.0,05.0&t=k&hl=en

Final data - explanatory notes

1. Monastery's name

  • Shotorak monastery

2. Monastery's modern country & province

  • Afghanistan:Velayat-e Parvan

3. Monastery's alternative/historical names

4. Monastery's lat/long coordinates

  • Approx., Lat 35.00 Long 69.333333 - DoDLRMP and CEMML (2010:#193 Shotorak)

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

10. Monastery's Buddhist sub-tradition

  • [missing data]

11. Date-early

  • Kushan, 3rd century AD (architectural, stylistic evidence) - DoDLRMP and CEMML (2010:#193 Shotorak)

MBM chrono-tag 0233-66p - tmciolek 17 Jul 2014
0233-66p 0200-32p 0233-66p 0267-99p 0300-32p 0333-66p 0367-99p 0400-32p 0433-66p dated-ex

12. Date-intermediate

MBM chrono-tag 0200-32p 0233-66p 0267-99p 0300-32p 0333-66p 0367-99p 0400-32p 0433-66p - tmciolek 17 Jul 2014
0200-32p 0233-66p 0267-99p 0300-32p 0333-66p 0367-99p 0400-32p 0433-66p

13. Date-late

  • [missing data]

14. Details of contacts with other monasteries

  • [missing data]

15. Type of evidence regarding the monastery

  • [missing data]

16. Additional notes

final data (incl. details of the size of the monastic population)….

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

  • [missing data]

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