Bamiyan's Ancient Cave Dwellings Shelter Homeless Afghans (Video)
The caves of Bamiyan, originally carved by Buddhist monks nearly 2,000 years ago, now offer refuge to a significant number of homeless Afghans. These historic caves, nestled within the cliffs of central Afghanistan, have become makeshift homes for over 200 families. The allure of living within these ancient structures is overshadowed by the harsh realities faced by the cave dwellers. Lacking proper shelter and with no means to acquire a house, the homeless population sought solace in these caves, regardless of their historical significance. Survival in this rugged terrain poses numerous challenges, from the difficult climb to reach the caves to the perpetual struggle for access to water.
In the aftermath of the Taliban regime, the region was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site, drawing attention to the need for preservation. Consequently, efforts were made by the local government and NGOs to relocate some of the families to shelters in an attempt to protect the caves' historical integrity. But little has changed for the homeless inhabitants who must still grapple with their circumstances, dreaming of a more secure and comfortable future for themselves and their families. The caves that once served as sacred spaces for meditation are now a symbol of both survival and hope amidst adversity.
- Could There be a Third Bamiyan Buddha, Hidden for Centuries?
- Twisted Tourism: Taliban Sells Tickets to See the Buddhas They Blew Up
Top image: Bamiyan caves in Afghanistan. Source: trentinness / Adobe Stock.