Along the route of the 16th-Century Grand Trunk Road, survive many monuments from the past that have not been fully documented. A project made possible by a generous grant from the U.S. Ambassador's Fund for Cultural Preservation helps shed light on surviving Indo-Islamic monuments as one of the significant strands of the built environment of the region. With this financial support, the Centre for South Asian Art & Archaeology has been able to document over 150 monuments at forty-seven sites located in Haryana and Punjab. The structures range from caravanserais, bridges, gardens, forts, and congregational prayer halls to tombs of kings and saints.
This project directly speaks to the importance of continuing to look for traces of the past while on other fronts developing an awareness of the past. Further knowledge of these monuments allows reflection on the shared nature of Indo-Islamic traditions in South Asia that have been diminished or lost due to time as well as human depredation. While such documentation aids preservation of the monuments themselves by providing critical information for future decisions, the project also underscores the importance of understanding the layers of the "landscape" in which communities live. The materials will enable students to use and evaluate primary documents as evidence of the past.