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In addition to freestanding Buddhist temples, etc., cave monasteries (likewise originally found in India) also became a local feature in Afghanistan, southern Central Asia, Xinjiang, and northern China. There an area of about 15 km² remains covered with traces of numerous monasteries (Bāgh Gai, Deh Ghundi, Tepe Kāfirihā, Tepe Kalān, Tepe Shutur, Gan Nao, and others), large and small s, sanctuaries, and artificial caves.
Haḍḍa (ancient Nagarāhāra), near modern , was the site of one of the largest Buddhist centers in Afghanistan, and as such was visited and described by the Chinese pilgrims (such as Fa-hsien [ca. The monasteries had square or rectangular courts surrounded by sanctuaries, cells, community halls, and other buildings.
Outside the chamber was a , initially round, later reconstructed.
The coins found at the site date it to the 1st century CE.
Over 150 Indian inscriptions in scripts were recovered.
Construction started in the 1st-2nd centuries CE, and the complex reached its peak in the 3rd-4th centuries before declining in the 5th-6th (Staviskiǐ, pp. The Fayaz Tepe monastery, 1 km away from Kara Tepe, consists of three adjacent parts with courts and surrounding rooms.
Many of them had an above-ground section as well as an underground.
In the place where the Kafirnigan River flows into the Amu Darya there was a Buddhist monastery of Kushan times called Uštur-mullo.
Its was faced (as at Ayrtam) with stone slabs carrying reliefs; inside, the monastery was decorated with paintings.
The center was occupied by a large stūpa and several small ones.
Sometimes there were two courts, one lined with cells, the other with small sanctuaries.