- "Cut into the mountain from one huge rock, taller than your Niagara Falls, Indy -- still standing after centuries of vandalism and invading idol wreckers."
- ―Dr. Patar Kali[src]
The Buddhas of Bamyan were a set of giant stone carvings of a standing Buddha, in the area of the valley of Bamyan, Afghanistan, along the Silk Road. The two largest statues were nearly 180 and 120 feet tall, and carved out of alcoves in the sandstone cliff face, with details and paint added.
Adventures with the Buddhas of Bamyan[edit | edit source]
In 1930, Indiana Jones had just lost Baldur's Ring to an archaeologist from the British Museum after discovering it in the Temple of Old Uppsala. Marcus Brody reminded Jones that because of the extent of the British Empire, Britain could rule the field of archaeology with access to sites in Egypt and India. Brody feared that even one day, the British would find a way to move the Buddhas of Bamyan to the British Museum.
In 1938, Jones was on the trail of the Covenant of Buddha in Afghanistan, and traveled to the larger of the Buddhas (also known as the Colossus of Bamian), where a unit of the Japanese Imperial Army camped, hoping to find the secret to locating the Covenant. With help of some Sherpas to climb the statue, Patar Kali to translate the Sanskrit, and Khamal's intuition in finding secret objects, Jones uncovered a map hidden in the statue's head before the Japanese could reach them. As Jones and a Sherpa were patching up the secret chamber, Sgt. Itaki ambushed them, knocking the Nepalese off the statue, and fighting Jones with his sword. Jones escaped by using his whip to cling to the statue. Climbing down to the base, Jones retrieved his hat, but Itaki tackled him. Before Itaki could kill a stunned Jones with his sword, an unknown assassin shot Itaki dead. It turned out that Itaki's superior, General Masashi Kyojo had the soldier killed in order to have Jones continue to search for the Covenant and simply pursue him, since his own staff had been less successful. Jones and his allies traveled to the Himalayas to continue their search, and Kyojo's spies followed them.
Behind the scenes[edit | edit source]
In March 2001, the Taliban, which ruled Afghanistan, ordered the destruction of the Buddhas as an affront to the rules of Islam which forbid graven images. Most of the world community condemned the destruction of the Buddhas for both their cultural value, and for the Taliban's religious intolerance. The current Afghan government has pledged to rebuild the statues.
Appearances[edit | edit source]
- Indiana Jones: Thunder in the Orient (First appearance) (As "The Colossus of Bamian")
- Indiana Jones Adventures: Volume 1 (Mentioned only)
Sources[edit | edit source]
- Indiana Jones: The Ultimate Guide (As "The Colossus of Bamian")