Important National Highways in India – UPSC

In this article, You will read the List of Important National Highways in India – for UPSC IAS.

National Highways

According to the Ministry of Roads, Transport and Highways (MoRTH), there are 599 National Highways in India. Over a period of time, the numbering of National Highways in India has been renewed. The Ministry has released details of National Highways in the country on its official website.

The National highways are a network of trunk roads owned by the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways. It is constructed and managed by the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI), the National Highways and Infrastructure Development Corporation Limited (NHIDCL), and the public works departments (PWD) of state governments.

India has 151,019 km (93,839 mi) of National Highways as of March 2021. National Highways constituted 2.7% of India’s total road network, but carried about 40% of road traffic, as of 2013.

  • The longest National Highway is NH44, which runs between Srinagar in Jammu and Kashmir and Kanyakumari in Tamil Nadu, covering a distance of 3,806 km (2,365 mi).
  • The shortest National Highway is NH766EE, which spans 4.27 km (2.65 mi), from Hettikeri to Belekeri port in Karnataka.
  • The Leh–Manali Highway connecting Leh in Ladakh to Manali in Himachal Pradesh is the world’s second highest-altitude motorable highway.
  • The first National Highway in India was the old NH-1. It linked the National capital Delhi to Attari in Punjab near Indo-Pak Border. Now as per the new numbering system, NH 1 runs between Union Territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh.
longest-national-highway-in-the-india

On 28 April 2010, the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways officially published a new numbering system for the national highway network.

How Indian Highways are numbered?

  1. All North-South highways will carry EVEN number 
  2. All East-West highways will have ODD numbers
  3. All major Highways will be a single-digit or double-digit in a number
  4. North-South highways will increase their numbers from East to West. For example, a particular North-South highway in Central India or Western India will have a higher number than the one in East India.
  5. Three digits numbered highways are secondary routes or branches of the main highway. For example, 144, 244, 344, etc will be the branches of the main National Highway 44.
  6. Suffixes A, B, C, D, etc are added to the three-digit sub highways to indicate very small spin-offs or stretches of sub-highways. For example, 966A, 527B, etc.

National Highways Authority of India (NHAI)

  • National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) was set up under NHAI Act, 1988. It is under the administrative control of the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways.
  • It has been entrusted with the National Highways Development Project, along with other minor projects for development, maintenance and management.
    • National Highways Development Project (NHDP) is a project to upgrade, rehabilitate and widen major highways in India to a higher standard. The project was started in 1998.
  • NHAI (an autonomous authority) maintains the National Highways network to global standards and cost effective manner and promotes economic well being and quality of life of the people.
  • It has completed construction of 3,979 km of national highways in the financial Year 2019-20.
  • NHAI has mandated development of about 27,500 km of national highways under Bharatmala Pariyojna Phase-I.
    • Bharatmala Pariyojana is an umbrella program for the highways sector that focuses on optimizing efficiency of freight and passenger movement across the country by bridging critical infrastructure gaps through effective interventions.
    • The effective interventions include development of Economic Corridors, Inter Corridors and Feeder Routes, National Corridor Efficiency Improvement, Border and International connectivity roads, Coastal and Port connectivity roads and Green-field expressways.

List of Important National Highways in India

Old National Highway NumberNew National Highway NumberStates/UTs Through which it Passes
NH 1 A and NH 1 DNH 1Jammu & Kashmir, and Ladakh
NH 1 BNH 244Jammu & Kashmir
NH 2NH 19 (Golden Quadrilateral)Bihar, Delhi, Haryana, Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal
NH 2ANH 519Uttar Pradesh
NH 2BNH 114West Bengal
NH 3 
NH 50
NH 60Maharashtra
NH 223NH 4Andaman & Nicobar Islands
NH 4 ANH 748Goa, Karnataka
NH 4 BNH 348Maharashtra
NH 5
NH 6
NH 60
NH 217
NH 16 (Golden Quadrilateral)Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal
NH 7NH 135Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh
NH 7 ANH 138Tamil Nadu
NH 8NH 48 (Golden Quadrilateral)Delhi, Gujarat, Haryana, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu
NH 8 ANH 41Gujarat
NH 8 CNH 147Gujarat
NH 8 DNH 151Gujarat
NH 17
NH 47
NH 66 (Parallel to the Western Ghats)Maharashtra, Goa, Karnataka, Kerala, and Tamil Nadu
NH 9NH 65Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Telangana
NH 11NH 21Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh
NH 11 ANH 148Rajasthan
NH 12NH 45Madhya Pradesh, Chattisgarh
NH 18 
NH 4
NH 40Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu
NH 21
NH 22
NH 95
NH 5Haryana, Chandigarh, Himachal Pradesh, Punjab
NH 23NH 320Jharkhand
NH 24NH 530Uttar Pradesh
NH 30NH 319Bihar
NH 35NH 112West Bengal
NH 39NH 129Assam, Nagaland
NH 47NH 544Kerala, Tamil Nadu
NH 47 ANH 966 BKerala
NH 47 CNH 966 AKerala
NH 55NH 110West Bengal
NH 56NH 731Uttar Pradesh
NH 79NH 156Rajasthan
NH 152NH 127 AAssam
NH 38 & NH 153NH 315Assam, Arunachal Pradesh
National Highways in India UPSC Map

NH-1

  • National Highway 1 (NH 1) in India runs between the union territories of Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh.
  • It comprises parts of old NH1A and NH1D.
  • The number 1 indicates, under the new numbering system, that it is the northernmost East-West highway in India.
India-national-highway-new-map
National highway network of India map

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