The city famous for sweets, primarily gazak, is located on the fertile banks of the river Ganges and Yamuna. The town situated in western Uttar Pradesh has a very rich history which is reflected as a mix of culture, traditions, and art forms, which despite the changing eras has retained its ancient roots. Meerut is a metropolitan city, the biggest city in the NCR after Delhi, and the fourth-largest in population in Uttar Pradesh.  

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Map of the city of Meerut ©www.adobestock.com

Otherwise called the “sports capital of India”, Meerut is the biggest maker of athletic gear and musical instruments. It is likewise known for its wooden specialties and crafts. Meerut is situated on the fertile banks of Ganges and Yamuna and henceforth from ancient days, people here have drawn themselves in horticulture and allied activities.

By road, Meerut is well-linked with Delhi, NOIDA, Hapur, Faridabad, Modinagar, Ghaziabad, Saharanpur, Haridwar, and so on. The closest air terminal from this city is the Indira Gandhi International air terminal which is around 80 km away. Two public parkways (NH-58, NH-119) go through Meerut. There are 2 main Bus Terminals: the Bhansali Bus Terminal and the Sohrab Gate Bus Terminal from where Uttar Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation (UPSRTC) Buses serve cities everywhere in the state. Meerut has two Railway Stations: Meerut City and Meerut Cantt.

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An old view of a street in Meerut ©www.pintrest.com

The origin of Meerut can be followed back to 273 B.C, according to which, the city has experienced progress from the old-time of Mahabharata, the Ashokan times, the Gurjaras; lastly, the British occupation in Meerut and the other parts of India. Meerut is known as Rawan’s “Sasural” (wife’s house or in-law’s house), it is associated with Mahabharata as it is close to Indraprastha (Delhi) and Hastinapur lies in the district of Meerut. 

In the current day, Meerut’s population is addressed by the Jats, Rajputs, Tyagis, Gujjars, and so on, each one of whom has held their cultural character and subsequently contributing to its rich cultural legacy and rituals. The varied blend of societies and customs all mixed into the advanced liveliness of the city culture is the thing that reflects the present-day life of Meerut.

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Famous Augarnath temple, Meerut ©www.adotrip.com

Local area celebrations, parties, and festivities have been rehearsed since ancient times. Likewise, the presence of mosques, sanctuaries, and the gurudwaras demonstrate that common harmony was present in the past. The presence of various religious places depicts the historical architecture and relevance in the city, creating many tourist attractions and places to visit. 

The Augarnath temple, dedicated to lord shiva is located in the Meerut cantonment is a famous tourist attraction, and is believed that the Shivling (devotional representation of Hindu Lord Shiva) occurred naturally and is considered as a miracle of God, afterward, the temple developed around the shiva linga. 

Augarnath temple was also the starting point of the 1857 revolt the warriors known as kali paltan (brown troop) began from the temple as it was a religious and peaceful place, and they could proceed with the almighty’s blessing.

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Surajkund park, Meerut ©Saumya Bansal 
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Surajkund park, Meerut ©Saumya Bansal 

Suraj Kund is the historical territory of Meerut where the old town prospered. The Suraj Kund lake was originally built in 1714 by Lawar Jawahar Lal, a rich dealer, and was known as a “monkey tank” by the British. According to Hindu mythology,  Karna had offered his Kawach and Kundal (divine armor) to Lord Surya (Sun) at the territory of the Kund (lake). There are various little sanctuaries, temples, sati columns here. Some of the other eminent constructions in Suraj Kund also incorporate the Dargah of Shahpir, Jama Masjid, and the catacombs of Salar Masaud Ghazi and Abu Yar Khan. 

The area is presently famous for shopping and markets which are spread all over the area with shops selling a wide range of merchandise and a large group of sports products manufacturing organizations that are situated here. 

The primary landmark of Suraj Kund is the Suraj Kund Park, the gigantic tank which initially was taken care of by the water of Abu Nala. The Ganga Canal fills the water of this park, which, in present-day, is kept up by the municipal corporation. The verdant environmental factors of the park house diverse vegetation other than setting out sufficient open doors for delight and entertainment.

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Nauchandi ground, Meerut ©Saumya Bansal 

Another important destination is the Nauchandi fair (mela), it is a mainstream celebration that happens here yearly, it began in 1672. Even during the British time frame, the Nauchandi fair was mainstream among local people. It was held with extraordinary pageantry and show, reflecting patriotism and enthusiasm, and there are legends connected to it too.

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Gandhi Bagh (brought in India by Britishers), Meerut ©Saumya Bansal 

Gandhi Bagh, commonly known as the ‘company garden’ is situated on Mall Road in Meerut. It was built before independence, however, is recently renamed. It has lavish greenery with a wide range of vegetation inside its premises. There is a musical fountain that runs each night in the garden. 

Earlier, it had numerous entries, and no entry expenses were there, but now just one entrance is open for the public with some basic charges. The Cantonment Board of Meerut maintains the Gandhi Bagh which at present is one of the attractions for entertainment and sporting exercises.

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Diwali celebration decorations in the street markets in Meerut ©Saumya Bansal 
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Havelis on the streets of Meerut describing the architectural elements (art deco and gothic) ©Saumya Bansal

Havelis in Meerut are like the Havelis found in Old Delhi (Delhi-6, Chandni Chowk). Most Havelis have small wooden entrances, the huge ramp from the street leads to the grand entrance of the Haveli. Above the entrance, there are small shield-shaped devices known as torans, made up of wood and silver. The elements in the Havelis reveal a range of architectural styles through the times. 

Therefore, all the buildings depict a unique architectural style due to the influence of Hindu mythology as the temples, the Mughal architecture in mosques, and the British colonies in the Meerut Cantonment area. 

Author

A highly motivated architecture student, environmentalist, reader & an energetic person, Vibhuti Bhambri is interested in various sustainable, historical, traditional and economical aspects of architecture, curious to learn, research and spread this knowledge via blogs and writings. Aiming to use knowledge and experience in day to day life.

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