One of Asia’s oldest and longest roads
Sher Shah Suri, the Pashtun emperor of India, in the 16th century built a major road running across the Gangetic plain. He named the road “Sadak-e-Azam” that served as an administrative link to remote provinces of the vast empire he ruled. Through centuries, this road was renovated by various rulers who reigned India. With expansions, the road now runs across a stretch of 2,500 km from Chittagong in Bangladesh till Kabul in Afghanistan, via Howrah in West Bengal, Delhi, Amritsar and Lahore in Pakistan. Today, we know this road by the name “Grand Trunk Road”. The road was considerably upgraded in the British period between 1833 and 1860.
The historical road
History has that the road existed during the time of Maurya Empire in 3rd Century BC and it served as a primary trade route between India and several Western Asian countries. Takshashila (Taxila in Pakistan) was one of the important trade centers for the Mauryas. Constructed in eight stages, this road is said to have connected the cities of Purushapura, Takshashila, Hastinapura, Kanyakubja, Prayag, Pataliputra and Tamralipta, which had essentially been around 2600 kilometers as per current estimates. Author Rudyard Kipling described the road as “such a river of life as nowhere else exists in the world”.
United states and China today dominates the world’s largest and second largest road networks in the world, as far as the longest road in the world, the Pan- American highway holds the Guinness record for the longest road as it links all the nations in north and south America except for a 100 KM gap.