Tapassu [monastery?], (near) Balkh, Velayat-e Balkh, AF

Raw data

"The Chinese monk Fa-Hein (法顯) was here around 400 AD. Xuanzang visited Balkh in 628 (貞觀二年) when it was a flourishing centre of Hinayana Buddhism. According Xuanzang there were about a hundred Buddhist monasteries, some 30,000 monks and a large number of stupas in the area. “The country measure 800 Li east-west and 400 Li north-south. The Oxus is in the north. The capital has a circumference of about 20 Li. People called it Little Rajagriha. The city is well fortified but it does not have a large population. Crops are abundant, with a great variety of flowers. One tooth of the Buddha is kept here, 1 inch long, 0.8-0.9 inch in circumference, yellowish white and shiny. 50 Li to the NW is Tiwei (Tapassu) city, 40 Li to the north is Boli (Bhallika) city; each has a stupa 30 feet tall.” There are actually two stupas nearby, those of two great Buddhist monks of Afghanistan, Tapassu (Trapusa, 帝波须) and Bhallika (跋利迦)."

Tiwei (Tapassu) city is 50 Li (or approx. 10 miles, or 16-17 km) to the NW of Nava Vihara (the monastery with the Buddha relic),

"“Arabs attacked Balkh in 645 AD. In 653 al-Ahnaf raided the town again and compelled it to pay tribute. Arabian records show "the Arabs plundered the town and killed the people indiscriminately. It is said that they raided the famous Buddhist shrine of Nava-Vihara near Takhta-i-Rustam and plundered the gems and jewels studded on statues and stupas, but probably did no considerable harm to the buildings or to the monks there". Buddhism continued to flourish with the monasteries as centers of Buddhist learning and culture. In 715, Qutayba bin Muslim al-Bahili, Governor of Khurasan (呼罗珊), established a firm Arab hold in lands beyond the Oxus. The resident monks of the Vihara were either killed or forced to abandon their faith. The Viharas were razed to the ground. Nava-Vihara was left in ruins.” http://www.flickr.com/photos/h_sinica/galleries/72157626880594487/
Input by: tmciolek, May 04, 2013

Final data (and their sources)

Last updated: 19 May 2013

Lat/Long coordinates' accuracy:
The monastery in question is assumed to be situated actually no farther than 20 km from the point defined by the coordinates below.

Location of Tapassu monastery?, AF.

General location of the Tapassu monastery?, AF.
Lat 36.8321 Long 66.8014
Mapping & images: Falling Rain Genomics (http://www.fallingrain.com), 2013.

Google Map link:


Final data - explanatory notes

1. Monastery's name

  • Tapassu [monastery?]

2. Monastery's modern country & province

  • Afghanistan:Velayat-e Balkh

3. Monastery's alternative/historical names

  • [missing data]

4. Monastery's lat/long coordinates

  • Approx. Lat 36.8321 Long 66.8014 - based on a tentative visual identification of ruins of the possible Tapassu site in satellite imagery (some 15 km NW of the Nava Vihara site, which - in turn - is also only tentatively identified), maps.google.com - tmciolek, 19 May 2013.

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

  • [missing data]

12. Date-intermediate

  • MBM chrono-tag 0567-99p 0600-32c 0633-66p - tmciolek 19 May 2013
  • 0567-99p 0600-32c 0633-66c 0667-99c 0700-32c dated-xl

13. Date-late

  • MBM chrono-tag 0700-32c - tmciolek 19 May 2013

14. Details of contacts with other monasteries

  • [missing data]

15. Type of evidence regarding the monastery

  • [missing data]

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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