Nestled on the mighty banks of river Ganges, Kanpur is the largest city in Uttar Pradesh state. From a small village to commercial hub of the state, it chartered a path of immense progress to become one of the most important industrial centre of the north. Kanpur is famous for its leather, textile and chemical industries and being the largest exporter of leather goods, it has earned several monikers such as ‘Leather City of the World’ and ‘Manchester of India’.
Due to its industrial success, Kanpur population has been on the rise making it eleventh most populous urban city and eighth-most populous metropolitan area in India. It is also home to the eminent and prestigious educational institute, the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT-Kanpur).
Kanpur boasts of a beautiful melange of history, religion, culture and industrial significance which is evident throughout the city in its attractions that Kanpur tourist can explore.
|Kanpur: A Quick View of the state|
|Population||3.8 Million (as of 2018)|
|Currency||Indian Rupee (INR)|
|Time Zone||UTC+05:30 (IST)|
|Area||403.70 square km|
Kanpur is teeming with tourist places showcasing the beautiful legacy contributed by its pre-independent history and rich cultural significance. From memorials to temples and lush green open spaces, Kanpur offers varied sightseeing places that must be visited to soak in the soul of the city. In order to optimise the day, buy a Kanpur city map in order to figure out which spots are closer to each other and can be covered in a day.
Sprawling at 77 hectares and also known as Kanpur Zoo, it is the largest lush verdant open space and oldest zoological park in India established in 1974. Created in a natural forest, it is a beautiful habitat for exotic wildlife and encompasses a natural lake, ancient trees, botanical garden, an aviary, aquarium and dinosaur sculptures amongst other attractions.
Established during the British era, it is extremely popular with locals and tourists for leisurely strolls and family picnics. The recreational area for children makes it perfect to spend quality time with kids and enjoy a fun-filled day.
Other famous parks are the Phool Bagh, Buddha Park, Green Park cricket ground and Kamla Retreat which boasts of canals for boating and an outstanding museum that houses enormous collection of archaeological artefacts.
Also known as the J.K. temple, the marvellous temple is made of carved white marble and boasts of a beautiful neo-Hindu architecture. It comprises of 5 different shrines dedicated to Lord Krishna, Lord Ardhanarishwar, Lord Vishnu, Lord Hanuman and Lord Narmadeshwar.
Dedicated to Jainism, it is a glorious temple boasting of beautiful marble flooring and intricate glass cut piece interiors. The walls, doors and pillars are entirely made of glass and adorned with magnificent mirror work.
A small town in Kanpur, 22 km away from city centre, Bithhor holds great religious significance. It is the birthplace of Lord Ram’s sons Luv and Kush and comprises of several holy spots such as Brahmavart Ghat, Patthar Ghat, Valmiki Ashram and ISKCON temple.
Other must visit shrines are the Bhitargaon temple and Gurudwara Banno Sahib.
Previously known as Memorial Well, it is one of Kanpur’s best place to visit. Located in the heart of the city, it is the biggest park in the city and has great historical significance attached to it. It is named after the famous warrior, Nana Rao Peshwa who fought bravely in the Indian rebellion of 1857. It was here where 144 Indian revolutionaries were hanged to death. The park is also the spot where the famous Boodha Bargad once stood. An ancient Banyan tree, now dead.
A stunning edifice featuring delicate Lombardy Gothic architecture, it is also known as All Soul’s Cathedral and was constructed in 1875 to commemorate the British army who lost their lives in the 1857 Siege of Cawnpore. The church contains of a memorial garden and at the centre of the church stands an exquisite intricately carved figure of an angel. The landmark is a beautiful reminder of our history and the rebel against British colonialism.
One of Kanpur’s famous place, visit the oldest industrial suburbs and largest tanneries in Northern India to witness the workings of the leather industry. Situated on the banks of River Ganges, the excavations conducted here by the Archaeological Survey of India suggests that it is an ancient region dating back to 1300 – 1200 BC and was inhabited by one of the oldest civilizations. Jajmau comprises of 1,000 tanneries, Habiba Masjid, Siddhartha Ghat and Jinnati Masjid amongst other attractions.
Famous for its leather industry and cotton and textile mills, rest assured one will find the finest quality of clothing, accessories and handicrafts. The leather products in Kanpur are extremely superior and many varieties are available such as Spanish, suede, Italian Leather, French amongst others. Indulge in shopping for premium leather products such as belts, shoes, purses, wallets, jackets, bags and sport equipment’s’ at unbelievably cheap and affordable prices.
Kanpur has a beautiful blend of street shopping and high end glitzy malls. Visit Naveen Market for reasonable handicrafts and clothes, Swaroop Nagar for leather and imported products, Sisamau for best quality Indian wear and Gumti No.5 to indulge in Kanpur’s famous street food. Some of the malls worth visiting are PPN Market, Z Square Mall, Mega Mall and City Fashion Mall.
Take a day or 2 and embark on a getaway journey to some of the famous tourist places near Kanpur such as Khajuraho, Mathura, Bareilly, Vrindavan, Jhansi, Rae bareli and Ayodhya.
After exploring places in Kanpur, one can also plan a visit to the nearby popular hill stations such as Almora, Nainital, Bhimtal, Binsar, Ranikhet for a few days’ visit. Highlights of these hill stations are:
Almora – Shaped like a horse-shoe, it boasts of pre-British heritage.
Nainital - Famous for its natural beauty of tranquil lakes and snow capped mountains.
Bhimtal – Beautiful hill station encompassing temples, imposing mountains and pristine lake.
Binsar – Quaint town amidst spectacular rich green forest.
Ranikhet – Splendid hill station speckled with ancient shrines, verdant lush hills, undulating terrains and majestic view of the Nanda Devi peak.
Kanpur city is flanked by two main rivers – the Ganges which flows through the north of the city and Pandu River which flows through the south. Kanpur area is surrounded by Hamirpur in the south and Unnao in the north east.
Chakeri Airport, Kanpur has daily flights to Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata. Other domestic and internationals travellers can reach via the Chaudhary Charan Singh International Airport in Lucknow, 70 kms away.
Kanpur is one of the major railway stations of India and well connected to major cities such as Delhi, Varanasi, Bhopal, Agra, Howrah, Lucknow, Patna, Mumbai, Chennai and Kolkata. Popular trains also serve Kanpur such as Rajdhani Express, Shatabdi and many more.
There are frequent buses from major cities of India that makes Kanpur travel easy. The Uttar Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation buses and private company buses ply to and from Kanpur to cities such as Lucknow, Delhi, Agra, Allahabad, etc.
It is also convenient to travel to and fro Kanpur by road to various neighbouring cities and states due to the highways NH 2, NH 25, NH 86 and NH 91 that pass trough Kanpur.
Kanpur experiences extreme climatic conditions. While the summers can be harsh, the temperatures dip greatly during the winters. The ideal time to visit the city is October-November when the winter season approaches and the temperature gradually starts dipping. The cool weather presents the perfect opportunity to explore the innumerable open spaces of the city at a leisurely pace and also enjoy the various attractions and street shopping.
With temperatures soaring to nearly 50°C, this is the peak summer season and is best avoided. With dry heat waves, it becomes difficult to step out and enjoy the city.
This is the monsoon season marked by humidity and heavy rainfall. With the temperature ranging between 25°C to 35°C, it is a good time to visit and enjoy the attractions such as the Ghats and parks that flourish with lush greenery during the season.
With the advent of winters, this is the best time to visit Kanpur. The pleasant weather ranging from 7°c - 20°c is ideal to step out and explore the city on foot and relax at the parks. But please note that from November onwards it starts getting chilly and the bitterness of the weather will require one to bundle up in layers of warm clothing.
Kanpur has an intriguingly rich historical legacy. It was initially known as Kanhaiyapur derived by Lord Krishna’s name. Established by Raja Kahn Deo in 1207, it was a small village then named Kanhpur with no significance till the first half of the 18th century. In May 1765, Shuja-ud-daula, the Nawab Wazir of Awadh, was defeated by the British and Kanpur came under the British Rule by the treaty of 1801 with Nawab Saadat Ali Khan of Awadh and became a British garrison. The British named the city Cawnpore in 1790 and it emerged as a place of great strategic importance and one of the most important military stations of British India. Soon, the Europeans started settling here, transforming the city’s name, geographical area and culture. It was declared as a Kanpur Nagar district on 24th March 1803.
The first war of independence was fought in Kanpur. Known as the epic ‘Siege of Cawnpore’, the Indian rebellion of 1857 witnessed the rising legendary freedom fighters namely Nana Sahib, Tatiya Tope and Azimoolah Khan. Three significansuret events took place during the siege: The Wheelers Entrenchment, Satti Chaura Ghat massacre and Bibighar massacre. The British under Commander Hugh Wheeler, surrendered to Nana Sahib and retreated into a shallow earth entrenchment known as `wheeler’s entrenchment’. On 24 June 1857, the British contingent of 900 including men, women and children surrendered on terms of safe evacuation and passage to Allahabad across the river Ganges. On 27 June as the women and children were boarding the boats at the Satti Chaura Ghat, the rebellions attacked and fired shots. Many were killed in the ensuing fight and the surviving 200 women and children were captured and brought to Bibighar. On 15th July, when Nana Sahin heard that the British troops were approaching Cawnpore again, he gave orders to kill the hostages. This incident came to be known as the ‘Bibighar Massacre’. 2 days later, under the leadership of General Havelock, the city was recaptured and the massacres were etched into the history of the city.
Indian Rupee (INR)