Believed to have been settled by an ancient Hindu king and referred to as Kanhpur, the area was of little significance till 1765, when Shuja-ud-daulah, the Nawab of Avadh was defeated in battle by the British at Jajmau. Kanpur was officially transferred to the British under a treaty signed in 1801 with the ruling Nawab of Avadh and was declared a district in 1803. Appreciating the strategic location of Kanpur on the banks of the Ganga, colonial traders started setting up business in the sleepy hamlet, converting it into a thriving garrison town. The history of Kanpur saw its most significant and probably most horrific period during the Mutiny of 1857. Nana Sahib, one of the key players in the events of India’s first uprising against colonial rule, declared independence on 7th June 1857 in Kanpur.
The garrison commander Brigadier General Hugh Wheeler retreated into trenches dug along a canal in the cantonment area with about one thousand British residents. They were laid siege to by the Mutineers and many died of gunfire, disease and starvation. Towards the end of June, the garrison surrendered on condition of safe passage to Allahabad. As they were boarding boats at the Satichaura Ghat, a group of mutineers attacked with swords and guns. Most of the men were killed. The women and children who survived were taken prisoner and kept at the Bibighar.
Kanpur is famous for leather goods. The main shopping centers in the city are; The Mall, Birhana Road, Gumti No. 5, Parade, Naveen Market, Meston road and P.P.N. Market. The city center also offers the shopper a delightful array of State Emporia, viz. UPICA, UP Handloom Emporium, The Mall; Phulkari, Punjab Emporium and Manjusha, Bengal Emporium, The Mall.
Situated in the hot tropical area of the Gangetic plain, Kanpur suffers severe heat during summers. Temperatures nearly touch 45° C in the day and rainfall is comparatively low. Winter brings some respite, with day temperatures hovering under 30° C and nights going down below 10° C .
Bithoor: The quiet and beautiful township of Bithoor is situated on the Kannauj Road, 27 km from Kanpur. Situated on the banks of the Ganga, this tranquil spot is of considerable historical and religious importance. According to Hindu scriptures Lord Brahma came to Utpalaranya, as it was known then, for the creation of mankind. The placewhich first witnessed the creation of mankind came to be known as Brahmavarta or the seat of Brahma. Later Brahma installed a Shivalinga which is still workshipped as Brahmeshwar Mahadeva at the principal ghat of Bithoor, the Brahmavarta Ghat. A nail of the horse shoe embedded in the steps of the ghat is an object of special reverence for devotees, considered to be of Brahma's horse, while going for Ashwamedha Yajna.
Bhitargaon: 59 km. Situated in Ghatampur tehsil, Bhitargaon houses a unique architectural specimen ? a brick temple belonging to the Gupta era. The very first shrine with a Shikara, it dates back to 600 AD.
Musanagar: 65 km from Kanpur, the ancientsite of Masanagar with innumerable munds deserved mention on account of the ancient temple of Muktadevi, which is said to have been built in Treta-Yug by Raja Bali. A large fair is held at Muktadevi temple on occasion of Kartik Poornima. Musanagar is also a rich archaeological site and has yielded a large number of artifacts and specimens of the post Harrapan, Shunga, Maurya and Kushana periods. The Muktadevi temple also offers an excellent view of the surrounding landscape. One can climb the roof of the temple dharamshala, from where can be seen the meandering Sengar river meeting the Yamuna down below, in a beautiful natural setting.
Kannauj: 80 km. Situated on the banks of the river Ganga, Kannauj was the 7th century capital of Emperor Harshvardhan's empire, which encompassed the entire region between the rivers Satlej and Narmada and eastern Bengal. While all traces of this past have vanished, Kannauj is famous for its manufacture of essence (itr) used in perfumes.
Angira Ashram: Thousands of years ago, one of the saptarishis, Maharishi Angira, chose for his penance a place near Bithoo, presently situated in Ankui village today is known as the Angira Ashram. The ancient Jagannath temple here houses the original wooden idol of Lord Jagannath, said to be identical with that of the famous Jagannath temple.
Templo de Kanpur
Valmiki Ashram - Kanpur
Bhitargaon - Kanpur
Green Park Stadium - Kanpur
Nawabganj Bird Sanctuary: 43 km from Lucknow, along the Lucknow-Kanpur highway near Unnao, is the Nawabganj Bird Sanctuary. The sanctuary attractts rare Siberian migratory birds during winters, the main bird species being Pintain, Pigeon, Common teal, Shoveller, Pochard, Coot, Purple Moorhen and others.
Archaeological Sites around Kanpur: Among other notable archaeological sites around Kanpur are the `Shiv temple at Nimbia Khera', the `Jagannath temple at Behta Buzurg' and the `Lala Bhagat Pillar'. Nimbia Khera is 12 km east of Ghatampur, where a 9th-10th Century old Shiva temple at Behta Buzurg is supposed to be 2000 years old. It is said that a week before the beginning of therainy season, drops of water falls from the stone which is embedded in the inner roof of the temple. The village of Behta Buzurg is 15 km from Ghatampur and 40 km from Kanpur, on the road going from Ghatampur to Sarh. Lala Bhagat, 92 km from Kanpur and 58 km from Derapur, houses the famous Kukkutadhwaj, more known as Lala Bhagat Pillar standing in the middle of a modern temple. This red sandstone six and a half feet high octagonal pillar with a small inscription was once surmounted by a cock capital, which broken from the pillar shaft lies nearby. Datable to the 1st century AD, the cock capital is of unique antiquity value.
Attractions and Places to Visit in Kanpur
To the east of Kanpur are the ancient ruins of Jajmau. Excavated in 1957-58, the mound revealed artefacts from 600 BC upto 1600 BC. Believed to have been the ancient settlement of Siddhapuri, the kingdom of the ancient king Yayati, the Jajmau area is now marked by the temples of Siddhnath and Siddha Devi. Along side is the tomb of Makhdum Shah Ala-ul-Haq, a Sufi saint who was immortalised in the mausoleum built by Firoz Shah Tughlaq. The other Islamic building in Jajmau is the 17th century mosque built by Kulich Khan.
In the old Civil Lines area of the city stands the All Soul’s Memorial Church, built in 1875 in memory of the British residents who died in 1857. This red brick Gothic building was designed by Walter Granville. A beautiful stained glass window and memorial plaques to the dead are the important sights in the church. Outside are the graves of those who were killed in the Bibighar massacre.
A separate enclosure to the east of the church marks the Memorial Garden with its Gothic screen designed by Henry Yule. A beautifully crafted angel with crossed arms was made by Baron Carlo Marochetti. The screen and the memorial figure were originally located at the Bibighar and were shifted to their present site after independence in 1947.
A kilometre northeast of the church is the Satichaura Ghat, now only marked by a small Shiva temple. In the centre of the city are the King Edward VII Memorial Hall and the Christ Church, built in 1848. On the Mall Road that runs across the city from east to west is the Phool Bagh or flower garden. To the west of the Phool Bagh is the Nana Rao Park, built at the site of the Bibighar and dedicated to the memory of Nana Sahib. The 15-cm. high trench walls and the well are still visible within the complex.
The modern Shri Radhakrishna Temple popularly known as the JK temple was built by a prominent industrial house. A white marble structure, the temple is an amalgamation of diverse styles, borrowing from northern and southern temple architecture. There are five main shrines dedicated to Radha and Krishna, Lakshmi and Narayan (another name for Vishnu), Ardhanarishwar, Narmadeshwar and the monkey god Hanuman.
Another religious landmark in Kanpur is the Jain glass temple, which acquired its name from the elaborate glasswork inside. West of the Agricultural College is the Kamla Retreat, a privately owned park. It has a swimming pool, extensive gardens, boating facilities and even a mini-zoo. The retreat also houses a museum with some interesting historical and archaeological exhibits. To visit the museum you will need to get prior permission from the administrators of the complex: Deputy General Manager (Administration), Kamla Tower, Kamlanagar,
How to Reach Kanpur
Air: Chakeri Airport, Kanpur, has become operational since January 1996 and is serviced by , Archana Airways and other private airlines. Apart from this the nearest airport is Amausi, Lucknow, 65 km.
Rail: Connections to all the major stations of the country by express, super-fast and passenger trains. Some of the important trains that pass through Kanpur Central.
Road: Kanpur is connected by road with all the major cities of the country. It is situated on National Highway No. 2 on the Delhi-Agra-Allahabad-Calcutta route and on National Highway No. 25 on the Lucknow-Jhansi-Shivpuri route. Distances from some destinations in the region: