In the 13th century, there stretched from the Hindu Kush to the Persian Gulf and the Caspian Sea, the mighty empire of Khwarizm.

In 1221, the ruthless Mongolian conqueror Genghis Khan was leading his armies across Northern Asia in an orgy of pillage and wholesale bloodshed.

The Mongols laid siege to the city of Bamiyan (in what is known today as Afghanistan. There more than a thousand monks were living in monasteries. The city defied the Mongol attacks until Genghis Khan himself appeared on the scene and from that moment Bamian was doomed.

Genghis Khan totally destroyed the city to such an extent that it was completely deserted for forty years.

So terrible was the devastation that for many years Bamiyan was known as "the accursed place."

Some of these ruins can still be seen today.

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