Ghaziabad is a part of the National Capital Region [NCR] of Delhi and is situated on the Grand Trunk Road or GT Road that is located 19 kms east of New Delhi. The region has witnessed rapid development through the years and growing further as an important industrial satellite town of Delhi. Ghaziabad encompasses areas such as Indirapuram, Kaushambi and Vaishali.
Legend has that Ghaziabad was an ancient town founded by Salawat Jung who named it as ‘Ghaziuddinnagar’. Further back in history, it is believed that the famous Sage Vishravamuni had once resided near this town; however, the known fact is that this region was established in 1976 and forms a part of the upper Ganges plain. It is historically known as the eastern land of the ‘Sapta Sindu’ or the ‘Seven Rivers’. A popular tourist town to visit is ‘Garhmukteshwar’ which is an ancient town that celebrates the ‘bathing fair’ on a Full Moon Day during the month of Kartik [October-November] every year. It attracts a crowd of over 8 lakhs who visit this town and take a dip in the Holy Ganges River considered to be sacred. Another fair is held on the occasion of the Dussehra Festival [October] that attracts over 50,000 devotees.
Up till the late 1990s, Ghaziabad was known as a haven for hardcore criminals. It was a forbidden territory as few people dared to venture into this area while to most of the people, this town never existed. However, at the turn of the century, Ghaziabad saw a sudden positive change in its outlook and infrastructure. In 2008, it was conferred by Newsweek magazine as one of the top ten hottest destinations of the world. The days of obscurity vanished and today Ghaziabad is seen to emerge as one of the best modern towns in the Country with World Class Township, Housing Societies, State-of-the-art Shopping Malls and Educational Centres for Higher Studies and so forth that helped in redefining the paradigms of this town.
The modern Ghaziabad boasts of good residential areas, commercial complexes and skyscrapers seen fringed along the National Highway – 24. Shopping Plazas encompassing all big brands such as Big Bazaar, Shoppers Stop, Spencer’s, Westside, Reebok, Nike, Globus, Color Plus, Reliance Fresh or Subhiksha and other branded retail outlets dot the town of Ghaziabad. Five multiplexes encompassing 20 Movie Theatres equipped with modern facilities and equipment are seen established in this town. Despite the constant arguments by critics who sees the town lacking in several basic facilities such as smaller roads, chaotic traffic, daily power cuts and poor transportation, these concerns will soon taper down once future projects that are lined up to solve these issues are completed.
Ghaziabad attracts numerous Corporate Houses and Industries due to a spill over effect of industrialization growth in NOIDA and Greater NOIDA. It also provides cheaper residential and investment options for workers commuting between Delhi and the nearby towns.
Recently, the Ghaziabad Development Authority and the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation had signed an agreement to extend the Delhi Metro line from Delhi to Vaishali in Ghaziabad. This project will be complete by the end of 2010. Currently, the Rajiv Chowk - Anand Vihar Metro Corridor link has been extended from Anand Vihar to Vaishali. This Metro line will pass through Kaushambi before it arrives at Vaishali. Kaushambi and Vaishali will have their individual Metro Stations once the project is complete. Once this track is operational, commuters can reach Connaught Place in just 24 minutes from Vaishali.
Recently, additional private buses have also been aligned to ply on a daily basis between Greater NOIDA and Ghaziabad on two major routes that would bring respite to the daily commuters. This project was initiated by the local authorities of the UP Roadways. 20 new buses will be commissioned on these routes at every interval of 5 minutes that will definitely ease the transportation concerns. Under this new proposal, buses might start from Ghaziabad Railway Station to ARTO office, Atta Market, Sector 62, Amity and the Taj Expressway in NOIDA. The other route might cover Anand Vihar Bus Stand, CISF Centre, Indirapuram, Sector 37, Morna, Model Town Police Station, Amity crossing and the Taj Expressway. These routes are yet to be accepted for approval but once cleared, will be a boon to the daily commuters and the residents.
Ghaziabad is situated approximately 42.4 kms or 85 minutes from the Indira Gandhi International Airport, 27 kms or 49 minutes from the New Delhi Railway Station, 28.3 kms or 51 minutes away from the Old Delhi Railway Station and approximately 27.7 kms or 50 minutes from the Nizamuddin Railway station by road.