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It is an ancient city with settlements dating back to the Indus Valley civilisation having been found in and around the area.
The city lies 70 km (43 mi) northeast of the national capital New Delhi, and 453 km (281 mi) northwest of the state capital Lucknow.
It was also the eastern-most settlement of the Indus valley civilisation.
Meerut had been a centre of Buddhism in the period of Mauryan Emperor Ashoka (r.
Sepoy Mangal Pandey shot and missed two Europeans, failed to kill himself, and was hanged.
By April, the fire of Pandey’s Uprising scorched north India and reached Meerut, the second-largest East India Company garrison.
In 1803, with the fall of Delhi, Daulat Rao Scindia of the Marathas ceded the territory to the British.
Meerut also contained a Harappan settlement known as Alamgirpur.
After capturing and sacking Delhi where thousands of inhabitants were killed after a general massacre was ordered after a civilian uprising, Timur in 1399 attacked and sacked Meerut.
It was held by Ilyas Afghan and his son Maula Muhammad Thaneswari who were assisted by non-Muslims led by Safi.
The prominent local landmark known as the Jama Masjid, dates from this period and is said to have been built by Mahmud's vizir.
Shortly after its capture the city was regained by the local Hindu Raja and part of his fortifications, built for the city’s defence, survived until recent times.