Archive for khyber pass

River of Life

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 4, 2012 by stevemccurry

KOLKATA TO KABUL

Kolkata/Calcutta

“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withdrawn like a log after a flood.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

Kolkata

Howrah Bridge

For more than 20 centuries, 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.

On the GTR in Bihar State, India

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

Varanasi, India

Varanasi, India

Varanasi, India

Agra, India

Near Agra, India

 Red Fort, Delhi

Allahabad, India

Kumbh Mela, Allahabad, India

 Hinduism, Jainism, Sikhism, and Buddhism all developed along the route,
and Muslims proclaimed their beliefs on their journeys along the road.

Kumbh Mela, Allahabad, India

Amritsar, India

Amritsar, India

Sikh 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

Rawalpindi, Pakistan


Rawalpindi, Pakistan

Peshawar, Pakistan

Peshawar, Pakistan
Peshawar has been a haven for Afghan refugees during decades of war.

Outside of Peshawar, Pakistan

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


Landi-Kotal, Pakistan
Near the border with Afghanistan

 Khyber Pass connects Pakistan and Afghanistan

Jalalabad, Afghanistan

Jalalabad, Afghanistan

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.

Jalalabad, Afghanistan

Jalalabad, Afghanistan

On the road to Sarobi

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

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

Kabul, Afghanistan

Kabul, Afghanistan

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

The Frontier Gandhi

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on April 27, 2010 by stevemccurry

Pashtun Pacifist

Frontier Gandhi

Aditya Arya Archive

Khan Abdul Gaffar Khan, The Frontier Gandhi
1890 -  1988

Khan Abdul Gaffar Khan, proud Pashtun and devout Muslim from Charsadda in the Northwest Frontier Province of Pakistan, traveled the length and breadth of the subcontinent preaching the power of passive resistance and nonviolence.
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Close friend of Gandhi’s, his followers formed his non-violent army made up of Pashtuns, one of the most fierce warrior groups. The members of his army vowed to turn their backs on violence, revenge, and retaliation.  They believed in the power of non-violence, education, and women’s rights.
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Jailed by the British numerous times, he said, “With love you can persuade a Pashtun to go to hell, but by force you can not take him even to heaven.”
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Nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize in 1985, his role in winning independence from British rule has been largely forgotten.  His actions redefined the Pashtun concept of honor and courage.
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Thousands of mourners attended his funeral, marching through the historic Khyber Pass from Peshawar to Jalalabad. A cease fire was announced in the Afghan war to allow safe passage to the funeral procession.
Father and Daughter, Afghanistan, 1984
The world  could use another giant of a man like Khan Abdul Gaffar Khan.
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