Month: March 2021

  • How ancient Gandhara art gave a body to the Buddha

    A new travelogue investigates the Buddhist sites of ancient Gandhara and sheds light on an often forgotten confluence of civilisations By Bibek Bhattacharya In 2001, when the Taliban blew up the monumental statues of the Buddha at Bamiyan in Afghanistan, it marked a tragic low in the history of religious iconoclasm. The destruction of the […]

  • Afghans recall Taliban’s destruction of famed Buddha statues

    BAMIYAN, Afghanistan: Afghanistan’s giant Buddhas stood watch over the picturesque Bamiyan valley for centuries, surviving Mongol invasions and the harsh environment until the Taliban arrived with an apocalyptic worldview that did not care about one of the great wonders of antiquity. After years of scorched-earth offensives across Afghanistan, the militants — who saw any representation […]

  • The Thousand-Buddha Motif: On the Timelessness of Ancient Art

    The Thousand-Buddha motif is a recurrent theme in the Buddhist art of Central Asia and China. The motif depicts a multitude of buddhas arranged in a grid fashion, all seated in meditation on a lotus pedestal, and its popularity increased predominantly during the Northern Wei dynasty (386-534) in northern China. It was carved on stone […]