Saturday, November 17, 2012

Grand Trunk Road

The Grand Trunk Road (GT Road sometimes referred to as the "Long Walk") also known as Badshahi Sadak (great road) is one of South Asia's oldest and longest major roads. Built in the 16th century, it has linked the eastern and western regions of the Indian subcontinent, running from Bangladesh, across north India, into Peshawar in Pakistan up to Kabul, Afghanistan.

It was initiated by, and later constructed and extended by Sher Shah Suri, who then ruled much of northern India. His intention was to link together the remote provinces of his vast empire for administrative and military reasons.Over the centuries, the road, which was one of the most important trade routes in the region, facilitated both travel and postal communication.

Even during the era of Sher Shah Suri, the road was dotted with caravan-sarais (highway inns) at regular intervals, and trees were planted on both sides of the road to give shade to the passers-by. The road was well planned, with milestones along the whole stretch. The road endured as his outstanding legacy.

The British improved and extended the road to run from Calcutta to Peshawar and thus to span a major portion of India. For over four centuries, the Grand Trunk Road has remained "such a river of life as nowhere else exists in the world".

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