The Taliban have destroyed the Buddhas of Bamiyan (March 2001).

Paris, March 12 (No.2001-38) - UNESCO Director-General Koïchiro Matsuura has condemned the Taliban’s destruction of the Buddhas of Bamiyan - which has been confirmed by his Special Envoy, Pierre Lafrance - and described it as a "crime against culture

It is very sad to have seen a "wonder of the world" and for it to be subsequently deliberately destroyed. We are all the poorer for it. The photographs below were taken in 1971.

Across the central mountains of Afghanistan in July 1971.


This page illustrates a trip Ursel Marx and I made across the central mountains of Afghanistan in July 1971.

Although Afghanistan was open to foreign tourists in 1971 almost everybody traveling east-west took the southern road via Kandahar, a few more adventurous travelers took the northern road via Maziare Sarif. The real challenge was to cross the central mountains of Afghanistan via Caghcaran.

We traveled from Kabul (in the east) to Herat in our short wheel base petrol Land-Rover with a French couple in their diesel long wheel base Land-Rover. The first part of the track from Kabul to Bamiyan was well travelled by overlanders visiting the giant Buddhas at Bamiyan (destroyed by the Taliban March 2001), beyond here the road became more rugged. The trip took ten days, during which time we saw relatively few local vehicles, and no other overlanders.


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