Forgotten Milestone, Piparia, Madhya Pradesh (MP)
Piparia, Madhya Pradesh (MP)
A milestone is a series off numbered markers placed along the road at intervals of one mile. the miles of the milestones in India have long been replaced by kilometers.
The concept of milestones, or distance markers, was probably introduced by Sher Shah in the 16th century. He built distance markers, which were known as Kos Minars, along the Grand Trunk Road (GT Road).
Sher Shah’s Kos Minar recorded the distance in Kos, which was roughly equal to 2 miles or 3.2 kilometers.
Later the British introduced the concept of milestone, where distances were recorded in miles. After the Britishers left Indians adopted kilometer as the distance unit, but the name milestone remained.
The milestone with miles have long vanished from the Indian roadside and have been replaced with concrete blocks with distances written in kilometers.
A few of the British Milestones must have survived and it was in Paparia, Madhya Pradesh(MP), I chanced upon one such milestone.
The milestone looks more like a miniature temple and has inscriptions on three side. The inscription is on arched marble plaques.
Located at a tri-junction and next to the MPTDC Tourist Lodge in Piparia, the mile stone has inscriptions on three of the four faces. The inscriptions are on arched marbele plaques and record distance in miles and heights in feats.
One face shows the distance of Pachmarhi (32 miles) and Chindwara (83 mile) from Piparia. The second side records the distance of Sandia (12 mile) Jubbulpur (Jabalpur) (112 mile), Sohagpur (14 mile) and Hosangabad (45 mile).
The third side contains information about the heights of Piparia (1103 ft), Singanama (1430 ft) and Pachmarhi (3505 ft).
The fourth side has some information is in Hindi and is painted with black paints, most of which has peeled away. The information was added much later and probably was part of a restoration effort.
It gives dates of the constructions of the the roads and railways. It says Pachmarihi Sadak (Road) 1870, Piparia Rail 8.3.1870, Mail Path (probably mail train) 8.12.1870, Pachmarhi ki koj (probably, search for Pachmarhi) 1862. Sadly the name of the organization, who have put up this information has peeled off.
More over there is no date of construction of this forgotten milestone, but the mile stone have survived the test of time and still be seen on the Piparia road side. Travellers travelling between Jabalpur and Panchmarhi, can spend a few more minutes to have a look at the forgotten milestone.