Bamyan Bamian, or Baumian, a valley, pass, and ancient town of Afghanistan, about 60 m. W. N. W. of Cabool. The valley lies between the Hindoo Ivoosh and the mountains of Herat, and is important as the only route practicable for artillery across the Himalaya into Independent Turkistan. It is about 1 m. wide, 12 m. long, bounded on each side by almost perpendicular steeps, and crowded with remains of antiquity. The town occupies the sides of the detached Ghoolghoola hill, in the middle of the valley, the site of the old city of Ghoolghoola, destroyed by the Mongols under Genghis Khan in 1221. Among the relics are gigantic figures cut in the rock on the hill, and supposed to be idols, two of which are over 130 ft. high. There are vast caverns excavated in the rocks, extending in a series for upwards of 8 m. The highest elevation of the Bamian pass is about 8,500 ft., and further south are passes as high as 13,000 ft. About 8 m. W. of the town are the ruins of the castle of Zohak, believed to have originated from that mythical conqueror, and where coins and other relics were lately found.