"the giant Buddhas in Bamiyan"

Bamiyan Buddha
Permission Granted by Copyright Owner for Use on Book DrumBamiyan Buddha - Credit: F. Riviere
The two Buddhas at Bamiyan were carved into the side of a sandstone cliff in the Hazarajat region, on the route of the Silk Road.  Dating back to the sixth century, they were originally plastered and painted, with jewels and gold for decoration.  At 180 feet and 121 feet high, they were the largest standing Buddhas in the world, and were listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

In 2001, they were destroyed by the Taliban, who considered them "idolatrous", despite strong opposition from every other Islamic state.  The destruction took several weeks, first employing artillery and tanks, then dynamite.  The Japanese and Swiss governments have offered support to rebuild the statues.