“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 It is to me as a river from which I am withdrawn like a log after a flood.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 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.”
– Rudyard Kipling
This post is for all of you travel bloggers out there. Has anyone traveled the entire length of the Grand Trunk Road?
The Grand Trunk Road links Central Asia to South Asia, running from Kabul, Afghanistan to Chittagong, Bangladesh. Much of the road was in existence at the time of Chandragupta Maurya. The route was significantly improved by the ethnic Pashtun ruler Sher Shah Suri during his reign (1538-1545) by planting trees for shade on both sides of the road and by building caravanserais. The Mughals extended the road to Kabul and Chittagong. Much of the road was then upgraded by the British between 1833 and 1860 when it was also named the Grand Trunk Road.
Personally I have traveled parts of this route, from Kabul to Peshawar and then from Peshawar to Rawalpindi in Pakistan. I have never traveled along the longest stretch of the road which runs through northern India however.
I have occasionally entertained the (in all probability unrealistic) thought of traveling the entire 1600-mile length of the GT Road. To me this would be the ultimate road trip: four countries, ancient history juxtaposed with modern cultures, mountains, rivers and the sea.
If you have ever traveled all or some of the Grand Trunk Road, I’d love to hear about your experiences in the comments section below!