Hi Readers !!!
The post is on the long cylindrical pillars from called, Kos Minar.
Before we move further, think about the types of milestones on the road you have ever seen in your life?
You might have seen a variety of them, like a small white and yellow milestones, or boards with green/ blue backgrounds, nowadays there are milestones with LED lights and huge signboards mentioning all major cities with distance on them.
Have you thought, How people managed to reach their destinations before 400-500 years back when there was no Google Maps, no highway and, no PAAN, and other shops?
Well, a group of milestones that used in the old Indian (Before Partitions) era is an answer to above question.
KOS MINAR :
An ancient Indian milestone, these long cylindrical buildings are known as Kos Minar (Kos- a measurement unit, and Minar – pillar), was utilized to measure the distance.
Constructed on the route from Agra to Lahore, Agra to Ajmer, and Agra to Mandu. These Roads called “Grand Trunk Roads” also called the “Royal Routes” of that era.
Why all routes from Agra ??
Well, Agra was the capital of the Mughal Era. And All milestones were from Agra to the famous places of that period.
Brief History of Kos Minar :
The concept of Kos Minar was brought by Sher Shah Suri – a Pashtun ruler who erected these 30ft Minars with lime plastered Lakhauri bricks, on the Grand Trunk Road (Agra-Delhi-Haryana to Peshawar in Pakistan).
Construction of the minars was done to measure distance but the emperor also made Sarai(Rest house) and Wells with all the Minars for the traveler’s comfort.
Kos Minar was located on every 3 KM (1 Kos = 3 KM approx) to show the way.
During Mughal Rule, Kos Minars built from Agra to Ajmer for the comfort of travelers. 600 Minars erected during the Mughal era majority of these helped in the construction of the National-State highways.
Fact: Apart from the Kos Minar, Sher Shah Suri also issued Indian Rupee, Which is the current Indian Currency.
Present Status :
Currently, a number of these Minars is very less, Encroaching has resulted in a steep deterioration in the count.
Present number of these minars is reduced to 110, which is very disheartening.
The majority of Kos Minars are in Haryana (49), Punjab(13). Although, under-protected monuments by Archaeological Survey of India. A Lot of Minars are demolished, vandalized by locals, and felt prey to builders. Other minars not so maintained lost their beauty by erosion.
Good News !!!! Recently, the Archaeological Survey of India has started repair work on some these Minars.
I wish this could have started before we lost all those isolated Minars, which once guided to all travelers.
There is one Minar in my HomeTown Jaipur – on the ancient Route from Agra to Ajmer.
I felt quite bad about the condition of this milestone structures which were once, a utility rather than a monument with a visual approach has lost in the world with changing times.
Our Responsibility :
As a Traveller, I feel it’s my duty to promote such an important place which is a part of our history and it is guiding travelers from ages.
I suggest the ASI, to promote them by making a MAP with all the current Minars, so people can visit them and feel some part of History near to them.
Map can also encourage Bikers to have an expedition to these minars.
Some locations which i can assist you with Kos Minar are Jasola and Badarpur in Delhi, Palwal in Hariyana, Mathura and Agra in Uttar Pradesh
Thank you for staying with me on this journey !!!
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