(Last Updated on : 09/07/2011)
Meerut is a metropolitan city situated in the sate of Uttar Pradesh
. It is an old city located 70 km north east of national capital, Delhi
and 453 km North West of state capital, Lucknow. It is the second fastest developing city in Uttar Pradesh, after Noida. It covers an area of 172 km square. It has the second largest army cantonment in the country.
Meerut is bound by Muzaffarnagar in north, Bulandshahr in the south, Ghaziabad
in the south and Baghpat in the west. The eastern boundary is formed by river Ganga which separates the district from Bijnor and Moradabad. The western boundary is formed by Hindon and separates the district from Baghpat. There are no mountains and the ground is not rocky. The soil is composed of sub recent alluvial and Pleistocene sediments transported and deposited from Himalayan region by river action. The city is situated between the plains of Yamuna River
and Ganga River
History of Meerut
After the archaeologist excavated "Vidura-ka-tila", a collection of several moulds were discovered in 1950-52, a site which is 37 km away from North East of Meerut. It was concluded to be the ancient city of Hastinapur, the capital city of Pandavas and Kauravas of Mahabharata, which was washed away by the floods of Ganges. Long before the Vedic period, Meerut contained the Harappan settlement known as Alamgirpur. It is also the eastern most settlement of Indus Valley Civilization. The city has been a center for Buddhism during the Ashoka
, Mauryan Emperor (273 BC - 232 BC), and the remains of Buddhist monuments and structures were found in near Jama Masjid.
In the eleventh century AD, Har Dat, the Dor Raja of Bulandshahr who built a fort, ruled the South Western part of the district. He was known for his strength and also finds a mention in Ain-i-Akbari, but he was later defeated by Mahmud Ghazni in 1018. The renowned Jama Masjid, famous land mark, is said to have been built during this period by Mahmud's Vizir. Though this city was regained by the Hindu Raja later on, but it was again recaptured by Mohammad Ghori, then Qutub-ud-din-Aybak attacked the city and converted all the Hindu Temples into mosques. The city saw a lot of bloodshed as lots of foreign rulers like Afgans, Mughals and British invaded from time to time.
Meerut is popular for the revolt of 1857 against the British East India Company
. The slogan, "Delli Chalo" was raised from here. Meerut rose to national prominence during the great revolt of 1857, as it marked for the widespread revolt throughout the country.
Lately in 1984 the city suffered the communal tension- Hindu- Sikh riot and Hindu- Muslim riot in 1982, 1987. Lots of people were killed and looted.
Meerut is a fastest growing urban area in the world and 14th fastest developing city in India, out performing Mumbai
. The economic development and infra structure of Meerut is currently going through a booming phase with many new innovative projects coming up in and around the city. There are many new malls, buildings, roads, fly over and apartments coming up. Some of the major investors include Supertech Group, Era Group, Antriksh, Majestic Properties, MSX Developers, Ansal Housing and Contruction, Goldwin Builders, Parsvnath and DLF. The expressway connecting Meerut and Delhi will be completed by 2013. The upper Ganges canal expressway is also expected to get completed soon. A five star hotel in Greenwood city at Baghpat road bypass crossing is under construction and expected to come up soon.
Tourism in Meerut
Meerut, with its imminent luxuriant picturesque backdrop and history, is a well developed tourist destination for people. Some of the popular tourist destinations include;
The Jain Temple is situated at Hastinapur, is one of the earliest cities in India like Kashi and Ayodhya
, which came into existence during the time of Rishabhadeva (first tirthankara) whose grandson, Somaprabha, was the first ruler. This place is also the birth place of the three Jain tirthankars; Shantinatha, Kunthnnath and Arahanatha.
Another Jain Temple at Mohalla Teergaran is one of the popular places and is an oldest Jain temple in Meerut among 40 other temples. Its main statue is of Jain tirthankar Shantinath that was built at the same time as the Jain Temple at Hastinapur.
St John's Church
On behalf of the East India Company this church was built by Chaplin Reverend Henry Fisher in 1819 and it was completed in 1822. This church is considered to be one of the oldest Indian churches. This church was dedicated to people and has a sitting capacity of 10,000 people.
This temple has a strong historical baggage. At this very site the soldiers of the 1857 revolt planned their strategies. The temple has rooms in the honour of martyrs of revolt of 1857.
Some of the other popular tourist destinations are Jama Masjid, Martyr's Memorial, Gandhi Bagh, Suraj Kund, Chandi Devi Temple, Mansa Devi Temple, Kali Temple in Sadar Bazar, Bale Miyan ki Dargah, Shahpeer Saheb ki Dargah, Shahi Eid Gaah, Basilica of Our Lady of Graces etc.