Major Historic Events of MeerutThe name Meerut is known to have evolved from the word Maya Rashtra. After undergoing several mutations such as Mairaashtra and Mairaath, the city ultimately got its present name of Meerut. The city of Meerut has an illustrious history, the origin of which can be traced back to the early Mauryan Empire. From the days of the Asokan empire to the age of Mahabharatha, the city has witnessed several kingdoms come and go. One of the most significant events that led to a number of changes in Meerut has been the incursion of British in India, that led to the establishment of cantonment in Meerut in the early 19th Century. The events of the history of Meerut are encapsulated below.
It has been concluded that the whole region where the present day city stands was once ruled by the Pandavas and Kauravas, as several inscriptions have been unearthed in the neighboring sites of Alamgir and Hastinapur. Meerut was ruled by Ashoka, the Mauryan Emperor during the 273 BC to 232 BC. Buddhism thrived during his rule which is evident from the Ashoka Pillar at New Delhi, which was unearthed in Meerut and later restored in Delhi.
Meerut and its surrounding areas was ruled by the local rulers till the 10th Century A.D. Most important among them was the rule by Raja Dat, the ruler of Bulandshahr. His rule was overthrown by Mahumud Ghazni and later by Tugluqs by the end of the 11th Century.
The Mughuls ruled over Meerut from 11th Century A.D. to 16th century A.D. during which period, the region witnessed a peaceful time and many developmental plans were taken up. Some of the buildings of those times is the Jama Masjid and the Aughurnath Temple. During the time of Akbar, in the late 16th Century, Meerut was the centre for coin mints.
The following years saw the reign of Marathas and Jats and Rohillas. Sardhana came under the rule of Walter Reindarht. Upon his death, his wife Begum Sumru established her rule in this region, when she carried out several social and developmental activities of the city.
The establishment of the Cantonment in Meerut in 1803, made it the center of British East India Company. During the following few decades, the British formed a strong base in Meerut, that saw the commencement of Railways, built administrative buildings and churches such as the St. John's Church. The Indian soldiers stationed here at the British Garisson were called as the Kali Paltan.
Meerut rose to fame during the War of Indian Independence in 1857, when the famous Dilli Chalo Andolan took place in protest against the use of cartridges greased with animal fat. This incident had triggered the war, that spread its wings across all corners of India.
Meerut continued to be under the rule of the British till 1947, and had seen several noteworthy incidents during this time. Some of the incidents that took place in Meerut during this period were the Meerut Conspiracy case, the concluding session of the Indian National Congress at the Victoria Park etc.
Duiring the archaeological studies at Vidura-ka-tila, a several relics named after Vidura have been found that prove the fact that the ancient city of Hastinapur was indeed the capital city of Pandavas and Kauravas during Mahabharata era.
After the Indian Independence and the States Reorganization Act of 1956, Meerut came under the State of Uttar Pradesh. As the eponymous head of the District, Meerut district includes 3 Taluks including Mawana, Meerut and Sardhana.