Last night i had to come to Islamabad so i decided to travel by the grand trunk(GT) road. Every one near and dear to me advised me not to use this highway cause of the 10th of Muharram. But as am famous of not paying attention to such sermons, i kept my decision and traveled by GT road.
It took me almost four hrs to reach Islamabad and the road was good all along. The exception is first portion between Lahore and Gujranwala that is a nightmare for any driver with twists and turns and a patch of very high class road followed by the worst kind one can think off. This goes all along till you don't reach the city limits.
I guess after the completion of this portion(may be in next 100 yrs) this will be a better option for any one traveling to and from Islamabad.
There are two reasons why i am saying that
Firstly, the distance is lesser, one saves around 100 kms on this route(NOT BAD).
Secondly, the poor mans fuel(CNG) is available in abundance and you don't have to Que up in long lines to get it.
Last but not the least, the long lines at the toll plazas on motorway are not to be seen and one can sail with comparative ease through many toll collection points with ease
Few disadvantages of the roads can be mentioned as
Firstly, one can expect any unwelcome d entry like barging in off a cyclist, pedestrian or the sacred cow en route.
It is fairly difficult to get the right off way from the truck walas and next to impossible to do the same from high speed buses
Over all it is a good experience, and i can advise to take this route if you are feeling sleepy, this route will make sure you cant fall asleep, and if there is a desire to see the different towns and cities en route then one cant fulfill his/her dream bypassing Gt road.