The Zero Milestone
The Great Trigonometric Survey of India, a cartographic or mapping exercise was done during the British Raj. To measure the distances of all the major cities of Indian Subcontinent, the surveying company chose Nagpur as a starting point for the survey as it was located in the heart of the subcontinent. A standard benchmark stone was fixed from which the survey started.
The GTS Standard Bench Mark stone, the top of which is 1020.171 feet above mean sea level has date 1907 mentioned on it.
A Zero Mile pillar was built next to the bench mark. The monument is a sandstone pillar with hexagonal base on which distance (in miles) of various cities in that direction are mentioned. The monument has 4 stucco horses next to it. To measure the distance, the surveyors on 150 horses were sent in all four directions. They calculated the distance by counting the horse steps and travel time.
It is to be noted that earlier during the Bhonsala reign in Nagpur an attempt by them was made to measure the distances of various cities from Nagpur.
The pillar has following distance mentioned on it's hexagonal base:
1. To Kowtah - 62 Miles
2. To Chanda - 125 Miles
3. To Raipur - 174 Miles
4. To Bhandarah - 38 Miles
5. To Jubbulpore - 170 Miles
6. To Seoni - 79 Miles
7. To Chindwada - 83 Miles
8. To Baitool - 101 Miles