Turkmenistan Merv

Traces of Buddhism in Turkmenistan

Centuries ago, in the heart of Central Asia, the ancient city of Merv was a melting pot of diverse cultures and religions. Buddhism was one of the most important religious teachings that spread here. Let’s take a journey through time to discover the rich tapestry of faiths that once thrived within its walls.

Buddhism’s Radiant Influence

In the early years of the Common Era, Buddhism found its way to the region, led by the devout Kushan king, Kanishka. Simultaneously, elements of Indian culture began to permeate Margiana. Terracotta figurines from the 3rd to 4th centuries, depicting youthful figures with soft features, hint at the influence of Indian sculptural art. Back in time to Merv, where, from the late 2nd century CE, the seeds of Buddhist philosophy and religion took root. It seems this ancient city provided fertile ground for the growth of Buddhism, eventually giving rise to a vibrant Buddhist community and the construction of sacred structures.

Join us as we rekindle the spiritual mosaic of ancient Merv—a testament to the convergence, coexistence, and enduring legacy of diverse faiths.

Main photo credits Carsten ten Brink @ flickr.com

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