Until the 11th century, Bamyan was part of the kingdom of Gandhara.It was the site of several Buddhist monasteries, and a thriving center for religion, philosophy, and Indian art.
The lower parts of the statues' arms were constructed from the same mud-straw mix while supported on wooden armatures.
It is believed that the upper parts of their faces were made from great wooden masks or casts.
Built in 507, the larger in 554 The main bodies were hewn directly from the sandstone cliffs, but details were modeled in mud mixed with straw, coated with stucco.
This coating, practically all of which was worn away long ago, was painted to enhance the expressions of the faces, hands and folds of the robes; the larger one was painted carmine red and the smaller one was painted multiple colors.
The statues are believed to have been built by the Kushans, with the guidance of local Buddhist monks, at the heyday of their empire.