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Welcome to Meerut – a land of India's first struggle for Freedom, a city which has roots in the ancient history of India. If “a name is a kind of face whereby one is known” Meerut's name is associated with the earliest traditions of the Hindus according to which Maya, the father- in- law of king Ravana, founded this place and was called Maidant-ka-Khera. According to another version Maya, a distinguished architect, got from king Yudhishter the land on which the city of Meerut now stands and he called this place Mayarashtra, a name which in the course of time become shortened to Meerut. It is also believed that this district formed part of the dominions of Mahipal, the king of Indraprashta and the word Meerut is associated with his name.
Whatever source of its name may be taken to be traditionally true, it is the city where the heart of ancient India throbbed and its essential character, heritage and ambition still reveals itself in its socio-cultural wealth. The land exists between the two major rivers of India – Ganga and Yamuna – which has made it a rich agricultural belt of the Western U.P. The place, being a multicultural in its character, has inherited the impact of three significant cultures – the Hindu, the Muslim and the British because of being a very famous Cantonment during the days of British Raj. Consequently two major Indian languages – Hindi and Urdu – grew and flourished here.
The former has its roots in the soil of this city and was then known as “Khariboli” and the latter emerged out of the national and international influences which left the place rich in chaste Urdu adding a special flavor to the effective communication and subtle art of poetry which added elegance to the local lifestyle. History affirms that even the famous Urdu poet Ghalib was fascinated by this city. Its artistic ambition is realized in various Gharans of classical vocal and instrumental music; its love for higher education reveals itself in having many colleges which are more than hundred years old and have the strength of students ranging in thousands.
Meerut has emerged as an educational hub and has now three Universities and a Medical College. These institutions are supported by the hundreds of colleges in modern disciplines like Management Studies, Computer Application and other Sciences which loudly speak of the academic culture of the place. The establishment of Vidya Knowledge Park has brought Meerut to the fore front of the academic world.
The city has been a centre of Handloom industry as well as Sports goods and scissors making industry and in these ventures it holds an international reputation. It has rich shopping arcades and even exports market in Gold and Costume jewellery also. Another significant business area in which the city has made a mark is in publication and in making musical instruments including brass band, drums and clarinets etc.
Meerut is a thickly populated, fast changing cosmopolitan city which is included in the National Capital Region because of being strategically located on the suburbs of Delhi which is at the distance of 75 km only. For the light entertainment Meerut has Cinemas, Restaurants, Cafes and shopping Malls and offers many opportunities to reach the Ganga and the Himalayan ranges within a couple of hours. The journey by rail and road, taxi and car makes one feel that to be in Meerut is to have an access to all the places within and outside the country. Even the International Airport is just 100 km. away. It shares the national character of receiving and imbibing various influences. Mark Tully said about India in his book, There is No Fullstop in India because it assimilates all the influences gracefully that stands true for Meerut also.
Different derivation are ascribed to the name Meerut, Merat or Mirath. According to a local tradition the original name was Mayarashtra after Maya, the father of Mandodari (who was Ravana's wife). He is said to have lived here and Mandodari to have worshipped in the local Vilveshvarnath temple which is belived to be the oldest Shiva temple in the district. The Jats allege that meerut was founded by their people. Others say that Meerut received its name from Mahipal, a King of Delhi. The fact that a pillar was erected here by the emperor Ashoka in the third century B.C. and the discovery of some Buddhist remains within the city leave little room for doubt that this was once an important place. The city proper was originally surrounded by a moat and a wall with 10 gates of some antiquity- the Delhi,Chamar, Dhisari,Shorab,Shah Pir, Burhana, Khairnagar, Kamboth and Baghpat and Hapur, the last two being comparatively recent. Since 1935 and particularly after independence the city has spread beyond the bounds of the old town and many new localities have come into existence the bigger ones being Begum Bagh, Thaparnagar, Gandhinagar, Subhasnagar, Shiv Puri, Sabun Garan, Kailashpuri , Krishna Puri, Brahampuri, Lakshminagar, Darya Ganj, Nadirabad and Ramnagar. On 14th Nov. 1976 a district was constituted named Ghaziabad , separated from Meerut. According to Census-1991 the popualtion of the Nagar Mahapalika is 753778 and area was 141.89 square kms.
The Nagar Mahapalika was constituted on 15-6-1982. For administrative purpose It was divided into 30 wards.
Tourist Places In Meerut
The headquarters of a Pargana of the same name, this village lies in Lat. 29 10 N and Long 78 0 E. and stands on the high bank of the Burhi Ganga. It is 23 miles north-east of the district headquarters and 7 miles east of the tahsil headquarters, being connected with both by a Metallic road.
According to Jain tradition, Hastinapur was one of the earliest Indian cities like Ayodhya and Kashi and came into existence during the time of Rishabhadeva (The First Tirthankara) whose grandson, Somaprabha, was the first ruler of the place. It is also said to be the birth place of three Jain Tirthankars, Shantinatha, Kunthnnath and Arahanatha. The Buddhists say that this city was the capital of Kururattam. The Mahabharata also gives the early history of the place, the founder of which is generally believed to be King Hastin, fifth in descent from Bharta. It was the capital of the Kauravas and Pandavas. It is said to have extended as far as Barnawa in the weat and Puth in the south. At the time of the Mahabharata War it was in the heyday of its prosperity which, however, began to decline thereafter. The severe floods in the Ganga, which washed away the city, and the transfer of the capital of Kaushambi left in complete obscurity but it was rehabilitated twice within the next few centuries though it never achieved its former glory.
The remains of the ancient city are scattered over a large area lying around the village which is divided into two portions, Patti Kauravan and Patti Pandavan. Some of the most important buildings and sites of the place are described briefly below. The Digambar Jain temple was built about 160 year ago probably on the site of an old Jain Temple. Devpal Soni of Ajmer had installed in Hastinapur in 1174 a life-size image of Shantinatha, the sixteenth tirthankara, and this image, which was dug out a few years ago from a mound near by has been placed in this temple. Vidura-ka-tila (also known as Ulta-Khera ) called after Vidura (the halfbrother of Dhritarashtra and Pandu) is a collection of several mounds,some being 50 to 60 feet high and extending a few furlongs. Draupadi Ghat, on the banks of the Burhganga, is a bathings ghat where people flock in large numbers on bathings festivals. Draupadi-ki-Rasoi is belived to be the site of Draupadi's kitchen and is situated on the banks of the Burhganga.
Archaeological excavations of Vidura-ka-tila (undertaken in 1950-52) as also of other neighboring sites have brought to light various antiquities which associate this place with a succession of cultural periods.The main temple of Jambudeep is also situated there.
According to the census 1991 its population was 15081 and area 3.06 square kms. The population of Hastinapur block is 94567 and area is 333.8 square kms. There are 10 nayay panchayats and 56 gram saber. The chief cash crop of the place is sugar-cane and the principal sources of irrigation are canals and tubules. A battings fair of the Janis is held here in Charity which is attended by about 50000 persons.
There is a pond at Meerut called Suraj Kund, built by a rich businessman Lawar Jahawar Lal in 1714. This was filled up by water of Abu Nala earlier. Later it was filled by Ganga Canal. There are sevral temples around the Suraj Kund. One of them is famous Baba Manohar Nath Temple. It was said that it was built during the period of Shahjahan.
Chandi Devi Temple
This temple is very near to the Suraj Kund. The Nauchandi Mela is organised every year after one week of Holi festival either in March end of april first week. This is very famous mela. Few lakh peple viist this Mela every year.
Mansa Devi Temple
This temple is 5 Kms away from Suraj Kund , on the Garh Road, opp. Medical College , Meerut
Bale Miyan Ki Darghah
Dargah of Bale Miyan is very near to Chandi Devi Mandir. Urs is organised every year on this mazar during the Nauchandi mela. It was built by Kutubuddin Ebak in 1194.
Jama Masjid which is near to kotwali was buit by Hasan Mehandi, Minister of Mahamood Gajni in 1019. The reconstruction of this mosque was done during the period of Mugal Badshah Humayu.
It is 30 meter high made of marbel, there function are organised on every national festivals and people pay homage to various shahids. Shahid Smarak is located at bhainsali, earlier was Sati Sarover. It was said that Mandodari before her marriage bath there regularly before going the worship of Shiv-Parvati at Bilveshwar Nath temple.
In sadar bazar there is a baba Augharnath temple is also called a Kali Paltan Mandir. On 10th May,1857 the Indian citizen took an oath to get freedom at this temple.
Situated about a mile west of the Ganga canal, Sardhana, the head quarters town of the pargana and of the tahsil, lies in Lat, 29 degree 8' N. and Long. 77 degree 37' E., and it about 21 Kms. distant from Meerut , with which it is connected by a metalled road. Other roads lead to Daurala in the east, Baghpat in the south-west, Baraut ( in district Baghpat) in the west and Shamli (in district Muzaffarnagar) in the north-west.
Tradition has it that the place was founded by Sarkat, a raja, and remained in the possession of his descendants till the advent of the Muslims ( probably early in the thirteenth century ), Thereafter it passed into the hands of the mahajans Dusar and Bishan. In 1778 Walter Reinhardt was assigned the jagir of Sardhana but on his death in that year the estate passed into the hands of his widow, Begum Samru. During her time (1778-1836) it rose to the appex of its prosperity but declined considerably after her death.
The surrounding lands are served by a network of canals and abound in shallow depressions and the site of the town is low throughout, some of the factors which have led to its general unhealthiness except in years when the rainfall is scanty.
It is being administered as a notified area since 1914, prior to which it was a muncipality. It is divided into five muhallas of which Laskarganj, lying in the north and founded by Begum Samru as a camp for her troops,forms the chief bazar. A market is held on Fridays. Electricity is supplied to the town from the salawa power-house. In the place are Begum Samru's palace (with a grand flight of steps at what was then the entrance and extensive grounds) and the Church of St.mary, both built in 1822 by the Begum. The former (known as Dilkusha Kothi) now houses the St. Charles' College and covers an area of 75 acres; the latter , formerly a cathedral, which has an alter of white Jaipur marble inlaid with precious stones, is the most famous of her buildings. In an aisle of the church there is monuments to the begum (executed by Tadolini of Rome, the famous sculptor) which is a fine piece of sculpture ( the crowning figure being that of the begum) and is said to be unparalleled in these parts. It was brought to Sardhana in 1848 and was set up in her memory by her adopted son. David Ochterlony Dyce Sombre, whose mortal remains are buried at its foot.
Parichhatgarh, also known as Qila or Qila Parikishatgarh, is an ancientplace and lies in latitude 28 degree 59'N and Logitude 77 degrre 56'E. 22 Kms east of the district headquarters with which it is connected by a metalled road. Other roads link it to Mawana Kalan, lying 16 Kms north and to Kithore, which is 15 Kms. to the south.
The place is associated with and derives its name from King Parikshit of Hastinapur (the grandson of Arjuna) and it is believed that it is on the ruins of a fort built by him that the present fort (ascribed to the Gujar raja, Nain Singh) stands. In 1916 a big hoard of silver coins, mostly of the time of Shah Alam II, was found under the staircase of the place. The Navalde well here is known for its water which is regarded by local people as a specific for leprosy. A local story goes that on being told that his new-born daughter, Navalde, would bring him disaster, the Naga king, Vasuki, threw her into a dungeon. His affliction of leprosy was healed when he had a bath in the water brought by her from a certain well (which is supposed to be this well), Parikshit fell in love with her but she managed to elude him. Vasuki was enraged by Parikshit's behaviour and in the war waged against him the latter was killed. After her father's cure Navalde disappeared inside the well. The Gandhari Talab located here is named after Gandhari, the mother of the hundred Kauravas. From 6 kms away there is Rishi Shrang Ashram, this ashram is converted to temple now. It was said Maharishi Vedvyas start to write the Mahabharata here at this temple.
Pura lies in Latitude 29 degree 0' N and longitude 77 degree 27' E near the right bank of the river Hindon on the road running from Daula to Sardhana, about 3 Kms north of the road going from Baghpat to Meerut. It is 28 Kms distant from Baghpat and 32 Kms from Meerut. According to a local tradition, the sage Parashurama founded a Shiva temple here and named the place Shivapuri which in process of time became changed to Shivpura and then got shortened to Pura. The village has a population of 2155 and area 563 hectare. The main crop is sugar-cane, tubewells being one of the chief sources of irrigation.Fairs are held here on the fourteenth day of Sravana and Phalguna which are attended by one lakh to one & halh lakh respectively. This comes under Pliana block of Baghpat district.
Baleni, a large village, lies in latitude 28 degree 57'N and longitude 77 degree 27'E on the right bank of the River Hindon, south of the road running from Baghpat to Meerut, about 22 kms east of Baghpat and 27 Kms west of Meerut. This place is now in district Baghpat.
The place is associated with the sage Balmiki. It is said that it was in his hermitage here that Sita lived in exile and gave birth to Lava and Kusha. In the vicinity of the temple, which is dedicated to Balmiki, have been found scattered ancient burnt bricks bearing religious motifs. According to local tradition, the village has five tutelary deities, one said to reside in the centre and the remaining four at four boundaries of the village.
Barnawa, the headquarters of the paragana, is situated on the high right bank of the river Hindan, about a mile north of its junction with the Krishna, in latitude 29 degree 7'N and longitude 77 degree 26'E. It is about 18 Kms distant from Sardhana and 36 Kms from Meerut.
The place is said to have been founded by Raja Ahibarana Tomar many centuries ago and is identified with the Varanavata of the Mahabharata and the old mound to the south of the village, which is about hundred feet high and extends over an area of 30 acres, is believed to be the ruins of the Laksha Garaha (home of lac) which the Kauravas burnt down in their attempt to kill the Pandavas. This village was the headquarters of a tahsil in the state of Begum Samru till1836 when (after her death) it was made subsidiary to Baraut and then to Sardhana.