Kos Minar

The Kos Minars are a series of medieval Indian milestones that were erected along the Grand Trunk Road in the northern Indian subcontinent. They were introduced by the 16th-century Pashtun ruler Sher Shah Suri as a way to mark distance along royal routes.

  • The Kos Minars were used to measure the distance between Agra and Ajmer, Agra and Lahore, and from Agra to Mandu in the south.Today, most of the Kos Minars can be found in the states of Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Haryana, and Punjab. They can be seen by the roadside, along railway tracks, in paddy fields, and in towns and villages throughout the region.
  • The Kos Minars have been described as a “marvel of India” by early European travelers such as Sir Thomas Roe, and they have been labeled as an integral part of India’s “national communication system” by the Archaeological Survey of India. They are the earliest known examples of road milestones in Indian history.

The History of the Kos Minars

  • The Kos Minars were erected during the reign of Mughal Emperor Jahangir. In 1619 AD, Emperor Jahangir ordered Bakir Khan, the Fauzdar of Multan, to construct a minaret at every Kos (a distance of 2 miles, or approximately 3.22 km) on the old imperial route.
  • The Kos Minars are made of solid brick and stand on a square platform. Each minar consists of an octagonal base that tapers upwards. The Kos Minar in Mujesar, Faridabad (Haryana) has been reported as one of the missing monuments.

The Kos Minars are a fascinating piece of India’s history. These ancient road milestones were introduced by Sher Shah Suri as a way to mark distance along royal routes, and they have played an important role in the region’s transportation system for centuries. Despite their age, many of the Kos Minars are still standing and can be found in various locations throughout northern India. They are a testament to the ingenuity and resourcefulness of the people who built them and serve as an important reminder of India’s rich cultural history.


Written by IAS POINT

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