Located on the banks of the Ganges River, Kanpur is a city that is rich in cultural, historical, and religious landmarks. Even though this city is today known as the Manchester of the East, its illustrious history includes a significant part in the Independence movement of India, led by Maharani Lakshmi Bai, Tatya Tope, and Nana Sahib Peshwa.
You really must come here to see for yourself how the city’s historical traditions have harmoniously coexisted with its more contemporary practices. Temples, gardens, and leather items have made Kanpur one of India’s most famous cities.
How to reach Kanpur?
The Chakeri Air Force Station, Kanpur’s own airport, only admits a few direct flights from Delhi, Mumbai, and Kolkata. Lucknow’s Chaudhary Charan Singh Airport is the closest airport to Kanpur. It takes around 1 hour and 45 minutes to cover the 80.5-kilometre distance from Lucknow to Kanpur. There are frequent direct flights from Lucknow to major cities including Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Kolkata, and Patna from the airport.
Kanpur, which served as a British garrison town, has one of the oldest and busiest train stations in the nation. About 600 trains pass every day through Kanpur AnwarGanj railway station. The station is 1.1 kilometres from the city centre, whereas Kanpur Central Railway Station is around 3 kilometres distant. Buses and taxis are readily available at both stations.
The national highways NH 2, NH 25, NH 86, and NH 91 run through Kanpur, making it easily accessible from all of Uttar Pradesh’s main cities and neighbouring states. The Jhakarkati Bus Station and the ISBT (Inter State Bus Station) are the two main bus terminals, from which buses depart towards nearby cities such as Delhi, Jaipur, and Agra.
15 places to visit in Kanpur for a fun-filled trip
The Allen Forest Zoo in Kanpur is one of the oldest zoological parks in the country opened to the public on February 4, 1974. The park’s topography is uneven and resembles a dense forest. There is a lot of room for mobility and expression for the animals, enclosures that are up to date with modern technology, a veterinary facility that meets international standards, and picturesque garden areas. Additionally, visitors have the opportunity to take part in various conservation efforts.
The zoo covers the most territory of any zoological park in Asia, thanks to its abundance of vegetation, a natural lake, and centuries-old trees. Many animals, birds, and reptiles call it home. Animals and birds found here include the White Asian Tiger, Lions,, Leopards, Hyenas, Musk Deer, Deer, Antelope, Sarus-Crane and many more Indian and European fowl species.
A century ago, the 128-foot clock tower that flanks the majestic red-bricked wall of Lal Imli used to ring the first alarm bell for industrial employees. During the middle of the 20th century, the reputation of Lal Imli’s products reached significant heights, serving as a testament to Kanpur’s textile industry history. After over 300 British troops were murdered in the Satti Chaura uprising of 1857, Britishers transformed Kanpur into a fortress.
Because of the large number of military forces that were stationed in and around the city, there was an increased demand for woollen clothing, canvas tents, shoes, and other types of textile products. To fulfil these needs, Cawnpore Woollen Mills was created, and these mills went on to become the sourcing centre for the whole of India. As a direct result of this, Kanpur became known as the “Manchester of the East.” Explore these fossilised factories that now serve as historical sites, and while you’re there, talk to the people to hear stories that are similar to the ones you just heard.
Another famous spiritual tourism destination, the ISKCON temple is devoted to Lord Krishna and welcomes visitors from all over the world. The temple can be found on Mainavati Marg, which is also known as Bithoor Road around 4 kilometres away from Kanpur. The celebrations of Krishna Janmashtami and Radhashtami, which take place in August and September respectively, make those months the ideal time to visit.
Devote the whole of your day to worshipping the deities Krishna and Radha, meditating within the serene atmosphere, seeing the temple complex, and perusing the temple bookstore. It is highly advised that you pay a visit to ISKCON Kanpur, particularly during the evening prayer that is held there every day at 7:30 pm and is skillfully led and melodically sung.
Bhitargaon temple, the Gupta Era shrine which dates back to the 6th century is the earliest Hindu temple still standing that was built in the terracotta style. The settlement of Bhitargaon has a complicated and fascinating past. At the location where the temple now stands, there was once an old city known as Pushp-pur. The section of this city that was closer to its core was referred to as Bhitargaon, and it was geographically distinct from the surrounding area of Barigaon.
The absence of windows in the temple is illustrative of the architectural sensibilities that prevailed throughout the Gupta era. The Bhitargaon Temple is a remarkable example of the Gupta kings’ fondness for brick patterns, and one can observe a one-of-a-kind expression of the design here. Temples constructed during the Gupta period, such as those at Sarnath, Bhitari, and Sravasti, all have a beautiful brick pattern that is very similar to Bhitargaon Temple.
The Kanpur Museum is a repository of artefacts and displays that tell the narrative of the people and events that shaped the city of Kanpur. The Kanpur Museum is arranged in the form of a huge hall and has a clock tower and a ceiling that is elaborately adorned. As soon as the First World War broke out, the building on the hall was halted, and it was quickly converted into a hospital for injured British troops. The museum is home to relics from the time when Britain was colonising India, such as handwritten books written by independence fighters, poetry written by them, firearms, clothing, shoes, and other items.
Another one of this location’s draws is the Phool Bagh or Ganesh Shankar Vidyarthi Udyan, which is located nearby. This lovely urban park, which was once called Queen’s Park, is one of the oldest gardens in the city of Kanpur. It used to serve as the location for important public gatherings and political rallies in the past.
The Jain Glass Temple is a popular destination for locals and tourists alike, because of its traditional architectural architecture. The Jain community created the Jain Glass Temple as a tribute to the 24 Tirthankaras of their faith. The statues of Bhagwan Mahavir and the Tirthankaras can be seen in the temple. They are sheltered from the sun by the enormous marble platforms that support the canopies.
Located at Maheshwari Mahal, the shrine is near Kamla Tower, the temple’s whole construction is made of glass and enamel, as implied by its name. While the temple’s flooring is made of marble, its walls and ceiling are adorned with mirrors carved in intricate patterns by skilled artisans. The stained glass panels on the walls depict the teachings of the Jain texts.
Since ancient days, a very unique metrological temple has been drawing the attention of academics, historians, and worshipers alike. The Jagannath Mandir has the unexplainable ability to properly predict the amount of precipitation that will fall in the surrounding area. Villagers claim that approximately five to seven days before the commencement of the rainy season, water droplets begin to trickle from the monsoon Patthar (also known as monsoon stones) that were put above the garbha griha in the ceiling thousands of years ago.
This monsoon temple design is the only one of its kind, and it can be seen in the charming hamlet of Behta Bujurg, which is located in the Hardoi area. This temple has the appearance of a Buddhist stupa when seen from a distance; nevertheless, upon closer study, the front has motifs of a peacock and a chakra.
The Attic is a boutique hotel that is also a repository of Kanpur’s rich past. The Attic Hotel was the official house of Nepal’s Commander-in-Chief. The history of The Attic can be traced all the way back to 1832 when it served as a location for barracks that were occupied by the army’s local troops (Indian soldiers). The British moved their barracks to the cantonment area in 1858 and later sold the property, which at the time consisted of a vast structure with mud floors and a thatched roof in a wide enclosure. The Attic is a historical hotel that serves as a good base for travellers who are looking for comfort in addition to modern amenities.
Bithoor is a site that has significant religious and historical value; it is a modest town located on the banks of the River Ganga close to Kanpur. There are references to the town in some of the earliest surviving Hindu scriptures. After Lord Vishnu re-created the cosmos, the local traditions say that Bithoor was chosen to be the dwelling place of Lord Brahma. Because of its connection to the very old scripture known as the Ramayana, the town of Bithoor is revered by many as an important sacred site. The Valmiki Ashram can be found in this town. It is said that the Sage Valmiki wrote the Ramayana when he was staying at this ashram.
The town was also the scene of one of the most significant revolt movements during India’s fight for independence. Bithoor has enough historical artefacts and mystique to fuel your investigations, and in addition to that, it is ideal for those times when you need a break from the chaos of the cities or just some time to yourself away from the commotion of urban life.
The Valmiki Ashram, located on the banks of the Ganga, is considered to be the location where Maharishi Valmiki resided and composed the immortal epic Ramayana. It is also where Sita resided and gave birth to her twins Lav and Kush during her exile. The great sage instructed them in the arts of administration, battle, and politics throughout their formative years. Additionally, the youngsters had taken Lord Hanuman captive and had summoned Lord Ram into this particular ashram.
The design of the ashram is rather straightforward, and it is encircled on all sides by lush vegetation, despite the expansive amount of area that it covers. There are a total of three temples inside the ashram, and one of them has an idol of Maharishi Valmiki. According to legend, Baji Rao Peshwa was the one who constructed the current building that houses the Valmiki Temple back in the 19th century. The Sita Kund is a pond that is thought to have been the source of water for the people who lived in the ashram when it was first established.
The Kanpur Memorial Church, also known as All Souls Cathedral, is an intricately designed edifice that was built in 1875 to commemorate the bravery and valour of the British troops who capitulated their lives during the turbulent Sepoy Mutiny of 1857. The memorial garden is located in a separate enclosure to the east of the main structure of the church. An outstanding sculptor named Baron Carlo Marochetti was responsible for the creation of the stunning angel figure that can be seen in the church’s nave. When tourists pay a visit to the breathtaking Kanpur Memorial Church, they are confronted with the gruesome reality of India’s fight for independence, which was a conflict that resulted in significant loss of life on both sides.
This magnificently built JK temple is a one-of-a-kind combination of old and contemporary architectural styles. On its inside walls are depictions of many epic stories from the Mahabharata and the Ramayana. The shrine devoted to Shri Radhakrishna is located in the centre of the temple. The roofs of the mandaps have been equipped with ample ventilation for appropriate light and air. In addition, the pillars and domes of the structure each have drawings and decorations carved into them.
The JK temple’s most important celebration is called Krishna Janmashtami. On the joyous day of Janmashtami, devotees gather in large numbers. On some important days, the temple will be decked up in dazzling lighting and elaborate decorations, making it seem like a handsome groom.
An expansive public garden known as the Nana Rao Park can be found on Mall Road in Kanpur’s city centre. This lovely garden, which is well-known for its abundant vegetation, in particular, its evergreen trees and flower beds filled with vibrant colours, is the place to go for those who have a deep appreciation for the natural world. The park is adorned with water fountains and life-size sculptures of historical figures such as Tatya Tope, Rani Lakshmi Bai, Lala Lajpat Rai, and Ajizan Bai.
The park is home to a historically significant banyan tree known as “Boodha Bargad,” which stands as a symbol of independence from the English colonists. In addition, there is a public swimming pool, a Vyayamshala (which translates to “standard exercise facility”), and a plant nursery that is kept in pristine condition. Visitors come to the park for a variety of recreational activities, including spending time with their families and friends, going on brisk walks, practising yoga, swimming, and viewing birds.
The Green Park, often referred to as the Green Park Stadium, can be found in the Civil Lines neighbourhood of Kanpur. It is located close to the Ganga riverbank. Madam Green, a British woman who rode horses there in the years leading up to independence, is credited with giving the park its name. This multifunctional stadium has flood lights and can accommodate up to 60,000 people at a time. The ground has played host to many prestigious international cricket matches.
The stadium has a distinct section of seating designated just for students, and it’s named the Students Gallery. This is one of the stadium’s most notable features. It has TV displays as well as the biggest manual scoreboard on the globe. Malcolm Marshall, Sunil Gavaskar, Kapil Dev, Anil Kumble, and Mohammed Azharuddin are just some of the great Indian and internationally renowned cricketers who have played in this park.
An excellent vantage point for taking in the scenery, the Moti Jheel can be found in the Benajhabar neighbourhood of Kanpur. The Moti Jheel, which literally translates as “Pearl Lake,” offers boating opportunities in addition to a diverse selection of food stands and toy vendors located both at the entrance and throughout its grounds.
The rectangular lake’s origins can be traced back to the time of the British Raj when it was constructed to serve as a drinking water reservoir for the Kanpur Waterworks. In later years, as an essential component of the city’s overall urban planning strategy, it was transformed into a public space and a recreational area, complete with a sculpted garden and a playground for children.
What is Kanpur renowned for?
Kanpur is renowned for its colonial architecture, gardens, parks, and exports of high-quality leather and textiles.
What is the ideal time of year to visit Kanpur?
The optimum season to visit Kanpur is from October to March when winter comes in and the weather is good for touring. The temperature fluctuates from 7° C to 20° C over these months.
What is the best way to reach Kanpur?
Kanpur is well linked to important Indian cities by road, rail and air. Lucknow, the neighbouring city, is the best option for getting to Kanpur from places outside of Uttar Pradesh.
What is the local cuisine of Kanpur?
Kanpur is renowned for its luchi sabzi. The luchi is a flatbread made from refined wheat dough that is deep-fried and eaten with a sabzi made from cooked potatoes, spices, and herbs.