Grand Trunk Road
Overland trade can be traced back as far as the third century, and numerous roads were carved into the landscape to assist in the transportation of goods and products. Over the centuries, transportation needs began to grow and improvements were made to accommodate the developing trade industry. One of these roads is still in existence today and is a vital trade route, as well as a significant part of the history of Bangladesh, namely the Grand Trunk Road. It is one of the longest roads in South Asia and a signature landmark in the country.
Stretching over a staggering distance of 2,500 kilometers, the Grand Trunk Road begins in Bengal and runs through India to reach its final destination, which is the city of Peshawar, located in Pakistan. This major road has therefore linked the western and eastern regions of the subcontinent together for centuries and remains an important link to this day. Recognizing the importance of this route, Emperor Sher Shah Suri set in motion the construction and renovation of the road which ran over the Gangetic Plain. He was the ruler of Northern India during the sixteenth century and decided on extending the road to connect to his capital city of Agra. The Emperor did not live to see his vision completed, and neither did his dynasty, which fell apart shortly thereafter. But his legacy and the road continued with his successors, the Suris. Through their contributions the road began extending into Afghanistan and crossed Khyber Pass. Once the British rulers came into power over colonial India, the road was again improved and renamed to the Grand Trunk Road.
The Grand Trunk Road is used even more often today than it was when construction first started, and is vital to Pakistan, India and Bangladesh. It is often referred to as the Long Walk, and is seen as the river of life for these countries in regard to trade and transportation. Visitors to Bangladesh will be amazed at the size and length of this bustling street, and can follow this route to travel across the Indian Subcontinent.