Sardhana is situated 20 kilometers from the Meerut Town. The place Houses a famous Catholic Church built in the year 1822 by Begum Samru. Tradition has it that Sarkat, a Raja, founded the place and remained in the possession of his descendants till the advent of the Muslims. In 1778 Walter Reinhardt was assigned the Jagir of Sardhana but on his death in the same year the estate passed into the hands of his widow, Begum Samru.
Begum Samru also Called Begum Sombre and had nicknames such as
Zebunissa, Farzana and Joanna, started her career as a Nautch girl in
18th century India. Later on, she played a very crucial role in the
politics and power struggle in 18th and 19th century India. She was the
head of a professionally trained mercenary army, inherited from her
European mercenary husband, Walter Reinhardt. She is also regarded as
the only Catholic Ruler in India.
Every year on the 1st Sunday of the month of November a large feast is
held in honor of Mother Mary. Devotes and history lovers gather in a
large numbers to see not only the wonderful shrine but also the fine
palaces built in Italian style around the church by Begum Samru. The
festival is marked by an Indian style Carnival that has become very
popular in recent years. There are lots of traditional performances too.