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.
Places to Visit
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 (self-manifested), making it a popular attraction among the devotees of Lord Shiva.
The temple’s historical significance stems out from the fact that it played an important role during the Freedom Struggle. Apart from the Shiva Linga, there are shrines for Radha Krishna and Goddess Durga at the temple. Being a predominantly Shiva Temple, the Augharnath Temple is flocked by hundreds of devotees on occasions like Mahashivratri and Purnima.
Draupadi Ki Rasoi
Translating to ‘Draupadi’s Kitchen’, this monument is set on the banks of the Buriganga River in Meerut. Legend has it that Draupadi, the wife of the Pandavas, cooked meals here for the entire family. When the Pandavas stayed at Hastinapur in exile, Lord Krishna is believed to have visited them. When he asked for a meal, Draupadi had nothing to offer him. Krishna is said to have produced a miracle vessel which produced an unlimited supply of sumptuous food in Draupadi’s kitchen, and the site marks this incredible feat. Today this region is a favourite picnic spot, right next to Draupadi Ghat.
Draupadi ki Rasoi (Draupadi Kitchen), located on the banks of Burhganga is popular among tourists who visit Meerut. It is a thrilling place for people who love history and epic tales. This was a forgotten village in Uttar Pradesh until 1952, when the Archeological department found Draupadi-ki-Rasoi (Kitchen), Vidur-ka-Tilla (Vidura’s palace), and Draupadi Ghat. They unearthed copper utensils, ornaments made out of silver and gold, several oblong shaped ivory dice, and iron seals.
The Saint John’s Church of Meerut is one of the oldest churches in Northern India and also one of the biggest with 3000 people seating capacity. The church is built on a very traditional style and has lush greenery surrounded by it. The motto of the parish is Unity, Witness, and Service which is strictly followed there.
Built in 1819, the St John’s Church offers a spectacular look at the unique history of Meerut. From being a site of revolt to a confluence of religions, it is a landmark in Meerut for many reasons. It was constructed by the East India Company between 1819 and 1821 and comes under the diocese of Agra.
The tall columns and distinct architectural style make it a popular tourist destination in the city. Built in the cantonment area, the military remnants are apparent as well. The church compound also houses the St John’s Cemetery.
Vidur Ka Tila
If you want a slice of history, Vidura Ka Tila is the place to be in Meerut. Watch the epic of the Mahabharata play out as you visit Vidur Ka Tila; an archaeological site full of 50-60 feet tall mounds. The area is said to be the former abode of Vidura, the intellectual minister of the Kauravas.
The half-brother of Pandu and Dhritarashtra, Vidura is popular among the locals for his wit and sound advice. Located on the banks of the serene river Buriganga, this is an ideal picnic spot for your family. Sunset views from Vidur Ka Tila are stunning!
For a fascinating insight into Jain culture and tradition, the Digambar Jain Temple in Meerut holds all the answers. Dating back thousands of years, this temple houses two important altars. The shrine of Tikal Wale Bala is believed to be generous – all wishes are said to be granted by this ancient deity.
The main idol of Bhagwan Parshwanath is seven feet tall and decked with beautiful silks. Five minor altars complete the Digambar Jain Temple, with tall spires as well. The temple complex was recently renovated, giving it a new and improved façade. The snake sculptures that adorn the top are noteworthy. The six-feet tall statue of Mahaveer is stunningly intricate.
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 teacher of the Emperor Jahangir and physician/advisor to the queen.
The garden and adjacent pillars make Shapir a unique location in the city. The monument is built of stark red stones that present a catchy visage in the evening sky. There is a religious fair held here annually during the month of Ramadan, and a large number of people gather here for holding prayers on important days.
Hastinapur is an ancient town which was the centre to the glorious tales of the epic Mahabharata. Situated on the banks of Ganga near Meerut in UP, Hastinapur is also the birthplace of three Jain Teerthankara, and it has become an important centre of pilgrimage for the Jains.
It was the capital of Kauravas and was ruled by the Pandavas after winning the Mahabharata. From that era to this, the city has come along a long way but it is still known as the town of Mahabharata. It is fascinating in its own way and as it has lived through ages, it has also kept the spirit of mythology alive. Being an important part of the epic, every nook and corner of the city has been a part of it in some way and thus the locals have fascinating stories to share.
The Mustafa Castle, one of the historic and grand landmarks in the city of Meerut was built in the memory of Nawab Mustafa Khan Shaifta, a renowned poet and critic of his era, by his son, Nawab Mohammad Ishak Khan in 1900. The castle is popularly recognised for its distinguished architecture and its historical importance.
During the independence struggle of India, the castle was transformed into a haven for political proceedings and bore some of the most significant events in the history of India. Choices of the finest wooden furniture, paintings and various arts and artefacts from all over the world remarkably mark the grandeur of Mustafa Castle.
Several chambers in the castle are named after the colours such as Basanti, Gulabi and so forth distinctly used in summers and winters with relevant colour schemes. Mustafa Castle is one of the popular and must-visit places if you are in the city of Meerut, especially if you are a history buff..
Built in memory of the 1857 revolt, the Shaheed Smarak is one of the most seasoned and well-maintained places in Meerut. Located quite close to the Company Gardens, this memorial hosts events during important Indian national holidays.
The grounds of this marble pillar also houses the Government Freedom Struggle Museum which was set up in 1997. The Government Freedom Struggle Museums is a crucial preserve of documents and other essentials that are currently used for educational and informative needs. The museum also cites two galleries showcasing some artefacts and paintings of the time.
Gandhi Bagh is one of the oldest parks in Meerut which was set up by East India Company. It is located on Mall Road, not very far away from the city and is famous for the musical fountain show which happens every evening. This famous British spot has lush greenery with mango, mulberry, and bamboo trees.
Currently, the place is maintained by the Meerut Cantonment Board who is trying to elevate the park to the next level by adding beautiful children play area, car rides, boat rides, and even camel rides. With a walking trek path, terracotta park, and cricket ground, it is a perfect spot for a family picnic or anyone to spend the day with a green layer.
Must Try Food in Meerut
2. Marwari Bhoj
3. Tandoori Club Restaurant
4. Woodhouse Grill N Cafe
5. The Yellow Chilli
6. Pinki Chole Bhandar
7. Live Food Court
8. Outer Limit
9. Biggies Restaurant
10. Meera’s Bistro Amoroso Cafe
How To Get Here
Meerut being a part of the National Capital Region and being conveniently located in Uttar Pradesh is well connected by train, bus, car and flights. The most convenient way to reach this city from UP is by train and bus. For travelling from any major destination in India, Meerut is connected by flight through New Delhi.
The nearest major airport to Meerut is the Indira Gandhi International Airport in New Delhi, at a distance of about 100 kilometres. Being one of the prime airports in India, it is well connected to all Indian cities and international destinations through regular flights operated by all domestic and international airlines.
To travel from the airport to Meerut, there is easy availability of airport buses, pre-paid taxis and app-based taxis.
Three National Highways pass through Meerut – NH-58, NH-119 & NH-235 – connecting it to all major nearby cities like New Delhi, Ghaziabad, Noida, Faridabad, Haridwar, Agra, Lucknow, among others. Since the road condition is well enough for comfortable travel, many people opt to travel to Meerut from these cities by taxis and self-drive cars.
The proposed Delhi-Meerut Expressway is in the first phase of construction, touted to be operational from 2021. It will further improve the connectivity between New Delhi-Ghaziabad-Meerut to Dasna and Hapur.
Meerut has two major railway stations – Meerut City Junction and Meerut Cantonment along with two smaller railway stations – Partapur and Pabli Khas. Dehradun Shatabdi, Sangam Express, Ujjaini Express, Chattisgarh Express, Shalimar Express, Utkal Express, Haridwar Mail, Uttaranchal Express, Golden Temple Mail and Delhi Ambala Passenger are some trains that pass through the station.
Meerut falls on the Delhi-Saharanpur railway line making most essential locations across the country connected to Meerut.