Image: Searching for Afghanistan's Third Giant Buddha
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Searching for Afghanistan's Third Giant Buddha
by National Geographic
An empty niche (left) remains where a 174-foot (53-meter) Buddha--carved 14 centuries ago into sandstone cliffs and pictured in inset--overlooked Afghanistan's Bamiyan Valley.
In 2001 the Taliban blew it up, along with its 125-foot (38-meter) companion statue, an act that outraged the world. Buddhist monks once lived in the caves that pock the cliff face.
Zemaryalai Tarzi is searching for a third giant Buddha, believed to be buried underground and to extend 1,000 feet (300 meters) reclining.
—Contemporary photograph courtesy Zemaryalai Tarzi; historical inset photograph by Zaheeruddin Abdullah, AP
11 years ago.