River of Life

For more than 2000 years, travelers have walked, ridden,
prayed, traded, invaded, escaped, fought, and
died along the 1,500 miles of the Grand Trunk Road
which stretches from Kolkata to Kabul.

Kolkata, India

This ribbon of humanity stretching Northwest from Kolkata,
the city of culture and joy, to Kabul, the city of conflict,
has been moving merchants, buyers, conquerors, refugees,
prophets, nomads and pilgrims through what is today
India, Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Kolkata, India

Here are some pictures of people and places I have
made along the route of the
Grand Trunk Road during the past forty years.

Calcutta, India
Howrah Station, Calcutta, India
Bodh Gaya, Bihar, India
 Hinduism, Jainism, Sikhism, and Buddhism all developed along the route,
and Muslims proclaimed their beliefs on their journeys along the road.

Bihar, India
Varanasi, India
Agra, India

“Look! Brahmins 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withdrawn like a log after a flood.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.
Such a river of life as no where else exists in the world.”
– Rudyard Kipling, Kim

Agra, India
Red Fort, Delhi, India
Kumbh Mela,, Allahabad, India
Amritsar, India

Along the route of the GT there is a  struggle between secular
modernity and the conservatism of ancient religions.

Golden Temple, Amritsar, India

 The Grand Trunk Road served as the two way escape route for
75 million refugees caught between Indian and Pakistan during Partition.

Lahore, Pakistan
Lahore, Pakistan
Rawalpindi, Pakistan

Peshawar, Pakistan, is strategically located at the
crossroads of Central and South Asia

 Peshawar, Pakistan
 Peshawar, Pakistan
Landi Kotal, Pakistan
Torkham Border Crossing, Kabul, Afghanistan
Afghan Border
Near the Afghan/Pakistan border
Village near Surobi, Afghanistan
Jalalabad, Afghanistan
 Jalalabad, Afghanistan

Kabul, Afghanistan

Kabul is over 3,500 years old; many empires have  invaded the valley for its
strategic location along the trade routes of Central and South Asia.

Kabul, Afghanistan
Kabul, Afghanistan
Along this road, forged by conquerors and invaders,
the GT facilitated some of the most significant historical developments
which still affect us today.

Kabul, Afghanistan
Kabul, Afghanistan