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Another attempt to destroy the Bamiyan statues was made by the 18th century Turkic king Nader Afshar, directing cannon fire at them.
During the ongoing Afghan Civil War, the area around the Buddhas was under the control of the Hizb-i-Wahdat militia, a part of the Northern Alliance which was fighting at the time against the Taliban, a conservative fundamentalist militia.
Wahed drilled holes in the Buddhas' heads for explosives.
Intriguingly, Xuanzang mentions a third, even larger, reclining statue of the Buddha.It was the site of several Buddhist monasteries, and a thriving center for religion, philosophy, and art.Monks at the monasteries lived as hermits in small caves carved into the side of the Bamiyan cliffs.The Buddha popularly called "Solsol" measured 53 meters tall, and "Shahmama" 35 meters—the niches in which the figures stood are 58 and 38 meters respectively from bottom to top. Since then the Statue of unity has been built in India, and at 182 m (597 ft) it is the tallest statue in the world, breaking the record earlier held by The Spring Temple Buddha 128 m (420 ft) in Fodushan Scenic Area, Lushan County, Henan, China.Plans for the construction of the Spring Temple Buddha were announced soon after the blowing up of the Bamiyan Buddhas and China condemned the systematic destruction of the Buddhist heritage of Afghanistan.
All OIC states—including Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates, three countries that officially recognised the Taliban government—joined the protest to spare the monuments.