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The GRAND TRUNK ROAD is one of Asia\'s oldest and longest major roads. For more than two millennia, it has linked South Asia
Asia
with Central Asia. It runs from Chittagong
Chittagong
, Bangladesh
Bangladesh
west to Howrah
Howrah
, West Bengal
West Bengal
in India
India
, then across Northern India
India
through Delhi
Delhi
, passing from Amritsar . From there, the road continues towards Lahore and Peshawar
Peshawar
in Pakistan
Pakistan
, finally terminating in Kabul
Kabul
, Afghanistan .

The route spanning the Grand Trunk (GT) road existed during the reign of Chandragupta Maurya , extending from the mouth of the Ganges
Ganges
to the north-western frontier of the Empire. The predecessor of the modern road was rebuilt by Sher Shah Suri , who renovated and extended the ancient Mauryan route in the 16th century. The road was considerably upgraded in the British period between 1833 and 1860.

It coincides with current N1 ( Chittagong
Chittagong
to Dhaka), N4 NH12 (Rajshahi to Purnea), NH27 (Purnea to Patna), NH19 (Agra to Patna) and NH44 (Agra to Amritsar towards Lahore
Lahore
in Pakistan) in India; N-5 ( Lahore
Lahore
to Peshawar
Peshawar
and Khyber Pass
Khyber Pass
towards Jalalabad in Afghanistan) in Pakistan and AH1
AH1
(Torkhan-Jalalabad to Kabul) in Afghanistan.

CONTENTS

* 1 History * 2 Gallery

* 3 See also

* 3.1 Ancient roads * 3.2 Modern roads in Asia
Asia

* 4 Literature * 5 Notes * 6 Further reading * 7 External links

HISTORY

A scene from the Ambala cantonment during the British Raj .

Research indicates that, during the time of the Maurya Empire in the 3rd century BC, overland trade between India
India
and several parts of western Asia
Asia
and the Hellenistic world went through the cities of the north-west, primarily (Takshashila in present-day Pakistan
Pakistan
, see inset in map). Takshashila was well connected by roads with other parts of the Maurya empire. The Mauryas had built a highway from Takshashila to Pataliputra (present-day Patna
Patna
in India). Chandragupta Maurya had a whole army of officials overseeing the maintenance of this road as told by the Greek diplomat Megasthenes who spent fifteen years at the Mauryan court. Constructed in eight stages, this road is said to have connected the cities of Purushapura , Takshashila, Hastinapura , Kanyakubja , Prayag , Pataliputra and Tamralipta , a distance of around 2600 kilometers. Travelers on the Grand Trunk Road
Grand Trunk Road
on ponies ca. 1910

The grand trunk road is mentioned in a number of literary works including those of Foster and Rudyard Kipling. Kipling described the road as::"Look! Look again! and chumars , bankers and tinkers, barbers and bunnias , pilgrims – and potters – all the world going and coming. It is to me as a river from which I am withdrawn like a log after a flood. And truly the Grand Trunk Road
Grand Trunk Road
is a wonderful spectacle. It runs straight, bearing without crowding India's traffic for fifteen hundred miles – such a river of life as nowhere else exists in the world."

Originally, the road extended up to parts of modern day Pakistan, the Mughals extended the Grand Trunk Road
Grand Trunk Road
still further, westwards. At one time, it extended to Kabul
Kabul
in Afghanistan, crossing the Khyber Pass and ran up to Kolkata
Kolkata
and further to Bangladesh. The road was later improved by the British rulers of colonial India. It was extended to run from Calcutta to Peshawar
Peshawar
(present-day Pakistan). Over the centuries, the road acted as one of the major trade routes in the region and facilitated both travel and postal communication. Since the era of Sher Shah Suri , the road was dotted with caravansarais at regular intervals, and trees were planted on both sides of the road to give shade to the travellers and merchants. Sher Shah made many roads for tax-free trade. The Grand Trunk Road
Grand Trunk Road
is still used for transportation in present-day India
India
and Pakistan, where parts of the road have been widened and included in the national highway system, retaining the old name.

GALLERY

*

Distribution of the Edicts and Pillars of Ashoka
Ashoka
along the GT road

*

Ashokan pillar currently at Feroz Shah Kotla in Delhi
Delhi
was moved from Topra Kalan in Yamunanagar district *

Kushan -era Mahabodhi temple
Mahabodhi temple
at Bodh Gaya
Bodh Gaya
along GT road *

Mughal era Kos Minar
Kos Minar
along GT road at Taraori in Karnal district *

Jalalabad– Kabul
Kabul
Road , Afghanistan
Afghanistan
, it is considered the western-most, and most dangerous, stretch of the GT Road *

GT Road above the River Jhelum in Pakistan
Pakistan
. *

G.T. Road in Lahore
Lahore
*

Original GT Road passing through Margalla Hills to Kala Chitta Range *

Newly realigned G T Road passing by the westernmost point of Margalla Hills near Islamabad
Islamabad
to Kala Chitta Range

SEE ALSO

ANCIENT ROADS

* Silk route - ancient Sino-India-Europe route * Via Maris (INTERNATIONAL TRUNK ROAD) - modern name of main ancient international route between Egypt and Mesopotamia

MODERN ROADS IN ASIA

* AH1
AH1
, or Asian Highway 1 - the longest route of the Asian Highway Network, running from Japan to Turkey * Asian Highway Network (AH) aka the Great Asian Highway - project to improve the highway systems in Asia

AFGHANISTAN

* Highway 1 (Afghanistan) - 2,200 km circular road network inside Afghanistan

PAKISTAN

* National Highways of Pakistan
Pakistan
, all government highways * Motorways of Pakistan
Pakistan
- network of major expressways

INDIA

* National Highways Authority of India
India
* National Highway (India) - network of government-managed highways * Indian Expressways - the highest class of roads in the Indian road network * Golden Quadrilateral - highway network connecting major centres of northern, western, southern and eastern India * National Highways Development Project , a project to upgrade and widen major highways in India

LITERATURE

* Farooque, Abdul Khair Muhammad (1977), _Roads and Communications in Mughal India._ Delhi: Idarah-i Adabiyat-i Delli. * Weller, Anthony (1997), _Days and Nights on the Grand Trunk Road: Calcutta to Khyber_. Marlowe ">

* ^ Bergsma, Harold (2011). _India: Essays and Insights by a Gora_. Lulu. p. 137. ISBN 8183320619 . Retrieved 19 July 2016. * ^ Bhandari, Shirin (2016-01-05). "Dinner on the Grand Trunk Road". Roads & Kingdoms. Retrieved 2016-07-19. * ^ Steel, Tim (1 January 2015). "A road to empires". Dhaka Tribune . Retrieved 2016-07-19. * ^ Jhimli Mukherjee Pandey (15 September 2015). "Cuisine along G T Road". Calcutta: Times of India
India
. Retrieved 2016-07-19. * ^ Khanna, Parag. "How to Redraw the World Map". _The New York Times _. ISSN 0362-4331 . Retrieved 2016-07-19. * ^ _A_ _B_ K. M. Sarkar (1927). _The Grand Trunk Road