Nestled on the banks of the eternal Ganga, Kanpur stands as one of North India’s major industrial centres with its own historical, religious and commercial importance. Believed to be founded by king Hindu Singh of the erstwhile state of Sachendi, Kanpur was originally known as `Kanhpur’. Upto the 1st half of the 18th century Kanpur continued to survive as an insignificant village. Its fate, however, took a new turn soon after. In May 1765, Shuja-ud-daula, the Nawab Wazir of Awadh, was defeated by the British near Jajmau. It was probably at this time that strategic importance of the site of Kanpur was realized by the British. European businessmen had by this time gradually started establishing themselves in Kanpur. In order to ensure protection to their lives and property the `Awadh local forces’ were shifted here in 1778. Kanpur passed into British hands under the treaty of 1801 with Nawab Saadat Ali Khan of Awadh. This forms a turning point in the history of Kanpur. Soon Kanpur became one of the most important military station of British India. It was declared a district on 24th March 1803. Kanpur was soon to become the epicentre of the outbreak of 1857, as some of the leading luminaries of the War of Independence hailed from her, namely – Nana Sahib, Tantiya Tope, Azimoolah Khan and Brigadier Jwala Prasad. The three strategic events of the 1857 war at Kanpur were the fight at `wheeler’s entrenchment’, the `massacre at Sati Chaura Ghat’ and the `Bibighar massacre’. Nana Sahib had declared independence on the 7th of June 1857 at Kanpur. The British under Commander Hugh Wheeler retreated into a shallow earth entrenchment in the cantonment area, later known in history as `wheeler’s entrenchment’. The English garrison surrendered in the last week of June 1857 on terms of safe passage to Allahabad. But when on the morning of 27th June, the soldiers along with the women and children were about to embark into the boats at Sati Chaura Ghat, fighting broke out and most of the men were killed. The survivors, women and children were rescued who were imprisoned into the Savada Kothi and later shifted to Bibighar in the `cantonment magistrates’ compound. But when it became clear the relieving forces under General Havelock were nearing the city and defeat was inevitable, the captives-all women and children, were massacred and their dismembered bodies buried in the well of the compound on 15th July 1857. The Bibighar was dismantled by the British and reoccupation of Kanpur and a `memorial railing and a cross’ raised at the site of the well. The well is now bricked over. Only remains of a circular ridge survive, which can be still seen at the Nana Rao Park. The Kanpur Memorial Church – `The all soul cathedral’ was raised in honor of the fallen at the north-east corner of Wheeler’s entrenchment in 1862 by the British. The marble gothic screen with famous `mournful seraph’ was transferred to the churchyard of All Souls church after independence in 1947, and in its place a bust of Tantiya Tope installed as Nana Rao Park. After 1857, the development of Kanpur was even more phenomenal. Government Harness and Saddler Factory was started for supplying leather material for army in 1860, followed by Cooper Allen & Co. in 1880. The first cotton textile mill, the Elgin Mills were started in 1862 and Moiré Mills in 1882. Today besides being the most industrialized region of the state, Kanpur is also an important educational centre, with institutions like Harcourt Butler Technological Institute, Agricultural College, Indian Institute of Technology, G.S.V.M. Medical College, National Sugar Institute and Government Textile Institute being located here. Apart from playing a stellar role in the development of the country as a whole, Kanpur has also been instrumental in making an unforgettable contribution to the Indian freedom struggle. A favorite centre of activities of stalwarts like Nanarao Peshwa, Tantiya Tope, Sardar Bhagat Singh and Chandra Shekhar Azad among others, Kanpur is also the birth place of Shyamlal Gupta `Parshad’, composer of the famous patriotic ditty `Vijayee Vishwa Tiranga Pyara’. The propagation and popularization of Hindi also owes much to this city, with great Hindu literatures like Acharya Mahavir Parasad Dwivedi, Ganesh Shankar Vidyarthi, Pratap Narain Mishra, Acharya Gaya Prasad Shukla `Sanehi’ and Balkrishna Sharma `Navin’ having hailed from here. Area : 3005 Sq. km. Population : 41,37,489 (2001) Altitude : 126 meters above sea level. Season : November-February Clothing (Summer) : Cottons; (Winter) : Woolens Industry: Leather goods, Defence goods. Language : Hindi & English Local Transport : Buses, Taxis, Tempos, Auto-Rickshaws. STD Code : 0512
Jajmau The mound of Jajmau, on the eastern end of the city occupies a high place among ancient cities of the region. Excavations of the mound were undertaken during 1957-58 which unearthed antiquities ranging from 600 BC to 1600 AD. Jajmau,known as Siddhapuri in ancient times, is supposed to have been the kingdom of Yayati, the Pauranic king and the high mound overhanging the Ganga is known as the site of his fort. Today, Jajmau houses the Siddhnath and Siddha Devi temples and the mausoleum of Makhdum Shah Ala-ul-Haq, the famous Sufi saint, built by Firoz Shah Tughlaq in 1358. A mosque built by Kulich Khan in 1679 also stands here. Shri Radhakrishna Temple (J.K. Temple) Beautifully constructed, J.K. temple is a boon to the devotees. Built by J.K. Trust this architectural delight is a unique blend of ancient architecture with the modern. Among the five shrines that the temple has the central one is consecrated to Shri Radhakrishna and the other are adorned with idols of Shri Laxminarayan, Shri. Ardhanarishwar, Shri Narmadeshwar and Shri Hanuman. Jain Glass Temple It is situated in Maheshwari Mohal behind the Kamla Tower. It is a beautiful temple highly decorated with glass and enamel work. Allen Forest Zoo The Kanpur Zoo was opened in 1971 and ranks among one of the best zoos in the country. It is an ideal place for outdoor life and picnics amongst picturesque surroundings. Ph: 2543678. Kamla Retreat Lies to the west of the Agricultural College in immediate neighborhood of the Allen Forest. It is under the possession of Singhania family and is a beauty spot of the city. There is a swimming tank with an equipment for producing artificial waves and suitable arrangement for lighting. Besides parks and a canal with facilities for boating, a zoo is also maintained. Kamla Retreat also houses a museum which has a good collection of historical and archaeological artifacts. Visitors are allowed only with prior permission from:; Deputy General Manager (Administration), Kamla Tower, Kamlanagar, Kanpur, UP. Phone: 2311478 & 2311479. Phool Bagh It is a beautiful park in the heart of the city on the Mall Road. In the centre of the park is a building known as Ganesh Shankar Vidyarthi Memorial. After the first World War there was an Orthopedic Rehabilitation Hospital in this building. It is now known as Ganesh Udyan. Nana Rao Park To the west of Phool Bagh is located the Nana Rao Park. It is the site of the `Bibighar’ of 1857. The Park was renamed as Nana Rao Park after independence. The Kanpur Memorial Church (All Soul’s Cathedral) The Kanpur Memorial Church was built in 1875, in honor of the British who lost their lives in the war of 1857. The Church was designed by Walter Granville, architect of the east Bengal Railway. The complete Church in Lombardic gothic style is handsomely executed in bright red brick, with polychrome dressings. The interior contains monuments to the mutiny, including several memorial tablets. In the separate enclosure to the east of the church is the Memorial Garden, approached through two gateways. Here the handsome carved gothic screen, designed by Henry Yule, stands. Its centre is occupied by the beautiful carved figure of an angle by Baron Carlo Marochetti, with crossed arms, holding palons, symbol of peace. Originally the statue and the screen stood in the Municipal Gardens in the centre of the city, over the site of the Bibighar well. The memorials were relocated here after independence in 1948. The Military Cemetery on the edge of the cantonment contains a number of interesting graves from the late 19th century. Within the city the king Edward VII memorial hall is noteworthy and Christ Church building, built in 1840. Harcourt Butler Technological Institute The Harcourt Butler Technological Institute was established in 1920 at Kanpur and is engaged in imparting technical training and industrial research. Phone: 294851, 294852, 294853, 294854 & 294855. Indian Institute of Technology One of the five IIT’s, set up in 1959 at Kanpur, it provides education in the fields of engineering, technology, science and humanities. Phones: 250151 & 257878. Chandra Shekhar Azad University of Agriculture & Technology Established in 1957 to provide education of agriculture, animal husbandry and veterinary science for the benefit of rural people. Among other sites worth visiting at Kanpur are the Hanuman temple-Panki, Anandeshwar temple, Jageshwar temple, Dwarikadhish temple, Prayagnarayan temple, Kailash temple, Buddhadevi temple, Kherepati temple, Varahidevi temple, Bhairav temple and Tulsi Upvan (Moti Jheel).