Meerut City is an ancient city with settlements dating back to the Indus Valley civilization having been found in and around the area. The city lies 70 km (43 miles) northeast of the national capital New Delhi, and 453 km (281 miles) northwest of the state capital, Lucknow. Meerut is the second largest city in the National Capital Region of India (the largest being Delhi), the 16th largest metropolitan area and 25th largest city in India. Meerut ranked 292 in 2006 and 242 in 2010 in the list of largest cities and urban areas in the world. The city covers an area of about 172 sq km (66 sq miles) while the total area is 198 sq km (76 sq miles), third largest in Uttar Pradesh after Kanpur and Lucknow. It has the 2nd largest army cantonment in the country. Meerut city is one of the largest producers of sports goods, and the largest producer of musical instruments in India. It is also the largest producers of bicycle rickshaw in world. Meerut city is also an education hub in western Uttar Pradesh.
Meerut is famously associated with the Indian Rebellion of 1857 against the British East India Company. The famous slogan "Dilli Chalo" ("Let's march to Delhi!") was first raised here. During this revolt, Meerut leapt into international prominence, when on 24 April 1857 eighty-five of the ninety troopers of the 3rd Cavalry refused to touch the cartridges.