A District Of British India, in the Northwest Provinces, forming part of the Doab, and bounded E. by the Ganges and W. by the Jumna; area, 2,332 sq. m.; pop. in 1871, 1,271,454, of whom about 900,000 were Hindoos. A ridge of low hills traverses the district from N. to S., separating the valleys of the Ganges and Jumna, but the surface is generally remarkably level. The soil is abundantly watered by the Ganges and Jumna, and by the Ganges canal, about 50 m. of which lies in the district. The vegetation of the tropics alternates here with that of more northern latitudes, wheat being cultivated in the cool season, and sugar cane, indigo, and cotton in the wet. Apples, peaches, mangoes, and strawberries abound. The climate is one of the finest in India.
A City, capital of the district, on the river Kalee Nuddee, nearly equidistant from the Ganges and the Jumna, 820 m. N W. of Calcutta, and 40 m. N. E. of Delhi; pop. about 30,000. The streets are narrow and dirty, and the native part of the town is wretchedly built, though it contains some ruined mosques and pagodas of considerable architectural interest. It is an important military station, having an extensive cantonment about 2 m. distant. The English church, which is capable of holding 3,000 people, is one of the finest in India. In the beginning of the sepoy rebellion, one of the most serious outbreaks occurred at Meerut. The town contained at that time about 4,500 troops, nearly half of whom were Europeans. The native soldiers showed insubordination as early as April, 1857; and on May 9, 85 troopers were imprisoned for refusing to receive the new cartridges. On the next day, Sunday, the comrades of these men and the sepoys of the 20th native infantry rushed from their lines on a given signal and proceeded to the quarters of the 11th native infantry, whose colonel fell riddled with balls while endeavoring to persuade them to return to duty.
The 11th now joined the rebels, the imprisoned troopers were released, 1,200 ruffians were let loose from the jail, and the mutineers and the rabble set fire to the cantonment and murdered every European who fell in their way. The English troops were badly managed, and the rebels escaped them and marched to Delhi.