Kargah Buddha - 7th century large standing Buddha, Gilgit

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Kargah Buddha, Gilgit, Pakistan

Kargah Buddha is an archaeological site located about 9.7 km outside of Gilgit, Gilgit−BaltistanPakistan. It is a carved image of a large standing Buddha, some 50 ft (15 m) high, in the cliff-face in Kargah Nala. The carving, which is in a style also found in Baltistan, is estimated to date back to the 7th century.

The image is surrounded by the holes for a wooden house structure, which would have sheltered it from inclement weather.

From the 3rd century to the 11th century, Gilgit was a prominent centre of early Buddhism. During this time period, multiple powers vied for control of the region, including the Tibetan Empire, the Kashmiri Karkota Dynasty, and the Umayyad and Abbasid caliphates. Nearby, about 400 metres (1,300 ft) upstream, a Buddhist monastery and three stupas containing Sanskrit manuscripts were excavated in 1931. By the 11th century, Gilgit had grown into the autonomous kingdom of Dardistan before largely adopting Islam. [source]

 

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