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Hinduism in Tajikistan

Lord Shiva idol in Tajikistan

This is a gigantic 5th-8th century Murti of Lord Shiva and Parvati from Central Asia. It has been excavated by Archaeologists in Penjikent, Tajikistan. It Is Presently In Dushanbe, National Museum of Antiquities.


Central Asia has a long history of Shiva worship. The Kushan emperor Vima Kadphises was perhaps one of the earliest Central Asian Worshipers of Shiva. All his coins depicted Shiva and no other deity featured on his coins. It was perhaps the Kushans who introduced Shiva worship in Central Asia. And he became a popular deity among ancient Sogdians who made this huge Murti. Around the 8th century, Islam entered Central Asia and the idol has been beheaded. Shiva’s native worship has never again been heard of in Central Asia.

Note that Kushans invaded India. But not only did they adopt Indian Culture, but they also took it back to their Central Asian homelands.