As you are about to leave Meerut along the road to Muzaffarnagar, Roorkee and Dehra
Dun, you see a sign board on your left with Sardhana written on it in bold type.
It stands there to indicate the road that turns off to a town 22 kms away. The road
to Sardhana is tarred and for the most part shaded by trees on either side. After
16 kms you cross the broad Ganges canal built in 1848. Then the road turns right,
and as it does, you see the church of Sardhana in the distance. On the side of the
road, to the right of you, you see a small canal that was dug many years ago by
the Begum of Sardhana, as an outlet for the water that used to flood the lower part
of Sardhana during the monsoon.
As you are about to enter Sardhana, with the church dwarfing all the buildings around
it, if you look to your left, you will notice large monuments in Muslim art, about
two hundred yards away. This is the catholic graveyard, now under the care of the
Archaeological Department, and within whose sacred ground, the remains of many,
connected with the Begum, lie buried under large monuments erected to their memory.
To your right, as you enter Sardhana, is a tarred road that comes from Daurala,
a town famous for its sweets. Barely 15 kms away, this is the closest railway station.
Many find it more convenient to come to Daurala by train and from there catch a
bus for Sardhana. Buses run every hour. But on the other hand the Meerut-Sardhana
route, though 22 kms has a bus service every half hour.
On entering Sardhana the road runs to the right of a big artificial lake. This lake
and another further in, are the result of removing earth to raise the level of the
church and form building material for it. The road goes along a wall that encloses
a huge compound. Above the tops of the many mango trees that this wall encloses,
you see the steeples of the church stretch into the heavens. Eventually you come
to a massive gateway on your left, with huge iron gates locked just enough to prevent
heavy vehicles from entering. The reason the gates are closed to heavy traffic,
is that the road from the gate to the church would easily be spoilt if constantly
used by buses and cars.
As you look through the gateway, you see the church at the end of a long shady avenue.
Your visit to Sardhana of Begum Sumru has begun.