Meerut-Sardhana

Baba Augharh Nath Temple (Kali Paltan Mandir) : It is devoted to Lord Shiva. It is said that the spark of the first war of independence in 1857 started from here as soldiers of the Kali Paltan, a part of the then Imperial British Army often came to quench their thirst from a well in the temple premises. The temple priest had first told them about the animal fat reportedly used in the cartridges. The angry soldiers had then reacted violently and it led to the revolt against British rule on May 10, 1857.

Shaheed Smarak : The Shaheed Smarak is devoted to martyrs associated with the first war for freedom in 1857. It is situated on Delhi road about 6 km away from the Meerut railway station. There is a column in the premises devoted to the freedom fighters. There is a museum also in the premises where documents and exhibits depicting important episode of the war of independence of 1857 are displayed through paintings, relief and dioramas.

Mausoleum of Shahpir (Shahpir Ka Makbara) : This redstone structure dates from the 17th century and is known as the mausoleum of Sufi Sant Shahapir.

Victoria Park : At the site of this park was situated the jail where those 85 soldiers were kept under imprisonment who had refused to use the disputed cartridges. On May 10, 1857 soldiers of the 3rd Native Cavalry broke open the doors of the jail to release the 85 jailed soldiers. They had then attacked the British settlement located nearby and then marched to Delhi.

Sardhana

Sardhana is located about 19 km from Meerut near Hastinapur. It was the ancient capital of Kauravas of Mahabharata. Sardhana is also known for an ancient Mahadev temple. It is believed that the Pandavas prayed here before leaving for the Lakshagrah, the notorious palace made of lac by Duryodhana, at the confluence of the Hindon and Krishna rivers.

Sardhana church : Built in Colonial British period, the St. John Church and Cemetery at Sardhana is a masterpiece of architecture. A cemetery is situated near the church while in the cemetery premises the graves of the British and their families killed during the upsurge of 1857 are visible.

In the 19th century, Sardhana was the capital of the Begum Samru, born as Farzana Zebunisa in 1751, and considered to be the only Catholic ruler in India. She married a mercenary soldier Walter Reinhardt Sombre of Luxembourg, who was operating in India. But, Samru is a mispronunciation of his surname Sombre. On his death in 1778 he was succeeded by his widow Begum Yohanna Samru who commanded his mercenary troops, and subsequently converted to Catholicism in 1781, under the name Johanna. During her lifetime she supported many charitable and religious institutions financially. The church she built in 1822, became a cathedral for a short time, with its own bishop.

In December 1961, Pope John XXIII conferred the dignity of Minor Basilica to the church, now known as Basilica of Our Lady of Graces.

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Last Updated on : Monday, Jan 23 2017 9:53AM