Big Buddha in Dushanbe

The largest Buddha in Central Asia is reclining in a museum in Dushanbe, Tajikistan. He assumed his title when the Taliban dynamited the two standing Buddhas in Bamiyan, Afghanistan in March 2001.

The National Museum of Antiquities in Dushanbe has exhibits from the many archeological sites in Tajikistan. Most of the good stuff, however, can be found in museums in other countries. But there are some lovely pieces – like a scabbard with a lion and “dear.” The main draw is a 13 meter long reclining Buddha. It is the largest Buddha in Central Asia, thanks to the Afghanistan Taliban (damn their hides) who blew up the two standing Buddhas in Bamiyan in March 2001. Our Buddha boy in Dushanbe was found in 1966 in Ajina Teppe and dates back about 1500 years. He seems to have been damaged either before or during the move and is missing much of his clothing and outer decorations, as well as a good portion of his face. He may be big for Central Asia, but he has brothers in China and Thailand that are much bigger and in better shape.

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