The history of Meerut is full of a number of eventful happenings. In fact Meerut has been in the center of a flurry of activities. Its closeness to Delhi contributed in a big way to its progress and development. However its proximity to Delhi also acted a major disadvantage for Meerut as it was the site for myriad upheavals. The history of Meerut is an endless saga of hard work and dedication of its inhabitants that comprise of the Tyagis, Vaishyas, Rajputs, Jats and Gujjars, all of whom were instrumental in the all-round development of Meerut.
A detailed study of Meerut's history will reveal the fact that Meerut had to bear the brunt of the invasions of Qutub-ud-din and Timur.
During this demanding period, Meerut stood up against its attackers with invincible courage and tenacity. The Revolt of 1857 has a deep rooted significance in the historical background of Meerut. 24th April, 1857 was a fateful day in the history of Meerut, when eighty five cavalrymen belonging to the third cavalry refused to even touch the cartridges which led to ten years of imprisonment as a form of penalization. This event acted as a catalyst for the general upheaval against the British oppression that was to assume the proportion of the first war of Indian independence.
The socio-religious reform movement that created ripples in the Indian society during the nineteenth century did not exclude Meerut. Illustrious figures of reform movement like Dayanand Saraswati, Colonel Olcott, Annie Besant and Sir Syed Ahmed Khan graced Meerut with their visits. The history of Meerut also reveals the fact that the Arya Samaj Movement also gained much popularity in Meerut. Meerut was an important seat of religious, cultural, intellectual and political activities. Meerut has also gained international prominence because of the fact that during archaeological excavations that were carried out in the Alamgirpur Village, historical remains belonging to the Harappan civilization were unearthed. An ancient well and painted grey wares stumbled upon during the diggings can be traced back to the Mauryan Period.