India's First Highway - The Grand Trunk Road

The Grand Trunk Road
In the 16th century, Sher Shah Suri, the Pashtun emperor of Northern India, built a major road running across the Gangetic plain. It was known as "Sadak-e-Azam" and it served as an administrative link to the remote provinces of his vast empire. Over the centuries, various rulers added to the expanse of this road, till it expanded to Kabul, to Multan and to Bangladesh. Later it was renamed by Britishers as "The Grand Trunk Road". Connecting many cities with various National Highways under the part of Golden Quadrilateral project.

Today, the Grand Trunk Road remains a continuum that covers a distance of over 2,500 kilometers (1,600 mi). From its origin at Chittagong, it traverses to Sonargaon in the Narayanganj District of central Bangladesh, it reaches India, passing through Howrah, Bardhaman, Panagarh , Durgapur, Asansol, Dhanbad, Aurangabad, Dehri-on-sone, Sasaram, Mohania, Mughalsarai, Varanasi, Allahabad, Kanpur, Kalianpur, Kannauj, Etah, Aligarh, Ghaziabad, Delhi, Panipat, Karnal, Ambala, Ludhiana, Jalandhar, Amritsar. Within India, the major portion of the road – the stretch between Howrah to Kanpur is National Highway-2 (NH-2) and Kanpur to Delhi, which is known as National Highway-91 (NH-91), and between Delhi and Wagah, at the border with Pakistan, is known as National Highway-1 (NH-1). From the Pakistan border, the Grand Trunk Road (part of the NH-5) continues north through Lahore, Gujranwala, Gujrat, Jhelum, Rawalpindi, Attock District, Nowshera, Peshawar and Landi Kotal. Then it enters Afghanistan through the Khyber pass and continues west through Jalalabad, Surobi and ends at Kabul, a large part of the Afghan's Grand Trunk Road is today part of the Jalalabad-Kabul Road.

Grand, isn't it?


  1. Absolutely GRAND! Nice post Himanshu.

  2. Interesting. This will be quite cool to write on a bucket list.

  3. What was the contribution of lord dalhousie in the extension of this road

  4. Only fact that the road existed in Mauryan era (3rd century BC), later rebuilt by sher shah suri and british empire.

  5. Starts from bangladesh to kabul afganistan
    But unsolved mistry acc. to my research or my doubts r
    1. When kanpur to gaziabad is a nh91 . Then acc. To wikipedia its nh 91 is nt a gt road
    2. If kanpur aligarh etha is gt road then what kanpur agra delhi is?? N y map shows agra nh2.. when nh2 ends in kanpur n nh91 starts from kanpur

  6. Very informative,
    And it help's in my h/w.

  7. Hi
    check the fact road existed during the reign of Chandragupta Maurya, extending from the mouth of the Ganges to the north-western frontier of the Empire.

    please mention Rebuild by Sher Shah Suri (1486–22 May 1545)

  8. GT road is made during Maurya empire 3rd Century BCE. Please correct the same. it was further renovated by Suri in 15-16 century. Thanks.

  9. Chandragupta Maurya laughing in corner

  10. Mate,you seriously need to take history classes. Guess what ,Wikipedia and a lot of authentic sources are easily available online. Farid Khan Lodhi aka Sher Shah Suri merely extended Uttrapatha (The northern route) during his tenure between 1540-1545 . It was built long before that by Emperor Chandragupt Maurya .It was popularly known as Uttarpath which got rechristened as Sadak e Azam by the Mughals and later as GT road by the Britishers.


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