ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Tourist Attractions in Bamyan, Afghanistan

Updated on October 26, 2017

Afghanistan is well known for its insecurity and turbulent political environment, but it has many beautiful aspects which always been hidden from the world. Bamyan province is one of Afghanistan’s hidden aspects. With amazing landscapes and historical background, it’s less discovered tourist destination. From the time when Buddhist traders chose Bamyan to build their temples and the time when Mongols destroyed it and finally when Afghans declared it as their first national park, it was always in the center of focus because of its natural beauty.

Bamyan Afghanistan
Bamyan Afghanistan | Source

About Bamyan Province

Bamyan province is located in the central part of Afghanistan, approximately 240 kilometers northwest of Kabul, the capital of Afghanistan. Though the province is not too much developed, with a local airport and modern hotels, this is the best place for tourist in Afghanistan.

Nature and history of Bamyan make it the heart of Afghanistan’s tourist destination. Many people come to Bamyan to see the historical monument and enjoy the nature of the province. The province was one of the major points of Buddhist expansion in history, that is why there are many Buddhists related ancient monuments in this area. Also, the weather and lakes in the area make it a perfect destination for summer vacation.

Traveling to Bamyan

The best way to reach to Bamyan is by a plane. However, Bamyan doesn't have any International airport, but it has a local airport so you can travel directly from Kabul's international ariport to Bamyan.

For moving inside Bamyan it's better to use a taxi because other types of public transportation are not yet well developed in the city, but it will not cost you too much.

Tourist Attractions

Bamyan province has three main tourist attractions Band-e Amir National Park, Buddhas, of Bamyan and Koh-i-Baba Mountains. Other places like Shahr-e Ghulghula (a city destroyed by Genghis Khan), and a tour of local people's culture can be more fun for you.

The Band-e Paneer Lake in Afghanistan; part of Band-e Amir.
The Band-e Paneer Lake in Afghanistan; part of Band-e Amir. | Source

Band-e Amir National Park

Band-e Amir is Afghanistan's first national park. It is a series of six blue lakes separated by natural dams. It is one of the rare natural lakes in the world which is created by travertine system.

In 2004, Band-e Amir was submitted for recognition as a World Heritage site. In 2009, Band-e Amir was finally declared Afghanistan's first national park. As of 2013, about 6,000 local tourists visit the Band-e Amir National Park every year.

Band-e Amir consists of six lakes:

  • Band-e Gholaman (Lake of the slaves)
  • Band-e Qambar (Lake of Caliph Ali's slave)
  • Band-e Haibat (Lake of grandiose)
  • Band-e Panir (Lake of cheese)
  • Band-e Pudina (Lake of wild mint)
  • Band-e Zulfiqar (Lake of the sword of Ali)

The deepest one is Band-e Haibat with an average depth of approximately 150 meters.

Band-e Amir is late summer tourist destination because during winter the temperature can reach to the lowest level of -20 centigrades.

Some people call Band Amir national park, Afghanistan's Grand Canyon.

View of Band Amir, Bamian

Walking along the lakes and watching the view of lakes makes the mind of any viewer peaceful. The lakes look like blue marbles in meddle of the desert like place, far away from large cities with no pollution or disturbing noises can make the mind of any calm and peaceful.

Raiding a pedal boat in these lakes can be more fun, as the water is clean so you will be able to clearly see underwater and marine life.

Tallest Buddha of Bamyan Before Destruction
Tallest Buddha of Bamyan Before Destruction | Source

Buddhas of Bamyan

Buddhas of Bamyan were the 4th-5th-century statues of standing Buddha carved into the side of a cliff in valley of Bamyan. In 2001 the statues were destroyed by Taliban, However, the place still shows the amazing work of Buddhists in the 5th century.

Before distraction there were two statues of standing Buddha, the tallest one was called Solsol with 53 meters high and smallest one called Shahmama with 35 meters high. Solsol was the tallest standing Buddha in the world before destruction.

Buddha of Bamyan After Destruction
Buddha of Bamyan After Destruction | Source

Though the statues are completely destroyed, their outline and features are still recognizable which shows the turbulent past of these Buddha statues.

After the destruction of the Buddhas, 50 caves were revealed. In 12 of the caves, wall paintings were discovered. After some researches, it was found that the paintings were painted between 5th and 9th Century. It is believed that the paintings were done by artists traveling on the Silk Road, the trade route between China and the West. These paintings are the world's first oil paintings in the world.

Skiing competition in Bamyan Afghanistan
Skiing competition in Bamyan Afghanistan | Source

Skiing at Koh-i Baba Mountains

The Baba Mountain is the western extension of the Hindu Kush. The mountain range is crowned by Foladi peak (Shah Fuladi, 34°38′43″N 67°37′27″E) rising 4951 meters (16,244 ft) above sea level, and is located south of Bamyan, Afghanistan. The mountain is the best place for skiing in the province.

In 2008 an $1.2 million project to encourage skiing was launched by the Aga Khan Foundation (AKF) with the help of NZAID, New Zealand government’s international aid agency to improve tourist attraction in and conduct ski games at the area. The province hosts the Afghan Ski Challenge, a 7 km downhill race over the ungroomed and powdered snow, founded by Swiss journalist and skier Christoph Zurcher. Tissot, the Swiss watch manufacturer, is the principal sponsor.

So if you are a winter sports lover then you should go to Koh-i Baba mountains, where many of tourists and locals come to play ski. These mountains have snow for most of the year but between January and April is a good time for playing ski.Every winter there are ski competition programs where local and foreigner comes to play ski to this area. The level of these competitive programs grows every year and new participants are joining the program

Every winter there are ski competition programs where local and foreigner comes to play ski in this area. The level of these competitive programs grows every year and new participants are joining the program.

About People and Culture in Bamyan

People of Bamyan are mostly Hazara. Other ethnic groups like Tajiks and Pashtuns also live in this province, but their population is less compared to Hazara ethnic group in this area. They talk in Dari Hazaragi language which is a dialect of Dari language.

Hazara women make beautiful handicrafts like carpets, handmade traditional clothes and other types of handicrafts, which is popular by the name of Hazaragi Handicrafts. You can find many of these handicrafts in local markets.


Like any other Afghans, they celebrate three festivals, Nowruz Festival (New Year's Day in the Persian calendar) And also two Islamic Eid festivals every year. Each of these festivals has their public celebrations and families gathering along with delicious Afghani foods.

Best Time to Visit Bamyan

Because Bamyan has cold weather it's good to visit Bamyan during summer time. Best time to visit Bamyan starts from April and ends in September, however, the region has its own beauty in every season of year.

However, instability and insecurity hide many beautiful aspects of Afghanistan, but this could be the time to discover Afghanistan in a new way.

Location Of Bamyan Province

Bamyan Afghanistan:
Bamyan, Afghanistan

get directions

Band Amir National Park


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)