Grand Trunk Road

Grand Trunk Road, one of Asia's oldest and longest roads

The Grand Trunk Road is one of the of South Asia's oldest and longest major roads. The road, often called as the "Gernaili Sadak" (the Generals' Road) and Sadak-e-Azam ('The Grand Road') covers a distance of 2,700 km (1,700 mi) running s through parts of Bangladesh, India, Pakistan and Afghanistan.

The road is mostly paved. The journey is an unforgettable experience. It is a fascinating highway, extending from Kabul through Lahore, Delhi and reaching Kolkata in West Bengal and Chittagong in Bangladesh. This busy asphalted road still forms a vital link for trade and communication for the social strata that live along this region. The Grand Trunk Road, built by Sher Shah Suri, a ruler of the Indian sub continent in the 16th century AD, starts in Kabul, Afghanistan. The road continues to Pakistan near Peshawar through the famous Khyber Pass. This famous international mountain pass, at an elevation of 1.070m (3,510ft) above the sea level, is one of the oldest known passes in the world, and connects Afghanistan and Pakistan, cutting through the northeastern part of the Spin Ghar mountains. Beyond this mountain pass, the Grand Trunk Road arrives to the suburbs of Taxila, goes down to Lahore and crosses into India at Wahgha. After 2500km, the road ends at Kolkata. Nowadays the road is still by far the busiest, wildest road in areas that are now part of Afghanistan, Pakistan and India.

What is the meaning of Grand Trunk?

The Grand Trunk Road (usually abbreviated to GT Road) is one of South Asia's oldest and longest major roads. Over the years, it has functioned both as a major trade route and as a convenient right-of-way for invading armies. GT is considered dangerous not because of risky heights or disheartening road conditions, but because of the traffic congestion. You mustn't be surprised when your car gets into a traffic jam, created by dromedaries using one of the lanes. Trucks, buses, bicycles, pedestrians, and animals have turned parts of this heavily-used road into a major headache. If you’re planning to drive here, you’ll want to be as alert as possible.

Who built Grand Trunk Road?

It is one of the oldest road routes in India. In Antiquity, it was known as Uttarāpatha, "the upper road". For more than two millennia, it linked the Indian subcontinent with Central Asia. The road was rebuilt by Sher Shah Suri, in the 16th century. In the colonial era the British developed an ancient route into a highway across the breadth of their realm. During the British rulers of colonial India, the road was renamed as the Grand Trunk Road. Rudyard Kipling called it 'a river of life', but for the modern driver it's a nightmare. The road is full of trucks and rattling buses manned by drivers without much respect for their lives - or yours. And then there's the cyclists, the pedestrians, the salesmen, the ox carts, the cows, the buffalos...
Pic: By Bhadani (talk) - I (Bhadani (talk)) created this work entirely by myself., Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=31775821

 

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NOTICE: Due to the spread of COVID-19, many points of interest and roads are closed and travel is not recommended. Please follow all local health authority directives before venturing off, and stay safe.