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Kanpur is the biggest city of the state and is main centre of commercial and industrial activities. The city is situated on the banks of the River Ganga. The city is believed to be founded by King Hindu Singh of the erstwhile state of Sachendi, Kanpur was originally known as 'Kanhpur’.
Kanpur stands as one of North India’s major industrial centres with its own historical, religious and commercial importance. The city was formerly known as Manchester of the country is now also called the commercial capital of the state.
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.
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.
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)
Shri Radhakrishna Temple is famously known as J.K. Temple in Kanpur.
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 Hanumana.
Jain Glass Temple
Jain Glass Temple is situated in Maheshwari Mohal behind the Kamla Tower. It is a beautiful temple highly decorated with glass and enamel work.
The Kanpur Memorial Church
Kanpur Memorial Church 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.
Parks & Gardens
Phool Bagh 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
The Nana Rao Park is located at the west of Phool Bagh. It is the site of the 'Bibighar’ of 1857. The Park was renamed as Nana Rao Park after independence.
Important Educational Institutes
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.
Indian Institute of Technology : The Indian Institute of Technology at Kanpur was set up in 1959. It provides education in the fields of engineering, technology, science and humanities.
Chandra Shekhar Azad University of Agriculture & Technology : Chandra Shekhar Azad University of Agriculture & Technology was 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).
Allen Forest Zoo
The Allen Forest Zoo or the Kanpur Zoo was opened in 1971 and is ranked among one of the best zoos in the country. It is an ideal place for outdoor life and picnics amongst picturesque surroundings.
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 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.
How to reach
By 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.
By Rail : Kanpur is Connectioned 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 are :
- 2003/2004 Shatabadi Express (Delhi-Lucknow)
- 2301/2302 Rajdhani Express (New Delhi/Calcutta)
- 2381/2382 A/c Express (Amritsar/Calcutta)
- 2303/2304 A/c Express (Amritsar/Calcutta)
- 475/8476 Neeelanchal Express (New Delhi/Puri)
- 3007/3008 Udyan Abha Toofan Express (New Delhi/Calcutta)
- 2521/2522 North East Express (New Delhi/Guwahati)
- 3007/3008 Magadh Vikramshila Express (New Delhi/Patna)
By 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 :
Lucknow – 79 km, Allahabad – 193 km, Varanasi – 329 km, Khajuraho – 398 km, Agra – 269 km, Jhansi – 222 km.