Augarnath Temple at Meerut , Uttar Pradesh
The Augarnath temple is situated at Sadar Bazar, near Westend road in Meerut, Uttar Pradesh in north India. Augarnath temple is also known as Kalipaltan Mandir locally and is the site where the soldiers of the war of 1857 planned their operations. The temple is a little-known place of worship but of great historical importance all over northern India. Its significance comes out from religious significance but also for its distinctive role in India’s freedom struggle. The temple also has a memorial built to honour the martyrs of the revolt of 1857. A saint used to live here who asked Indian soldiers to destroy the British Empire. The old temple has been replaced by a modern version. It is believed that there is a self-manifested Shivalingam in the temple. This is one of the oldest temples of Lord Shiva in the city. On 10th May,1857 the Indian citizens had taken an oath at this place to secure freedom from the British. The Augarnath Temple is a heritage of our Culture and traditions.
It consists of two temples ,the God Shiva Mandir and the recently constructed Shri Krishna Mandir. A large number of devotees hold belief in this temple. It sees a huge number of Kanwariyas on Shiv Ratri.
The legend goes like ‘shiv linga’ embedded in this temple has emerged on its own – it being one of the miracle which has been attracting the followers of Lord Shiva ever since its inception. According to local priests, near the temple, the great Maratha rulers used to worship and seek blessings before proceeding with their victory processions.
During British times the Indian army was called ‘Kali Platen’ known as the black army. As the temple was located close to the army barrack, it is been known by the name of ‘Kali Paltan mandir’. Its close proximity to the Indian army camps offered a safe haven for freedom fighters, who used to visit and stay here for their secret meetings with the officers of ‘Kali Paltan’.
During the Revolt of 1857 there was a well inside the complex of the temple that the soldiers used to quench their thirst frequently. In the year 1856, the Government introduced new cartridges and the soldiers which were supposed to remove its seal using their teeth. Since the seal was made of cow fat and as the cow was sacred in Hinduism, the priest disallowed them to use the well.
Until the year 1944 the temple had huge complex consisting only of a small temple and the nearby well. Then the temple was surrounded by huge cluster of trees. In 1968, a new temple with modern architecture including the old shivlinga very much there but only replaced the old temple was built. In 1987, a huge hexagonal hall was built for the purpose of religious ceremonies and ‘bhajans’. In May 2001, a 4.5 kg gold plated ‘kalash’ (pitcher) was installed at the spire of the temple.
Time to Visit
Best time to visit the Augarnath Temple is in the month of March and July. And even during the Festivals like Shravan Month, Shiv Ratri, Holi Utsav and Annual Utsav.
Other Places of Interest
Jain temples of Hastinapur –
Jain traditions has notes of Hastinapur being one of the first cities in India like those of Kashi and Ayodhya, to have come up when Somaprabha, the grandson of Rishabhadeva, was ruling the place. Rishabhadeva was first among the thirthankaras and three others such as Kunthunath, Shantinatha and Arahanatha were also believed to be born here.
Kailash Parvat –
Kailash Parvat is a 131 ft high temple near Meerut, having 3 stages with 72 temples. Each stage has 24 temples that represent the Jain Tirthankaras. The temple has carved ceilings, pillars, doorways and panels.
In the present day Hastinapura is a small town in the Doab region of Uttar Pradesh, called ” Hastinapur ” 37 km from Meerut and 110 km from Delhi. Hastin (elephant) + pura (city) = city named after the elephants. History of this place begins from the period of Mahabharata. It is also described as Gajpur, Hastinapur, Nagpur, Asandivat, Brahmasthal, Shanti Nagar and Kunjarpur etc. in Shashtras. Grandson of Samrat Ashok, king Samprati has built many temples here during his empire. The ancient temple & the stoops are not present today since this city has come across through many ups & downs.Hastinapur city was located on the earlier course of the of holy river Ganga.Excavation at Hastinapur was carried out in early 1950s, by B.B. Lal, of the Archaeological Survey of India. Although the main aim of this excavation, mentioned by Lal himself, “was to find out the stratigraphic position of the Painted Grey Ware with reference to other known ceramic industries of the early historical period”1, Lal could not resist attempting a correlation between Mahabharata, the text, and the material remains that he uncovered at Hastinapur. This exercise led him to historicise some of the traditions mentioned in the text, as well as link the appearance of the Painted Grey Ware with the arrival of the “Aryans” in upper Ganga basin areas.
The place of Parikshitgarh is related to King Parikshit who ruled Hastinapur and was Arjuna’s grandson, the name of which is also derived from him after he first built it and later Gurjar King Nain Singh made restoration in the 18th century.
The Ashtapad measures 151 ft in height and is considered to be the tallest brick structure in the Meerut District. The Ashtapad was re-established on 2nd December, 2009, by Gachhadipati Acharya Nityanand Surishwerji.
Dev Temple –
This is the most peaceful place in outer Meerut, is very beautiful to watch at as well.
Shakti Dham –
This is must visit temple, located at Lal Kurti.
Just 36 kms from Meerut Barnawa has significant role in the Mahabharata. The main attraction of the village is the Lakhshagraha mount where Kauravas tried to burn Pandvas also known as Lakha Mandap to the local people. This is the place where one can even see the canal made by Pandavs to protect themselves from Kauravas. One can enjoy the tracks to ride on the small mount.
PRC Gurudwara –
just behing the Augarnath temple, lies a beautiful gurudwara.
Other places –
Other places of interest include Suraj Kund, Mansa Devi Temple, Baleni, Sardhana and the Chandi Devi Temple which was built by holkar queen Devi Ahiliyabai Holkar Gayatri Shaktipeeth (Center for Gayatri Consciousness) Kalyan Nagar Garh Road.
How to reach
Meerut is well connected to the other major cities by rail and road. Meerut is only 70 kms away from Delhi, which is connected to the other cities by air.The near by cities are Delhi and Ghaziabad.
By Air –
Reaching Meerut by air is the most feasible and the most hassle-free way. On the virtue of being located very close to New Delhi, the Delhi Airport is the nearest airport to Meerut. There are many private and public carriers that ply to and from the Delhi Airport regularly. In fact there are a number of flights that links Delhi with the rest of the Indian cities and the world. On your arrival at the Delhi airport, you can hire a cab. It would take you about an hour and a half to reach Meerut if you take the National Highways 24 followed by NH 58.
By Rail –
The railways is the other alternative of getting to Meerut Cantonment Station. The station falls on the busy Delhi-Dehradun line of North Central Railways. There are a number of super fast trains that connect Meerut to the other towns and cities of Uttar Pradesh and the rest of India. If you are traveling from Delhi, Ghaziabad, Jaipur or Agra then you can throw your cares into the air as these cities are very well-connected to Meerut.
By Road –
A discourse on how to reach Meerut remains incomplete without the mention of the road transportation. Meerut is easily accessible by a good network of roads from the cities like Delhi, Chandigarh, Meerut, Kanpur, Varanasi, Jhansi and Agra. The Uttar Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation that plies buses that connect these cities to Meerut. Traveling is made very easy and relaxing affair by the privately run luxury buses.
Accomodation of all types is available in Meerut . There are number of luxury and budget hotels in Meerut.
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