Does Buddha Sleep Here?

When the Taliban dynamited two 1,700-year-old Buddha statues carved into a sandstone cliff in Afghanistan, it destroyed prized symbols of the country's rich pre-Islamic heritage and enraged scholars and archaeologists worldwide. But it might not have finished the job. A third Buddha--the so-called sleeping Buddha--may yet exist in Bamiyan, buried just feet from where the other Buddhas once stood. A 7th century Chinese traveler left notes describing the sculpture as measuring up to 650 ft. in length and reclining in a state of Nirvana. (The taller of the two upright Buddhas was just 180 ft.) The statue is believed to be...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!