You're Going to Love Meerut
Meerut is a city in Meerut district of the western part of the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. It is an ancient city, with settlements dating back to the Indus Valley civilisation having been found in and around the area.
Rich culture, stunning monuments, significant history and lip-smacking cuisine awaits you at Meerut. This historical city located in the state of Uttar Pradesh sits at a distance of about seventy kilometres from New Delhi, forming part of the National Capital Region (Delhi-NCR). With an exciting past that dates back to ancient days, contemporary art flourishes along with a healthy dose of history and culture at Meerut.
Meerut is believed to have been established by Maya, the father of Mandodari (Ravana’s wife) in the Indian epic Ramayana. Since Meerut served as Maya’s capital city, it is sometimes known as “Ravana’s Sasural” (the home of Ravana’s wife). This connection to the Ramayana makes the otherwise small town of Meerut, a popular place on the religious map of India.
The Sports Capital of India has a lot to offer sports enthusiasts – choose from a myriad of sports gear including cricket bats and tennis balls to add to your collection. The artisan city holds an excellent value in the freedom of the country as well.
Meerut witnesses an influx of devout and tourists from the nearby regions during the Holi festival. Every year, two weeks after Holi, a fair is held at the Nauchandi grounds. What makes it unique is the location of a temple (Chanda Devi Temple) and a mosque located right opposite to each other. This lends the fair a symbol of unity among the two warring religions of India.
- Hindi is the most dominant language in Meerut with some locals speaking Urdu.
- English is also spoken by most locals, especially at all tourist locations. Most taxi drivers, guides and shopkeepers can converse in English.
- Signboards display instructions in both English and the regional languages.
- Khariboli is a local dialect of Hindustani that is spoken by the locals as well. It is musically rustic and fascinating to listen to. Most folk art forms involve Khariboli words.
- It is recommended that to learn a few phrases in Hindi before you make your way to this city, to explore it in all its glory.
What to do in Meerut
1. Augharnath Temple
The Augharnath Temple in Meerut, also known as the Kali Paltan Mandir, is the oldest Shiva temple in the city and also the most frequented. The Shiva Linga at this temple is believed to be a Swayambhu…
Shapir or Shahpeer Sahab ki Dargah is a mausoleum in Meerut constructed during Mughal Era by the queen, Noor Jahan. It was built in 1628 to honour a local Muslim Hazrat Shahpeer who is said to be the…
Shopping in Meerut
Nothing says holiday fun like souvenir shopping, and Meerut does not disappoint! While the city boasts of many malls and shopping complexes, the best trinkets and gifts are found in street markets. You can shop for jewellery, handicrafts, metal works and other items in the many markets that line the shopping districts.
Surajkund Road is famous for its metal-embellished vases, jars and boxes that are sure to make memorable souvenirs. The city isn’t called the Sports City of India for nothing – it is the country’s most famous supplier of sports good. Choose from a wide range of sports accessories and paraphernalia, made by talented artisans. The intricate artistry is evident in the high quality of the items.
Meerut also produces musical instruments of high quality, so indulge in your musical fantasies at great rates, straight out of the artisans’ shops. Ansal Plaza is a public hangout spot where you can shop for international brands. Silver jewellery is popular here.
The Colourful Celebrations in Meerut
Meerut is famous for its distinct celebrations. The annual Jain fair is held in April and May, while the celebration of Parshwanath is held in July-August. Diwali festivities are held in October-November and are a must-visit. The entire city comes alive during Diwali, and the firework show is spectacular. The birth of Parshwanath is celebrated in December. Holi is celebrated with enthusiasm in the town in March.
History of Meerut
Meerut is one of the oldest cities in India, dating back to the Indus Valley Civilization. The city’s proximity to Delhi has made it the epicentre of a flurry of activity through the ages. The Alamgirpur diggings are popular in archaeological circles, as the region houses artefacts from the Harappan civilisation. Pots and trinkets from the Mauryan era have been unearthed as well.
Meerut has also been mentioned in the Hindu epic Mahabharata as the region corresponding to Hastinapur, the capital of the Pandavas. This has made it a religious hotspot today.
During the Mughal age, the city resisted invasions of Timur the Lame and Qutub-ud-Din. The most recent and documented brush with history came to Meerut during the iconic Revolt of 1857, which shaped the freedom struggle of India. Meerut was the first place where the revolution broke out – the ripple effect caused the entire country to attempt the first revolt against the colonial masters which bore fruit almost a century later.