Bamiyan Valley

Afghanistan's Bamiyan valley, which means 'the place of shining light' was once a nexus between East and West at the crossroads of ancient civilisations dating back at least three thousand years.

Maniyan Buddhas

The long disused Buddhist Monastery in the heart of the Hindu Kush was once a popular destination for Buddhist pilgrims. At the height of its glory in the 7th Century over a thousand priests dwelt in the monastic cells that honeycomb the cliff-face - at each end of the cliff two massive sculptures of the Buddha overlook the valley and village below from protective niches. These were the world's largest statues of the Budda stood before their destruction by the Taliban in 2001. Rather belatedly, in 2003, the Bamiyan valley was inscribed on the 'list of world heritage in danger'.

Kyla Brettle travels to Afghanistan where she meets with UNESCO's Brendan Cassar and Masanori Nagaoka who are both involved in the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation's efforts to preserve the cultural landscape of Bamiyan and remnants of Budda sculptures.

Duration: 22'38"


Brendan Cassar, Masanouri Nagaoka, Kyla Brettle.


Produced, recorded and edited by Kyla Brettle. Executive Producer Julie Copeland.

© ABC and Kyla Brettle 2006

First broadcast on ABC Radio National's Exhibit A, December 17 2006.