Bandiagara (French pronunciation: [bɑ̃djaɡaʁa]) is a small town and urban commune in the Mopti Region of Mali. The name translates roughly to "large eating bowl"—referring to the communal bowl meals are served in.
Bandiagara is 65 km east-southeast of Mopti. A seasonal river, the Yamé, flows in a northeasterly direction through the town. The population includes a number of different ethnic groups including Dogons, Fulani and Bambaras.
Bandiagara is said to have been founded in 1770 by Nangabanu Tembély, a Dogon hunter.
In 1864, Tidiani Tall, El Hadj Umar Tall's nephew and successor, chose Bandiagara as capital of the Toucouleur empire.
It is the birthplace of Malian authors Amadou Hampâté Bâ and Yambo Ouologuem.
It is also shown to be the location of an alien rune in the music video for Reset by Three Trapped Tigers.
The Bandiagara Escarpment is an escarpment in the Dogon country of Mali. The sandstone cliff rises about 500 meters above the lower sandy flats to the south. It has a length of approximately 150 kilometers. The area of the escarpment is inhabited today by the Dogon people. Before the Dogon, the escarpment was inhabited by the Tellem and Toloy. Many structures remain from the Tellem. The Bandiagara Escarpment was listed in the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1989.
The Cliffs of Bandiagara are a sandstone chain ranging from south to northeast over 200 km and extending to the Grandamia massif. The end of the massif is marked by the Hombori Tondo, Mali's highest peak at 1,115 meters. Because of its archaeological, ethnological and geological characteristics, the entire site is one of the most imposing in West Africa.