About Meerut

Meerut 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.It is the 16th largest metropolitan area in India and the 17th largest city in India. It ranked 292 in 2006 and 242 in 2010 in the list of largest cities and urban areas in the world.It is the fastest developing city of Uttar Pradesh after Noida and Ghaziabad. It is spread about 172 square km. The total metropolitan area is 198 km which is third in Uttar Pradesh after Lucknow and Kanpur. It has the 2nd largest army cantonment of the country.

Area 2,522 km2 (974 sq mi)

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 may have mutated to Mairashtra, Mai-dant-ka-khera, Mairaath and eventually Meerut.

 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, which was washed away by Ganges floods.

 
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. The Ashoka Pillar, at Delhi ridge, next to the ‘Bara Hindu Rao Hospital’, near Delhi University, was carried to Delhi from Meerut, by Firuz Shah Tughluq (r. 1351 – 1388), it was later damaged in a 1713 explosion, and restored in 1867.

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. 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. 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.[13] 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.

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

 
1857 Mutineers’ MosqueMeerut is famously associated with the Indian Rebellion of 1857 against the British East India Company, known as First Indian War of Independence or The Sepoy Mutiny (as the British called it). 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. On Sunday, 10 May 1857, these soldiers, supported by other soldiers, escaped the prison and declared themselves free, attacked and killed several British authorities to take the city in their control. This marked the beginning of a widespread revolt across northern India as these soldiers marched towards Delhi. 10 May is still celebrated as a local holiday in Meerut.

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

The city and district also suffered from communal (Hindu-Sikh) riots in 1984and (Hindu-Muslim) riots in 1982 and 1987. 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.

Climate

Meerut has very hot summers and very cold winters. Temperature in summers can reach 48 degree Celsius. Summers last from April to July. Visibility is almost zero during November to January due to fog. Lowest temperature recorded is 0.5 degrees. Rainfall is good and about 80 cm to 100 cm per annum, which is suitable for growing crops.

Geography

Meerut lies between 28.2 latitudes and 77.7 longitudes in the northern plains of India. The ground is not rocky and there are no mountains. Land is suitable for growing crops. Meerut lies between plains of rivers Ganga and Yamuna, there is no water scarcity as ground water is present.

Meerut Cantonment

 Meerut Cantonment is the 2nd largest cantonment of India both in land area and population. It is the cleanest part of city and is most beautiful sight at night in Meerut. Meerut Cantonment is the place from where the Revolution of 1857 started. Mall road is one of the most beautiful roads of Meerut. It is surrounded with cleaned footpaths and statues and trees. A tank of Pakistan army is standing as an exception in cantonment. Meerut’s one of the most convenient club wheelers club is situated in cantonment. Meerut Cantonment railway station is one of the 4 stations that serve Meerut. It was built in 1865 during the rule of Britishers. Meerut Cantt covers the city from 3 sides from Sainik Vihar to Pallavpuram to Ganga Nagar. Race course, Golf course and RVC center are also in Meerut Cantt.

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 6th in terms of population density in Uttar Pradesh. The city also ranks 2nd in terms of population in NCR. Males constitute 53.43% of the population and females 46.56%. The city has an average literacy rate of 83.96%, higher than the national average of 59.8%. Male literacy is 86.31%, and female literacy is 82.12%. 16.66% of the population is under 6 years of age. Meerut has one of the largest Muslim populations among the cities of India(close to 32.5%).It is the largest Muslim city in uttar pradesh(more than Lucknow).Meerut has crime rate of 576 which is more than other cities in Uttar Pradesh.

District Population(2001 census)
District Male Female Total
Urban 1,024,670 927,313 1,951,983
Rural 1,076,908 968,470 2,045,378
Total 2,101,578 1,895,783 3,997,361
Literacy 76.31% 54.12% 65.96%

Development

Meerut is 63rd fastest growing urban area in the world. It is 14th fastest developing city in India out performing Bhopal, Lucknow, Mumbai etc. About 100 builders have poured into the city for building townships, IT parks, malls, hospitals etc.

Greenwood City, constructed by Godwin Builders, is nearing completion on the Western bypass. It is situated next to Subharti University and Medical College. Greenwood City has Villas, Flats, Duplex houses and also has a five start hotel and restaurant. It is possible to reach Delhi, from Greenwood City by taking NH-58 and also via Bagpat , which is nearby. The Meerut Railway station is less than 5 km away. Greenwood City is close to the proposed integrated bus terminus and the Meerut International Airport.

Supertech builders have already made townships like palm greens and many other projects have been announced. Sports city is being built by Supertech in Pitampura near Pallavpuram, Roorkee road (NH58). Shoprixx mall being is built by supertech. Ansal builders have also announced townships in Meerut. Ansal courtyard, Ansal’s Sushant city and Ansal Plaza are taking shape on western bypass. Delhi-Meerut expressway is expected to get completed by 2013. Meerut airport will be developed to international level for reducing pressure at Indira Gandhi Airport,New Delhi. Upper Ganga canal expreesway is also under development. GAIL is also establishing its plant in Meerut and Muradnagar to supply cooking gas within the city.

Many new malls being also constructed in and around the city. Meerut presently has 5 malls and by 2012 there will be 10 malls surrounding the city. Many under construction includes Shopprix mall, Ansal Plaza at weatern bypass, MSX mall at NH 119(Mawana road) and Alpha one mall Modipuram (NH 58).

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.

Uttar Pradesh State Industrial 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 road, Baghpat road, Roorkee road, Mawana road, Parikshitgarh(Kila) road, Garh road and Hapur road. Further 2000 hectares land is being proposed for industrial development near Delhi-Meerut expressway.NIPRO GLASS from JAPAN has set up a large glass plant for medical use. investment from outside Meerut has started pouring in as delhi mumbai freight corridor and east freight corridor will be intersecting very near to Meerut making it a cost effective destination for setting up industries.

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 Mellange at Pallav Puram, PVS Mall at Shastri Nagar, Rap Magnum Mall and Era Mall at Delhi Road. Many more malls are under construction, namely Ansal Plaza at weatern By-pass road, Phoenix Mall at Delhi Road, MCP Mall(Grand Savy Mall) at EK Road,MSX mall and TDI mall at mawana road.

Meerut has innumerable hotels. Hotel Naveen Deluxe, Hotel Crystal Palace and Hotel Samrat Heavens are the biggest hotels in the city, while, Hotal Mayur Deluxe and Hotel Yadu Residency are other hotels. A five star hotel at Baghpat road bypass crossing and a three star hotel at Delhi road near Rithani are under construction. 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 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  being the largest Indian cricket goods manufacturer and exporter operating in 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.

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 three sports stadiums in Meerut namely Kailash Prakash sports stadium, Kulwant Singh Stadium at Dogra Lines and Victoria Park (Bhama Shah Park) cricket stadium. Meerut is the top producer of sports goods (specially cricket goods) all over India. SG, BDM are the leading cricket goods manufacturer in 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. Dare Khadija Tul Kubra (For girls)is a first islamic madarsa of Meerut where is also hostel facilities available.

Transport

Air

The nearest airport is the Indira Gandhi International Airport which is about 80 km away. An international airport is proposed by the state government in city to reduce pressure in Delhi airport.

 Road

By road Meerut is well-connected to major cities like Delhi, Noida, Faridabad, Ghaziabad, Haridwar, 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 and Upper Ganga Canal Expressway which passes through outskirts of the city are 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.

As Meerut has announced a metropolitan city in 2007, JNNURM scheme has been taken place and many low floor city buses are running over the city roads. 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 are proposed.

Railways

Meerut has six railway stations- Meerut City , Meerut Cantt, Partapur, Sakoti tanda, Mohdinnpur and Pabli Khas. Meerut City station is busiest station in the city. Meerut cantt station was founded in 1865 and serves as a secondary railway station. Meerut lies on Delhi – Saharanpur railway line.

Tourist destinations

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.
  • 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. 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.
  • 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.
  • The Jama Masjid was built by Hasan Mahdi, Sultan Mahmud Ghaznavi’s Wazir (chief minister) in 1019 AD (older than the Qutb 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. Qutb-ud-din Aybak is believed to have built the Maqbara of Ghazi Saiyyad Salar Masud (Baley Miyan). There are other mausoleams 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.

Telephone Numbers of officials of Meerut ( police and Administration )

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