Artiste recreates historic Bamiyan Buddha

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Dehradun, Aug 11 : An artiste in Dehradun has recreated the historic statue of the Bamiyan Buddha, the original of which was destroyed by the Taliban in Afghanistan in 2001.

The Taliban had justified their action by saying that they were carrying out an Islamic ban on idol worship.

Raghuveer Panwar, a former artiste and modeler with the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) undertook to create a replica of the statue. The replica has been made with great care by Panwar, who had worked at Bamiyan for nine years. He made a detailed study from various photographs of the statue.

"I've made this statue after being inspired by one of my seniors. It took me 30-40 days to make it. I had to study many different photographs to make this statue. I've tried to make it exactly like the original. Even the numbers of holes in the statue are same as the original," said Panwar.

The replica made by him has become quite famous with people of Dehradun and tourists thronging his place to catch a glimpse of the statue.

"We had heard about the Bamiyan Buddha and were very disturbed when the Taliban destroyed it. When the statue got ready, it was put on exhibition and many people came to see the statue," said Neeru, a viewer.

The two Buddhas, towering 175 feet and 120 feet high in cliff-side niches, were the first known examples of the massive Buddha images that later spread through Asia.

Most of these statues dated from nearly 2,000 years ago, when Afghanistan was the centre of Buddhist learning. They were largely untouched for more than a millennium after the arrival of Islam, surviving even the onslaughts of Genghis Khan in the 13th century. By Ashish Goel

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