National Geographic : 1932 Nov
© National Geographic Society Finlay Direct Color Photograph byMaynard Owen Williams A BUDDHA, EIGHT FEET HIGHER THAN NIAGARA FALLS, DOMINATES BAMIAN VALLEY The giant statue, cut in the conglomerate cliff-face, was once so gilded that Hsuang Tsang thought itbronze. The plaster covering was held in place by pegs in a way resembling modern cement work. Clearly Greek in its type, it was the principal monument ofacolony ofthousands of Hinayana Buddhist monks. Bamian, meeting place of Iranian, Indian and Chinese influences, is ofutmost importance inthestudy ofCentral Asian art and cultural relationships.