Grand Trunk Road

This article is an itinerary.

The Grand Trunk Road (or GT Road) is one of Asia's great historical roads and a major route connecting much of the Indian subcontinent; it runs through parts of Bangladesh, India, Pakistan and Afghanistan. Rudyard Kipling describes it in his novel Kim:

And truly the 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. They looked at the green-arched, shade-flecked length of it, the white breadth speckled with slow-pacing folk...

History

There was trade along parts of the route far earlier, but the road became clearly established during the Maurya Empire, 322 – 185 BCE, when it was known as uttarapatha (road to the north) and ran from the mouth of the Ganges (near what later became known as Calcutta and is now called Kolkata), through the Empire's capital in what is now Patna, then via the then-great trading city Taxila and through Afghanistan, all the way to the Central Asian region of Bactria.

Later Indian rulers, especially the Mughals, did quite a lot of work on upgrading the Calcutta-Kabul part of the road and extended it east into what is now Bangladesh. However, the Kabul-Bactria section was not considered part of their Grand Trunk Road since Afghanistan was outside their influence.

The British also improved the road when they ruled India and, after the British left, the various nations along the route have done so as well.

Route

Route

Some of the main places on the route today, listed east-to-west, are:

In Bangladesh

In India

In Pakistan

In Afghanistan

UNESCO attractions along the route

In Bangladesh

In India

In Pakistan

This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Wednesday, October 21, 2015. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.