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his approaches by mining, and on the second day carried the walls by
storm. All the males were put to the sword, and the fortifications and
houses of the Hindus razed to the ground. Thence his army pro-
ceeded northward along the two great rivers, taking every fort, town,
and village they passed.

The firm establishment of the Mughal dynasty in the sixteenth
century, and the immediate neighbourhood of their court, gave Meerut
a period of internal tranquillity and royal favour. The valley of the
Jumna became a favourite hunting resort for the imperial family and
their great officers. Pleasure-gardens and game-preserves were estab-
lished in the low-lying tracts just opposite Delhi ; while it was for the
purpose of watering one of these that the Eastern Jumna Canal w^as
first designed. After the death of Aurangzeb, Meerut, though nomi-
nally subject to the Delhi emperor, was really ruled by local chieftains :
the Saiyids of Muzaffarnagar in the north, the Jats in the south-east,
and the Gujars along the Ganges and in the south-west. It was also
exposed to the same horrors of alternate Sikh and Maratha invasions
which devastated the other parts of the Upper Doab ; while the Jats
and Rohillas occasionally interposed, to glean the remnant of the
plunder which remained from the greater and more fortunate hordes.

From 1707 till 1775, Meerut was the scene of perpetual strife; and
it was only rescued from anarchy by the exertions of a European
military adventurer, Walter Reinhardt or Sombre, one of the many
soldiers of fortune who were tempted to try their destinies in Upper
India during the troubled decline of the Delhi dynasty. After per-
petrating the massacre at Patna, 1763, Reinhardt established himself
at Sardhana in one of the northern parganas of Meerut ; and on his
death in 1778 left his domains to his widow, generally known as the
Begam Sumru, from the assumed name of her husband. This remark-
able woman was of Arab descent, and originally followed the trade of
a dancing-girl. After her marriage with Reinhardt, she was baptized
into the Roman Catholic Church, to which she became a considerable
benefactress. Meanwhile, the southern portion of the District still
remained in its anarchic condition under Maratha rule, until the fall
of Delhi in 1803, when all the counlr)' in the possession of Sindhia


between the Jumna and the Ganges was ceded to the British. The
Begam, who had up till that time given assistance to Sindhia, there-
upon made submission to the new Government, to which she remained
constantly faithful till her death in 1836.

Meerut has few historical incidents to show during the early British
period ; but it has been rendered memorable by the active part which
it took in the Mutiny of 1857, being the place where the first outbreak
occurred in Upper India. From the beginning of the year disquieting
rumours had been afloat among the native troops, and the 'greased-
cartridge ' story had spread widely through their ranks. In April a
trooper named Brijmohan informed his comrades that he had used
the new cartridges, and all would have to do so shortly ; but within
a few days Brijmohan's house was set on fire, and from that time acts
of incendiarism became common. On May 9 some men of the
3rd Bengal Cavalry, who had refused to use the cartridges, were con-
demned to ten years' imprisonment. Next day, Sunday, May 10, their
comrades took the fatal determination to mutiny ; and at 5 p.m. the
massacre of Europeans in the city began.

The subsequent events belong rather to imperial than to local
history, and could not be adequately summed up in a brief resume.
It must suffice to say that, throughout the Mutiny, the cantonments
remained in the hands of the British forces, and the District was on
the whole kept fairly clear of rebels. Meerut was more than once
threatened by Walidad Khan, the rebellious chieftain of Malagarh in
Bulandshahr District ; but his demonstrations were never very serious.
The greatest peril lay in the threatened attack by rebels from Rohil-
khand, which was successfully warded off. Indeed, it is a noticeable
fact that the very city where the Mutiny broke out, and where the first
massacre took place, was yet held by a small body of Europeans,
surrounded by thousands of disaffected natives, under the very shadow
of Delhi, from the beginning to the end of that desperate struggle.

Though many places are connected by tradition with the events
related in the Mahabharata, such as Hastinapur, Baghpat, Garh-
MUKTESAR, ParIchhatgarh, Puth, and Barnawa, very ancient temples
or other archaeological remains have not been discovered. A mosque
built by Balban stands at Garhmuktesar, and there are a few Muham-
madan buildings dating from the Mughal dynasty at Meerut City.

The District contains 27 towns and 1,494 villages. The population
is rising steadily. The number at the last four enumerations was as

Population. f"^^^^^'^: (^^72) 1,276,167, (1881) i,3i3>r37, (1891)

1,391,458, and (1901) 1,540,175. The increase in

the last decade (io-6 per cent.) was six times as great as the Provincial

average. There are six tahslh — Meerut, Ghaziabad, Mawana,

Ba(;hpat, Sakdhana, and Hapur— the head-quarters of each being



at a town of the same name. The cliief towns are the municipalities
of Mekrui, the District head-quarters, Hapur, Sardhana, Ghaziabad,
and Ma\v.\na, and the 'notified areas ' of Baraut, Baghpat, Pilkhua,
and Sh.4HDAra. The principal statistics of population in 1901 are
shown below : —


Area in square

Number of


Population per j
square mile. |

Percentage of
variation in

population be-
tween 1 80 1 [
and iQOi. 1

Number of '
persons able to
read and j


Mawana .
Baghpat .
Sardhana .

District total









+ 4.9
+ 11-9
+ 12.7

+ I4'4
+ 6.8
+ 14-8








+ 10.7


Of the total population, 74 per cent, are Hindus, 23 per cent.
Musalmans, i per cent. Jains, 8 per cent. Christians, while Aryas
number 5,000. The great density in the Meerut iahsil is due to the
large city of Meerut, while Mawana, which has the lowest density,
includes a considerable area of Ganges khadar. More than 99 per
cent, of the inhabitants speak the Hindustani dialect of Western

Among Hindus the most numerous caste is that of the Chamars
(leather-dressers and labourers), who number 223,000, and form 20 per
cent, of the Hindu population. They are followed by the Jats, 184,000,
who are the most industrious agriculturists and hold a larger area both
as proprietors and cultivators than any other caste. Brahmans number
121,000; Rajputs, 79,000; Banias, 59,000; Gujars, 58,000; Tagas,
41,000; Ahirs, 25,000; and Bhangis or sweepers, 44,000. The Jats,
GQjars, and Tagas are not found in the centre and east of the Pro-
vinces, and the 'i'agas (agriculturists) are more numerous here than in
any other District. The most numerous Muhammadan tribe is that of
the Shaikhs, 50,000 : followed by Rajputs, 46,000 ; Julahas (weavers),
33,000; Pathaixs, 19,000; Saiyids, 15,000; and Tagas, 20,000. More
than 49 per cent, of the population are supported by agriculture,
II per cent, by general labour, 10 per cent, by personal services, 3 per
cent, by weaving, and nearly 3 per cent, by grain-dealing.

In 1 90 1 there were 9,315 native Christians in the District, of whom
7,400 were Methodists and 1,100 Roman Catholics. The four missions
at work are the Roman Catholic, the Church Missionary Society, the
American Methodist, and the Reformed Presbyterian Churches. Sar-
dhana is the chief station of the Roman Catholics, who commenced




work there at the end of the eighteenth century under the Begam
Sumru. The Church Missionary Society's Mission dates from 1815,
and the other two missions are of recent institution. The latter admit
converts easily, and chiefly labour among the lower classes.

As is usual in the Upper Doab, the Jats are the best cultivators, and
all good land is manured whether near the village site or not. The
soil varies from sand to thick clay ; but the greater
portion is a fertile lo'iim, and most of the District is
capable of irrigation from canals or wells. The Ganges and Jumna
and, to a smaller extent, the Hindan khddars are precarious tracts ;
but the District as a whole ranks as one of the finest in the United

The tenures are those common in the United Provinces. More than
50 per cent, of the total area is held in bhaiydchdrd tenure ; nearly
22 per cent, in imperfect /rt/Z/rt'J/-/ ; and the rest in pedect paf^lddn
and zam'inddri in equal proportions. The main statistics of cultivation
for 1903-4 are shown below, in square miles : —





waste. 1

Ghaziabad .
Sardhana .













Wheat and gram are the most important food-grains, covering an
area of 634 and 241 square miles respectively, or 36 and 14 per cent,
of the net area cropped. Maize :mdi joivd}\ with 189 and 164 square
miles, are also important. The most valuable of the other crops are
sugar-cane (179 square miles) and cotton (60 square miles).

In the khddar, cultivation depends chiefly on the season, and in dry
years considerable areas may be sown. The striking feature of the
District during the last thirty years is the increase by about 50 per
cent, in the area under sugar-cane, which is now the cro[) from which
the tenants pay their rent and the zamlnddrs tlieir revenue. The area
cropped in two consecutive harvests in the same year, especially with
maize in the autumn and wheat mixed with peas, &c., in the spring,
is also increasing. The area under cotton has declined, and indigo is
grown only by a few of the large zamifiddrs. There is a small, but
steady, demand for loans under the Agriculturists' Loans Act, amounting
to about Rs. 2,000 annually ; but advances under the Land Improve-
ment Loans Act are rarely taken. Out of Rs. 16,000 lent during


the ten years ending 1900, Rs. 11,000 was advanced in the last year.
A great deal has been done to improve the drainage of the District,
by deepening and straightening some of the rivers, such as the East
Kali Nadi and its tributaries, the two Chhoiyas, and by making cuts in
other places. In the south-west of the District an embankment
has been made to prevent flooding from the Jumna.

Private enterprise has done something to improve the ordinary
inferior breed of cattle, and several zaminddrs have imported good
bulls from Hissar. The best of the cattle have been imported from
the same place, but many good animals are now bred locally. Horse-
breeding has become an important business. Stables for a Government
stud were established at Babugarh near Hapur in 1823, and many
zaminddrs turned their attention to horse-breeding. The mares were
subsequently disposed of, though stallions are still kept by Government.
There has been a considerable improvement in the last thirty years,
and chargers are bred for the native cavalry and mounted police.
Besides the stallions at Babugarh, twelve others were maintained by
Government in 1903, when the supervision of horse-breeding was
transferred from the Civil Veterinary to the Remount department.
Good mules are also bred from Government donkey stallions. The
sheep and goats of the District are of the ordinary inferior breed.

About 40 to 60 per cent, of the cultivated area is irrigated according
to the season. In 1903-4 canals irrigated 494 square miles, wells 271,
and other sources 10. The west of the District is supplied by the
Eastern Jumna Canal, the centre by the Upper Ganges Canal,
and the east by the Anupshahr branch of the latter. Canals have to
a large extent superseded wells ; and the area irrigated in the eastern
tract has benefited especially, as well-irrigation was rare. It is only in
parts of the Sardhana and Hapur tahsils that well-irrigation supplies
a larger area than canals.

The chief mineral product is kankar, which occurs in blocks as well
as in nodules, and is used for road-metalling and for making lime, as
well as for building purposes. Up to 1S33 salt was largely manufac-
tured, and a little saltpetre is still prepared. The saline efflorescence
called reh, which contains carbonate of soda, is used for making
country glass, and also in dyeing and washing clothes.

The most important industry is tanning, though there is no large

tannery. Much of the out-turn is exported to Cawnpore and Calcutta,

but a fair amount is made up on the spot into shoes

and sent to Delhi. Cotton-weaving is carried on ^^ ^ ^°.

° communications.

largely at Meerut and several other places, but only
for the local market. More than half the raw cotton grown is exported
to Cawnpore and Calcutta. Two cotton-presses at Hapur employed
263 persons in 1904. A European company for soap manufacture


at Meerut employs about 40 hands, and an ice factory about 20.
There are also eleven indigo factories, and a small flour-mill and oil-
mill. Blankets are made at Nirpura in the Sardhana iahsii, ornamental
pottery at Bahadurgarh in the Hapur tahsil, and cheap cutlery, glass
bangles, jewellery, and furniture are turned out at a few centres.

The exports consist chiefly of wheat, sugar, oilseeds, and cotton,
while the imports are metals, cotton cloth, building materials, ght,
drugs, and spices. The municipalities are the chief centres of trade,
especially Meerut, Hapur, and Ghaziabad. Internal traffic is very
large. The sugar goes largely to the Punjab and Rajputana, while
wheat is exported to Europe. A large pro[)ortion of the trade finds its
way to Delhi. Timber and bamboos are brought to Meerut from the
forests farther north by the Upper Ganges Canal and the Ganges.

Trade has been greatly fostered by the improvement of communica-
tions. The oldest railway is the East Indian, which just cuts across
the south-west corner of the District. It was followed by the North-
western, which passes through the middle. In 1900 a branch of the
Oudh and Rohilkhand Railway was opened, which traverses the
southern jjart. Another important branch of the same line connects
Meerut city with Hapur, and will be continued through Bulandshahr
to Khurja. The rich tract between the North-Western Railway and
the Jumna is to be opened up by a light railway from Shahdava on the
East Indian Railway opposite Delhi to Saharanpur.

The total length of metalled roads is 216 miles, which is only
exceeded in one District in the Provinces ; of these, 92 miles are
Provincial and the rest local. There are also 392 miles of unmetalled
roads, maintained from Local funds. There are avenues of trees along
about 180 miles. The western part of the District is most in need of
better communications, which will be sup|)lied by the light railway
referred to above.

The Upper Doab was ravaged by famine at frequent intervals before
British rule, and the disorders of the eighteenth century frequently
caused distress ; but Meerut is not specially men-
tioned by the native historians. There was frequent
distress in the early years of the nineteenth century, and the famine
of 1837 was exceptionally severe. In i860, after the disastrous effects
of the Mutiny, famine was imminent; but the railway works in the
south-east of the District gave employment to thousands. The famines
of 1868 and later years hardly affected the District adversely, and relief
works have chiefly been required for starving immigrants. This result
is largely due to the extensive system of canal-irrigation and tlie sturdy
nature of the peasantry. In 1896-7, when famine raged elsewhere,
the Jats of Meerut prayed openly for a continuance of the high prices
which gave them such handsome profits.


The C'ollector is usually assisted by a Joint and Assistant Magistrate

belonging; to the Indian Civil Service, and by five . , . .

,, .° ,, ■ , • T J- 11 J' . Administration,

Deputy-Collectors recruited \\\ India, all residing at

Meerut. There is a tahslldar at the head-quarters of each of the six


The District and Sessions Judge has jurisdiction over the whole
District, and also civil jurisdiction over the Sikandarabad tahsil of
Bulandshahr District. He is aided by an Assistant Judge, a Subor-
dinate Judge, and two IMunsifs. In 1904 there were two additional
Munsifs, and an additional Judge was sanctioned for three years.
A few Village Munsifs have also been appointed. There is a special
Cantonment Magistrate, with an assistant, at Meerut. As usual, the
most common forms of crime are burglary and petty theft ; but murder,
robbery, and dacoity are more frequent than in most Districts. Cases
of rioting and criminal trespass are very common, and the Gujars in
the Ganges and Jumna khadars are notorious cattle thieves. Female
infanticide was practised by Gujars and Jats, especially the former, but
has nearly died out.

The area comprised in the District was acc^uired in 1803, and was
at first administered as part of Saharanpur, of which it eventually
formed the southern division with a Collector at Meerut. In 1818
a separate District was made, which was further subdivided in 1824 by
the removal of parts of what are now Bulandshahr and Muzaffarnagar.
The early land revenue settlements were simply based on the previous
demands, and consisted of two for a year each and two for three years
each, the last being extended up to 18 15, when a settlement was
effected for five years. No records exist of the subsequent arrange-
ments till the first regular settlement was made between 1835 and 1837.
There were signs of the coming competition for land, but rents were
still mostly in kind. The assessment was based on rates ascertained
by converting average produce at market values, the rates being
modified according to the condition of villages. A large part of the
District had formed the jdgir of the Begam Sumru, which lapsed in
1836. Her system had been one of rackrent, qualified by an intimate
knowledge of the cultivators and liberal advances. The total demand
fixed for the whole District was 18-3 lakhs. The second settlement
was made between 1865 and 1870, when the demand was raised to
2 1-8 lakhs, though the share of the rental 'assets' taken had been
reduced from 70 to 50 per cent. In this settlement, also, rates were
calculated on produce, having regard to soil classification. The last
settlement was completed in 1901. It was based on the rental 'assets,'
but involved a careful soil classification and the fixing of standard
circle rates, which were of special importance, as nearly half of the area
was not subject to cash rents, most of it being under proprietary


cultivation. A very minute analysis of the rents actually paid was thus
required, and the proportionate rental value of different soils was
ascertained. The rents paid by occupancy tenants were enhanced in
many cases, and the revenue finally fixed was 29-9 lakhs, representing
48 per cent, of the corrected rental 'assets,' The incidence per acre
of cultivation is Rs. 2-14, being the highest for any District in the
Provinces. It varies in different parts from Rs. 2 near the Ganges
khddar to more than Rs. 4 in the west.

The collections on account of land revenue and total revenue are
shown below, in thousands of rupees : —

1880-1. 1890-1.

1900-1. 1903-4.

Land revenue
Total revenue



26,30 27,95 '
40,57 44,21

Besides the five municipalities, Meerut, Ghaziabad, Hapur, Sar-
DHANA, and Mawana, four other towns which were formerly municipali-
ties became 'notified areas' in April, 1904. There are also eighteen
towns administered under Act XX of 1856. Beyond the limits of these
places, local affairs are managed by the District board, which has an
income of more than 2 lakhs. In 1903-4 the expenditure amounted
to 2-6 lakhs, of which i-i lakhs was spent on roads and buildings.

The District Superintendent of police is aided by an assistant and
six inspectors. There are 160 other officers and 633 men belonging to
the regular police, 439 municipal and town police, and 2,267 village
and road police. The District jail contained a daily average of 574
prisoners in 1903.

In 1 90 1 the percentage of the population able to read and write
was 3' I (5-6 males and 0-3 females), which is exactly the Provincial
average. The proportion is, however, unduly raised by the consi-
derable number of Jains, Aryas, and Christians in the District, and
is distinctly lower in the case of Hindus (2-7) and Muhamma-
dans (2). In 1880-1 there were 214 public institutions with 6,677
pupils, and these had increased to 248 institutions with 9,849 pupils
in 1900-r. In 1903-4, 277 such schools contained 12,850 pupils,
of whom 550 were girls; and there were besides 391 private insti-
tutions with 5,235 pupils. Meerut City contains an Arts college,
a normal school, and three high schools. Of the public institutions,
162 are managed by the District or municipal boards and only 2 by
Government. About half the total expenditure on education of
Rs. 90,000 is met from Local and municipal funds, and a quarter
from fees.

In 1903 there were 14 hospitals and dispensaries, with accommoda-
tion for 183 in-patienL.-5. \\\ the same year 134,000 cases were treated,


of whom 1,839 ^^'CJ'e in-patients, and 10,214 operations were per-
formed. The expenditure was Rs. 19,000, chiefly met from Local and
municipal funds.

More than 50,000 persons were successfully vaccinated in 1903-4,
showing a rate of t,^, per 1,000 of population. Vaccination is compul-
sory only in the municipalities and in the cantonment of Meerut.

[H. R. Nevill, District Gazetteer (1904); R. W. Gillan, Settle?>ient
Report (1901).]

Meerut Tahsil. — Central northern tahsll of Meerut District, United
Provinces, co-extensive with the pargajia of Meerut, and lying between
28° 52' and 29° 14' N. and 77° 27' and 77° 52' E., with an area of
364 square miles. On the west the Hindan divides it from Baghpat
and part of the Sardhana tahsil, but other boundaries are artificial.
The population rose from 326,054 in 1891 to 342,143 in 190T. There
are 280 villages and five towns, of which Meerut (population, 118,129),
the District and tahsll head-quarters, and La war (5,046) are the most
important. In 1903-4 the demand for land revenue was Rs. 5,22,000,
and for cesses Rs. 87,000. The tahsll has the highest density of
population (940 persons per square mile) in the District (average 654),
owing to the inclusion of Meerut city. Along the Hindan there is
a narrow stretch of khddar which is liable to deterioration, but more
than half the tahsil is a level upland of first-class soil. The eastern
portion is intersected by the East Kali Nadi and its tributaries the two
Chhoiyas and the Abu Nala, which flow in badly-defined channels.
The channel of the Kali Nadi has been deepened and straightened,
and other cuts have been made ; but the drainage is still defective, and
in this tract cultivation is continually interrupted by patches of reh.
It is sandy towards the north, and a well-defined sandy ridge strikes
from north to south on the eastern border. Between the Hindan and
the Kali Nadi the Upper Ganges Canal provides ample means of
irrigation ; but east of the Kali Nadi the villages depend chiefly on
wells, most of which are of masonry. In 1903-4 the area under culti-
vation was 277 square miles, of which 122 were irrigated.

Meerut City. — Administrative head-quarters of Meerut District,
United Provinces, and military cantonment, situated in 29° \' N. and
77° 43' E., 970 miles by rail from Calcutta and 931 miles by rail from
Bombay. The city is the seventh largest in the United Provinces, and
its population has risen considerably during the last thirty years. The
numbers at the four enumerations were as follows: (1872) 81,386,
(1881) 99,565, (1891) 119,390, and (1901) 118,129. The population
in 1901 included 62,700 Hindus, 50,317 Muhammadans, and more
than 4,000 Christians. Of the total, 78,740 persons reside in the

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