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Meerut
Meerut
Location of Meerut
in Uttar Pradesh and India
Coordinates 28°59′N 77°42′E / 28.99°N 77.70°E / 28.99; 77.70
Country  India
State Uttar Pradesh
Division Meerut
District(s) Meerut district
M.L.A. Haji Yaqoob Qureshi
Population
Density
2,21,871 (2010)
8,123 /km2 (21,038 /sq mi)
Time zone IST (UTC+05:30)
Area
Elevation
172 km2 (66 sq mi)
219 m (719 ft)
Website meerut.nic.in

Meerut About this sound pronunciation is a metropolitan city and a municipal corporation in Meerut district in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. It is an ancient city located 56 km (35 mi) north-east of New Delhi. It is a part of the National Capital Region of India.[1][2] It is the 16th largest metropolitan area in India and the 18th largest city in India.[3] It ranked 292 in 2006 and 242 in 2020 in the list of largest cities and urban areas in the world.[4] Meerut is the 63rd fastest growing urban area in the world.[5] It is also the fastest developing city of Uttar Pradesh after Noida and Ghaziabad. It has one of the biggest army garrisons/cantonments in this part of the country.This city is spread about 172 square km.It is the 14 fastest developing city of India. .The city is famous for its scissors, Handloom Cloths, Gold Jewellery, sports goods (especially cricket goods), Gazak and Rewri; and is sometimes called the city of scissors or the sports capital of India. Most of all, the city is famous for the Indian Mutiny of 1857, which began here. With the cheap availability of land as compared to Delhi, and being in the proximity of Delhi, the city is fast developing as an industrial and education hub in Western Uttar Pradesh.

Contents

Etymology

The city may have derived its name from "Maya Rashtra", the capital of the kingdom of Mandodari's father, Ravana's father-in-law, Mayasura.This name mutated to Mairashtra, Mai-dant-ka-khera, Mairaath and eventually Meerut.[6] The city name's pronunciation doesn't match with its English spelling which was probably given by Britishers during the colonial era.

History

After the archaeological excavations at ‘Vidura-ka-tila’, a collection of several mounds, in 1950-52, a site 23 miles north-east of Meerut, it was concluded to be remains of the ancient city of Hastinapur, the capital of Kauravas and Pandavas of Mahabharata[7], which was washed away by Ganges floods.[8]

Fragment of the 6th Ashoka Pillar in sandstone, with inscription or Edicts of Ashoka, in Brahmi, originally from Meerut, now at British Museum.

However, even before the vedic period, Meerut contained a Harappan settlement known as Alamgirpur. It was also the Easternmost settlement of the Indus valley civilization. Meerut had been a centre of Buddhism in the period of Mauryan Emperor Ashoka (r. 273 BC to 232 BC.), and remains of Buddhist structures were found near the Jama Masjid in the present day city.[9] The Ashoka Pillar, at Delhi ridge, next to the ‘Bara Hindu Rao Hospital’, near Delhi University, was brought to Delhi, by Firuz Shah Tughluq (r. 1351 - 1388),[8][10] it was later damaged in a 1713 explosion, and restored in 1867.[11][12]

In the eleventh century AD, the south-west part of the district was ruled by Har Dat, the Dor Raja of Bulandshahr who built a fort, which was long known for its strength and finds mention in Ain-i-Akbari.[13] He was later defeated by Mahmud Ghazni in 1018. Though, the first big invasion on the city came later in 1192 AD, from Mohammad Ghori, when his general Qutb-ud-din Aybak attacked the city, and converted all the Hindu temples into mosques.[8] However, a much worse fate lay ahead for the district, which came with the invasion of Timur in 1398, during which the Rajputs offered a tough resistance at the fort of Loni, where he fought the Sultan of Delhi, Muhammad Tughlaq. But, eventually they were all defeated and all the 1,00,000 prisoners his army had taken in since his invasion of India were massacred, according to Timur’s own accounts in Tuzk-e-Taimuri.[14] Thereafter he went on to attack Delhi, where he again massacred the local population, and returned to attack Meerut town, then ruled by an Afghan chief, Ilias, and took the city in two days, leading to widespread devastation, before heading North once again.[8]

During the rule of Mughal Emperor, Akbar the Great (r. 1556-1605), there was a mint for copper coins here.[9]

1857 Mutineers' Mosque

Meerut is famously associated with the Indian Rebellion of 1857 against the British East India Company,[15] known as The Sepoy Mutiny or First Indian War of Independence. The famous slogan "Dilli Chalo" ("Let's march to Delhi!") was first raised here. Meerut cantonment is the place where the rebellion started when Hindu and Muslim soldiers were given rifle cartridges rumoured to have a coating made of animal fat. The bullet wrapping was to be opened by mouth before use, which affected the religious sensibilities of both Muslims and Hindus as the fat used was alleged to be derived from lard and tallow; cows are held sacred by Hindus and Muslims consider the pig unclean.Meerut soldiers set fire to the bunglows of English.From the city of meerut the revolt started in all India.

During this revolt, Meerut leapt into international prominence, when on 24 April 1857 eighty-five of the ninety troopers of the third cavalry refused to touch the cartridges and after court-martial were sentenced to ten years imprisonment. This marked the beginning of a widespread revolt across northern India.[16]

Meerut was also the venue of the controversial Meerut Conspiracy Case in March 1929, in which several trade unionists, including three Englishmen, were arrested for organizing Indian-rail strike. This immediately caught attention back in England, inspired the 1932 play titled Meerut Prisoners, by Manchester street theatre group, the 'Red Megaphones', highlighting the detrimental effects of colonization and industrialization[17]

The city and district also suffered from communal (Hindu-Sikh) riots in 1984[18] and (Hindu-Muslim) riots in 1982[19] and 1987[20]. In 2006, a fire at a consumer electronics "Brand India" fair in Victoria Park Stadium killed over 50(official counting) people. But, according to some unofficial sources, the number of affected people is pegged at more than 200.

Mythology

  • Ravana's wife Mandodari (in Ramayana) hailed from Meerut. Thus the city is also known as 'Ravan Ki Sasural' literally meaning Ravana's wife's home.
  • In the Ramayana, Shravan Kumar carried his feeble parents on his shoulders to all the pilgrimage sites in India, but it is believed that when he passed through Meerut, he put down his parents for a while to get rest and water. It was here that Lord Rama's father, King Dasharatha, mistook Shravan Kumar for a deer and shot him with an arrow by accident. Shravan Kumar's parents declared that the king's own first son would abandon him when he needed him the most.
  • Lakshagrah (लाक्षागृह) (home of lac) described in the Mahabharata — designed in conspiracy to burn Pandavas alive by Kauravas — was situated here. The place is now known as barnawa and is situated along the Meerut - Baraut road,where today also the light structure of mahal is left.

Outskirts

Meerut is surrounded by a lot of villages. Being located in one of the most fertile belts in India, the villages have agriculture as the base of economy. Sugarcane is the most prominent crop. But rice, wheat and other crops are also grown. There is a slow shift towards more efficient and modern methods of farming.

Demographics

Meerut City is the headquarters of Meerut district which, according to the 1991 census, consists of 1,025 villages with a population of around (3.44 million) .

District population(1991 census)
District Male Female Total
Urban 681,209 595,348 1,276,557
Rural 1,180,533 990,822 2,171,355
Total 1,861,742 1,586,170 3,447,812

According to the 2001 census, the city ranks 20th in terms of population[21] and 6th in terms of population density[22] in Uttar Pradesh. The city also ranks 2nd in terms of population in NCR.[23] Males constitute 53.43% of the population and females 46.56%[24]. The city has an average literacy rate of 83.96%[25], higher than the national average of 59.8%[26]. Male literacy is 86.31%, and female literacy is 82.12%[27]. 16.66% of the population is under 6 years of age[27]. Meerut has one of the largest Muslim populations among the cities of India (close to 32.5%).It is the second largest Muslim city in uttar pradesh after kanpur.{more than lucknow}Meerut cantonment is the second largest cantt in India both in area and population.

District Population(2001 census)[24][27]
District Male Female Total
Urban 774,670 677,313 1,451,983
Rural 826,908 718,470 1,545,378
Total 1,601,578 1,395,783 2,997,361
Literacy 76.31% 54.12% 65.96%

Economy

Meerut is famous as an industrial city. It is a rich agriculture area with such pockets of land that do not fit in for crop purpose. Being in the proximity of Delhi, it is ideal for industry. Existing industries: Textile, Transformer, Sugar, Distillery, Chemical, Engineering, Paper, Sports Goods Manufacturing; Prospective Industries: IT, ITES.It is home to many famous companies such as paramount pesticides,fun top reebok and many more

Uttar Pradesh State Industries Development Corporation (UPSIDC) already has two industrial estates in Meerut, namely Partapur and Udyog Puram. Mohkampur industrial area is a private initiative. Paschimanchal Vidyut Vitran Nigam Ltd has unrestricted power at Partapur, Udyogpuram and Mohkampur industrial areas.

Bhur Baral industrial area is under development. Another industrial area has been identified by UPSIDC at Gagol road adjacent to Delhi road. 1200 hectares of land is available for industrial development. Identified industrial areas are at Shatabdi nagar, Delhi, Baghpat, Roorkee, Mawana, Parikshitgarh, Garh and Hapur roads. A further 2000 hectares is being proposed for industrial development near Delhi-Meerut expressway.

The infrastructure segment of Meerut is currently going through a boom phase with many new projects coming up in and around the city. There are many new buildings, shopping complexes, malls, roads, flyovers and apartments coming up. Many malls have recently been built by major developers of the country. These include Melange at Pallav Puram, PVS Mall at Shastri Nagar; and Rap Magnum Mall and Era Mall at Delhi Road. Many more malls are under construction, namely Ansal Plaza at By-pass road, Phoenix Mall at Delhi Road and MCP Mall (Grand Savy Mall) at EK Road.MSX mall at mawana road and TDI mall.

Meerut has innumerable hotels. Hotel Naveen Deluxe and Hotel Crystal Palace are the two biggest hotels in the city while Samrat Heavens, Mayur Deluxe and Yadu Residency are other hotels. Popular restaurants include the Blue Lagoon in Hotel Crystal Palace,Delhi Darbar at Hapur Road, Al Kareem restaurent at Ghanta Ghar, Alfa, Cream Bell Ice Cream parlour at Abu Lane ,McDonald's, Pizza Hut, Dominoe's, Nirula's, Cafe Coffee Day, Barista Coffee, Coffee Delight,Bikanerwala, and Maanchow with KFC on its way. Famous bars of Meerut are Cellar in Hotel Crystal palace (boundary road), Bottoms Up (Hotel Mukut Mahal - Delhi Road), Indiana (near mall road), Rajmahal (Abu lane). The city also boasts of many clubs, like Wheeler's club, Alexender club etc. Meerut also famous for its Haleem Biryani and Kabab.

Meerut is home to showrooms of several internationally known clothing and sports brands such as Adidas, Reebok, Nike, Inc., Puma AG, Killer,levi's, Spykar, Pepe Jeans, UCB, Cotton County, Koutons, Peter England and many more. The gold market of Meerut is one of Asia’s largest; it employs over 25,000 skilled craftsmen and around 60 kilograms of the precious metal is processed here everyday. Meerut is the largest supplier of sports goods with SG [2] being the largest Indian cricket goods manufacturer and exporter operating out of Meerut. Also big is the musical instrument industry. One of the leading Pharmaceuticals manufacturer, Perk Pharmaceuticals Ltd., is also located here. According to statistics compiled by the Income Tax department, Meerut contributed a handsome Rs.10,089 crore to the national treasury in 2007-08, outperforming Lucknow, Jaipur, Bhopal, Kochi and Bhubaneshwar.[28]

Media

Meerut is becoming an important media center, as journalists from all over Uttar Pradesh and other Indian states are working in Meerut. Recently a lot of news channels have started showing programs. As media centers are situated in Meerut, the city is getting a good amount of publicity on the national platform. The law and order situation has improved a lot in the recent past and media has had an important role to play in it. Radio stations shared with Delhi are Radio City 91.1 MHz, Big FM 92.7 MHz, Red FM 93.5 MHz, Radio One 94.3 MHz, Hit 95(95 MHz), Radio Mirchi 98.3 MHz, AIR FM Rainbow 102.6 MHz, Meow FM 104.8 MHz, AIR FM Gold 106.4 MHz. RADIO IIMT (90.4 MHz) is the only radio station located in the city. Many popular Bollywood artists hailed from Meerut. Some of them are Mandakini (actress), Vishal Bhardwaj, Chitrangada Singh,Achint Kaur,Deepti Bhatnagar, and the internationally acclaimed actor Naseeruddin Shah. Meerut is also the birthplace of famous Bollywood singer Kailash Kher and Arun Govil who played the character of Rama in India's most popular religious Telivison serial Ramayana.

Meerut also shelters some of the most renowned writers of India who have given a major contribution in education, like M.L. Khanna, R.S. Aggarwal, S K Agarwal, O.P. Aggarwaland Dr.B.Raman . It has some of the most popular publication houses like Arihant Prakashan, Bharti Bhawan publications, Chitra Prakashan, Jai Prakash Publications, Bharat Bharti Publications, Rastogi Publications, and Vidya Publications.

Education

Meerut has always remained great attraction for IIT coaching for Western U.P. students after Delhi. Meerut is an education hub of Western Uttar Pradesh having a total of 4 universities, 50 Engineering colleges, 27 other colleges and countless institutitions and schools. The city is home to the Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel University of Agriculture & Technology and Chaudhary Charan Singh University (earlier known as Meerut University). Swami Vivekanand Subharti University, and Shobhit University, have recently acquired the status of universities.

A few well-known engineering colleges of Meerut are Vidya College of Engineering of Vidya Knowledge Park, Sir Chhotu Ram Institute of Engineering & Technology,College of Engineering & Rural Technology(C.E.R.T.), Forte Institute of Technology (F.I.T.), Indian Institute of Management and Technology (I.I.M.T), Master School of Management (MSM) ,Bharat Institute of Technology (B.I.T),Radha Govind Engineering College(RGEC) , Meerut Institute of Engineering and Technology (M.I.E.T) which was recently visited by renowned scientist & former president of India Dr. A. P. J. Abdul Kalam, Dewan V.S. Institute of Engineering & Technology and Vidya College Of Engineering [29]. The city currently has two medical colleges, namely Subharti Medical College and the premier Lala Lajpat Rai Memorial Medical College. The city's prominent academic colleges are Meerut College, D.N. College,Faiz-E-Aam Degree College, Ismail National Girls P.G. College, R.G Degree College and N.A.S College. Guru Tegh Bahadur Public School, One of the oldest school in Meerut, Meerut public School,MPGS,Sophia, St. Mary's, Deewan, St Thomas are most prominent schools. We are proud to add one more page in the history of Guru Tegh Bahadur Public School by launching the first kindergarten school of its own kind in Meerut affiliated to Canada based pre-school Maple Bear™, more than 1800 cities all over the world; Sunbeam School is one of the most prominent primary school...

Sports

Meerut has given many international players in many sports. Praveen Kumar (aka PK) and Raman Lamba, Indian cricket players, belong to Meerut. There are two sports stadiums in Meerut, namely Kailash Prakash sports stadium and Victoria Park (Bhama Shah Park) cricket stadium. Meerut is the top producer of sports goods (specially cricket goods) all over India. Vats sports is a well-known goods producer. Meerut organises many sports tournaments. Kailash Praksah Sports Stadium boasts of a National level Synthetic Basketball court and swimming pool.

Transport

Meerut is the biggest city in NCR after Delhi.The nearest airport is the Indira Gandhi International Airport which is about 80 km away. By road and rail, Meerut is well-connected to major cities like Delhi, Noida, Hapur, Faridabad, Modinagar, Ghaziabad, Saharanpur, Haridwar, Indore, Jaipur Bhopal ,Kolkata etc A large number of people commute to Delhi, Noida, Greater Noida, Ghaziabad and Gurgaon every day for work. Two national highway (NH-58, NH-119) pass through Meerut. An expressway from Delhi to Meerut is under development.

There are 2 main bus terminals, namely Bhainsali bus terminal and Sohrab Gate bus terminal from where Uttar Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation (UPSRTC) buses ply to cities all over the state. Meerut has two railway stations Meerut City and Meerut Cantt.Other stations are partapur and publi khas railway station. The city is well connected to Delhi, Ghaziabad, Agra, Dehradun ,Mumbai,Kolkata,Chennai,Hyderabad by rail

Low Floor City Buses, Normal City Buses, auto rickshaws and rickshaws are convenient public transport options to commute within the city. Many new transport infrastructure projects like inner ring road, outer ring road and construction of new flyovers have been passed. An airport (Bhim Rao Ambedkar INTERNATIONAL Airport) is also under construction and is expected to be completed by 2010.

Tourist destinations

Augarnath Temple at 2nd Navratri night

Meerut, with its imminent history and luxuriant picturesque backdrop, has a well-developed tourism sector. The notable tourist destinations include:

  • Jain temples of Hastinapur - 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.[30]
  • Jain Temple at Mohalla Teergaran - It is the oldest Jain temple of Meerut amongst 40 Jain temples. Its main statue is of Jain tirthanker Shantinath, which was built at the same time when the main statue of Jain Temple, Hastinapur was built. This temple is preserved by the Indian government for its old art work. The Digumber statues in the temple are really fascinating. Its full name is 'Shri Shantinath Digamber Jain Madir - Teergaran (Meerut)'.
  • St. John's Church - This church was established by Chaplin Reverend Henry Fisher on behalf of the East India Company in 1819 in the cantonment area and was completed in 1822.[31] It is considered one of the oldest churches in North India. The Church was dedicated to the people by Bishop Wilson. It has a seating capacity of 10,000 people. During the war of 1857, this church was the scene of heavy fighting between Indians and the British forces.[32]
  • Augarnath Temple - This grand temple is located at the site where the soldiers of the war of 1857 planned their operations. The old temple has been replaced by a modern version.[33]
  • The Jama Masjid was built by Hasan Mahdi, Mahmud of Ghazni’s wazir (chief minister) in 1019 AD (older than the Kutb Minar). That makes it the first Masjid in North India. And although it was restored by Humayun, it is one of the oldest Muslim mosques in India. The Tomb of Shah Pir was erected by the empress Nur Jahan in honour of a local Muslim saint. Qutub-ud-din Aibak is believed to have built the Maqbara of Salar Masood Ghazi (Baley Miyan). There are other mausolea and mosques indicating the strong Muslim presence in Meerut.
  • Martyr's Memorial (Shaheed Smarak)
  • Gandhi Bagh (Company Garden)
  • Suraj Kund
  • Chandi Devi Temple
  • Mansa Devi Temple
  • Bale Miyan ki Dargah
  • Shahpeer Sahab ki Dargah
  • Jama Masjid (Built in 11th Century)
  • Shahi Eid Gaah (Capacity of 1,00,000 Namazi)
  • Basilica of Our Lady of Graces, Sardhana (Sardhana Church)
  • Parikshitgarh
  • Baleni
  • Barnawa
  • Meerut cantonment- It is second largest cantt of India after Kanpur. It has a population of 96,989 and covers the city from almost three sides. Meerut cantonment railway station was built in 1865.

Trivia

  • Mall Road is a wide road in Meerut near what was originally a British Military cantonment. Raghbir Sarang was known to have raced horses and buggies on this road and was whipped for having beaten up an Englishman.
  • In the 1940s, Meerut movie theaters had a "Don't Move" policy during playing of the British national anthem.
  • Historic 'nauchandi Mela' is famous as a symbol of Hindu-Muslim Unity. Dargah of 'Hazrat Bale Mian' and the Temple of 'Navchandi Devi' are situated facing each other. During this 'mela' , sound of the temple bells and the Azan from the mosque situated at the shrine of Bale mian creates a 'spiritual echo'. Nauchandi mela is also famous for its favourite dish "Halwa Parantha".
  • Shahpeer's Tomb is also famous. People say that Shahpeer was the Teacher of Mughal Emperor Jehangir. Before his death Jahangeer's wife queen Noorjahan built a tomb in the memory of Shahpeer in 24 hours. That's why the tomb is incomplete. According to the scholors A colony of Meerut city also called Shahpeer gate in the name of Muslim saint Shahpeer.

==Old Meerut Old Meerut is an Muslim area comprising about 32% of Muslims. It has more Muslim population then Lucknow.

Further reading

  • Service and Adventure with the Khakee Ressalah; Or, Meerut Volunteer Horse, During the Mutinies of 1857-58, by Robert Henry Wallace Dunlop, Pub. R. Bentley, 1858.
  • The Chaplain's Narrative of the Siege of Delhi: From the Outbreak at Meerut to the Capture of Delhi, by John Edward Wharton Rotton. Pub. Smith, Elder, 1858.
  • The Mutiny outbreak at Meerut in 1857, by Julian Arthur Beaufort Palmer. Cambridge University Press, 1966. ISBN 0521059011.
  • Mutiny in Meerut, by Vivian Stuart. Aidan Ellis Publishing, 1991. ISBN 0856282103.
  • Flashman In The Great Game, by George MacDonald Fraser, 1975.

See also

References

  1. ^ National Capital Region(U.P) Official Website
  2. ^ NCR | Delhi Live.com
  3. ^ http://www.citymayors.com/gratis/indian_cities.html
  4. ^ http://www.citymayors.com/statistics/urban_az3mr.html
  5. ^ http://www.citymayors.com/statistics/urban_growth1.html
  6. ^ Homepage Meerut Official website.
  7. ^ Tourist places - Vidura-ka-tila Meerut Official website
  8. ^ a b c d Meerut District - History The Imperial Gazetteer of India, 1909, v. 17, p. 254-255.
  9. ^ a b The Hindu temples on the plains near Meerut British Library.
  10. ^ Ashoka Pillar
  11. ^ Ashokan Pillar restoration
  12. ^ Ashokan Pillar Location Wikimapia.
  13. ^ Meerut City The Imperial Gazetteer of India, 1909, v. 17, p. 264.
  14. ^ 4. Preparation for the Conquest of Delhi... Malfuzat-i Timuri, or Tuzak-i Timuri (Autobiography of Timur), by Amir Tîmûr-i-lang, "The History of India, as Told by Its Own Historians. The Muhammadan Period", by Sir H. M. Elliot, Edited by John Dowson; London, Trubner Company; 1867–1877.
  15. ^ [1]
  16. ^ http://www.meerutdistrict.com/history.htm History of Meerut
  17. ^ Meerut 1932 play, by Manchester street theater group the Red Megaphones Working Class Movement Library.
  18. ^ "The voice of a monologue" The Hindu July 18, 2004
  19. ^ "Looking for justice The Hindu May 30, 2002
  20. ^ "The art of not forgetting" Indian Express 27 February, 1998
  21. ^ Ranking of districts by population size in 1991 and 2001
  22. ^ Ranking of districts by population density
  23. ^ Census of India 2001
  24. ^ a b census of India 2001
  25. ^ Census of India 2001
  26. ^ Census of India 2001
  27. ^ a b c Census of India 2001
  28. ^ Meerut 9th in top 10 tax paying cities
  29. ^ www.vidya.in
  30. ^ Meerut City Travel Guide
  31. ^ Uttar Pradesh Tourism Official Website
  32. ^ St. John's Church | India9.com
  33. ^ Cantonment Board Meerut Official Website

External links


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Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

Contents

Meerut is a city in the west of Uttar Pradesh, India

Get around

There are various options available to travel within the city. There is a good suburban city bus service connecting various parts of meerut and suburbs. Local Rickshaws are also available, Totravel around best option would be to hire a local taxi from any of the travel agents.

  • Augarhnath Mandir, Westend road. Also known as Kali paltan.  edit

Do

You can visit Gol market and taste some amazing pastries.

Buy

Abu Lane, Begum Bridge Road and Central Market Shastri Nagar are good places to shop though modern shopping malls have also come up.

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1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

MEERUT, a city, district and division of British India, in the United Provinces. The city is half-way between the Ganges and the Jumna, and has two stations on the NorthWestern railway, 37 m. N.E. from Delhi. Pop. (1901), 118,129. The city proper lies south of the cantonments, and although dating back to the days of the Buddhist emperor Asoka (c. 250 B.C.) Meerut owes its modern importance to its selection by the British government as the site of a great military station. In 1805 it is mentioned as "a ruined, depopulated town." The cantonment was established in 1806, and the population rose to 29,014 in 1847, and 82,035 in 1853. The town is an important centre of the cotton-trade. It is the headquarters of the 7th division of the northern army, with accommodation for horse and field artillery, British and native cavalry and infantry. It was here that the first outbreak of the Mutiny of 1857 took place. (See Indian Mutiny.) The District Of Meerut forms part of the upper Doab, or tract between the Ganges and the Jumna, extending from river to river. Area, 2354 sq. m. Though well wooded in places and abundantly supplied with mango groves, it has but few patches of jungle or waste land. Sandy ridges run along the low watersheds which separate the minor channels, but with this exception the whole district is one continuous expanse of careful and prosperous tillage. Its fertility is largely due to the system of irrigation canals. The Eastern Jumna canal runs through the whole length of the district, and supplies the rich tract between the Jumna and the Hindan with a network of distributary streams. The main branch of the Ganges canal passes across the centre of the plateau in a sweeping curve and waters the midland tract. The Anupshahr branch supplies irrigation to the Ganges slope, and the Agra canal passes through the southern corner of Loni pargana from the Hindan to the Jumna. Besides these natural and artificial channels, the country is everywhere cut up by small water-courses. The Burh Ganga, or ancient bed of the Ganges, lies at some distance from the modern stream; and on its bank stood the abandoned city of Hastinapur, the legendary capital of the Pandavas at the period of the Mahabharata, said to have been deserted many centuries before the Christian era, owing to the encroachments of the river.

The comparatively high latitude and elevated position of Meerut make it one of the healthiest districts in the plains of India. The average temperature varies from 57° F. in January to 87° in June. The rainfall is small, less than 3 o in. annually. The only endemic disease in the district is malarial fever; but small-pox and cholera occasionally visit it as epidemics. The population in 1901 was 1,540,175, showing an increase of 10.6% in the decade. The principal crops are wheat, pulse, millet, sugar-cane, cotton and indigo, but this last crop has declined of late years almost to extinction. The district is traversed by the North-Western railway, and also contains Ghaziabad, the terminus of the East Indian system, whence a branch runs to Delhi, while a branch of the Oudh & Rohilkhand railway from Moradabad to Ghaziabad was opened in 1900.

The authentic history of the district begins with the Moslem invasions. The first undoubted Mahommedan invasion was that of Kutbeddin in 1191, when Meerut town was taken and all the Hindu temples turned into mosques. In 1398 Timur captured the fort of Loni after a desperate resistance, and put all his Hindu prisoners to death. He then proceeded to Delhi, and after his memorable sack of that city returned to Meerut, captured the town, razed all the fortifications and houses of the Hindus, and put the male inhabitants to the sword. The establishment of the great Mogul dynasty in the 16th century, under Baber and his successors, gave Meerut a period of internal tranquillity and royal favour. After the death of Aurangzeb, however, it was exposed to alternate Sikh and Mahratta invasions. From 1707 till 1775 the country was the scene of perpetual strife, and was only rescued from anarchy by the exertions of the military adventurer Walter Reinhardt, afterwards the husband of the celebrated Begum Samru, who established himself at Sardhana in the north, and ruled a large estate. The southern tract, however, remained in its anarchic condition under Mahratta exactions until the fall of Delhi in 1803, when the whole of the country between the Jumna and the Ganges was ceded by Sindhia to the British. It was formed into a separate district in 1818. In the British period it has become memorable for its connexion with the Mutiny of 1857.

The Division Of Meerut comprises the northern portion of the Doab. It consists of the six districts of Dehra Dun, Saharanpur, Muzaffarnagar, Meerut, Bulandshahr and Aligarh. Area, 11,302 sq. m.; pop. (1901), 5,979,711, showing an increase of 12.3% in the decade.

See Meerut District Gazetteer (Allahabad, 1904).


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