The Grand Trunk Road



Texts and oral histories by IRNA QURESHI

The Grand Trunk Road is the oldest, longest, and most famous highway in southern Asia. Through oral testimonies, photographs and texts this book explores its history, and shows why it was so crucial to the process of migration to Britain and how the close links between Britain and places along the road continue to this day.

For millennia the Grand Trunk Road has been used by invaders to conquer the subcontinent. After the British arrived in the 17th century it became the main artery for their conquest and rule of the northern areas of British India. Known locally as the ‘GT Road’ it was also used by its residents to begin journeys that ended all over the world, and since the days of the British Raj large numbers of them have settled in Britain.

Between Delhi and the Khyber Pass, the GT Road travels through the homelands of over 90% of British Pakistanis and the vast majority of British Sikhs and Hindus from the Indian Punjab. Using stories gathered by Irna Qureshi and photographs taken by Tim Smith this book tells, for the first time, the story of the profound impact of the British on the GT Road and its people, and how they in turn have irrevocably altered the fabric of modern day Britain.

Irna Qureshi is an anthropologist and oral historian specialising in British Asian and Muslim arts and heritage. She has collaborated on several exhibitions and books on this theme. Irna holds an MA in Social Anthropology from the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London.

Tim Smith is a freelance photojournalist who combines editorial and commercial work with long term exhibition and publishing projects. His main interests as a photographer and writer have been showcased in eleven books, many of which explore the links between Britain and people in other parts of the world.

£19.99 hardback
120 pages
120 colour photos
210mm x 295mm
ISBN: 978-1-904587-99-6