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21 November 2005

Postal System in Medieval Bengal

"Important contribution in improving the postal system was made during the reign of Mohammed bin Tughlaq (1325-1351). ibn batuta, travelling during his reign recalled that there existed two different kinds of postal system: mounted couriers travelling on horses, and the general couriers on foot. During the Tughlaq period the postal officials also performed some police functions.

The postal system was completely reformed during the reign of Sher Shah (1538-1545), who established a mounted post in Bengal by improving the early dak runner system, and constructed the grand trunk road from sonargaon to the bank of the river Indus covering a distance of 4,800 km. He established sarai-cum-dak chowkis after every two miles at all intervals. According to Abbas Khan Sherwani, author of Tarikh-i-Sher-Shahi, Sher Shah constructed 1,700 post houses employing nearly 3,400 postal messengers and horses."

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