From Academic Kids

Kānpur (known as Cawnpore before 1948) is the most populous city in the north Indian state of Uttar Pradesh.

Kanpur is located on the banks of the Ganga and is an important industrial center. It has an area of over 1000 km² and a population of around 2.4 million in the 1991 census. Kanpur is home to several educational institutions, including one of the Indian Institutes of Technology. Kanpur also enjoys the dubious reputation of being the most polluted city in India, a result of vehicular pollution and the poisoning of the Ganga by sewage and toxic effluents from textile and leather industries.

Missing image
A Pan shop is a regular feature of Kanpur, owing to its prominence in the industry. Kothari Products from this city were the pioneers in Pan Masala pouches appearing in late 1980s - their brand Pan Parag being a first.


Mutiny of 1857

In the 19th century, Kanpur was an important British garrison, and had barracks for 7,000 soldiers. In 1857, during the Indian Mutiny, 900 Europeans (about two-thirds of which were women and children) were besieged in the fortifications for 22 days by the rebels under Nana Sahib. They surrendered on the promise that they should be allowed to go safely to Allahabad, but as soon as they got off the boats to go down the river they were fired upon by cannon. Many were killed and the rest brought back to shore. The prisoners were then killed by their captors, and the corpses were discarded into a deep well. Three days afterwards (July 18), the British under General Havelock entered the city. The Bibighar was dismantled by the British during the reoccupation of Kanpur, and a memorial railing and a cross were raised at the site of the well. The well is now bricked over. Only the remains of a circular ridge survive, which can still be seen at the Nana Rao Park. The Kanpur Memorial Church – `The All Souls 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.

Developement of Industries

After 1857 it became an important center of the leather and textile industries. 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. The British India Corporation (BIC) was headquartered here and led the development of many industries. The Juggilal Kamlapat Singhania family launched many industrial units between 1930 and 1970. The group is known as J K Group of Industries till date. The Jaipuria family contributed to the patriotic cause, by building the Swadeshi Cotton Mills in response to charges that the foreign rulers were raiding India of its cotton only to sell back textiles to the residents. Kanpur was known as the "Manchester of India" during the 20th Century. As of now, the city owns many leather tanneries, a 2-wheeler factory owned by LML India, under collaboration with Italy's Piaggio; and over a dozen Defence Ordinance Factories such as Small-Arms Factory, Ordinance parachute Factory etc.

Many Britishers contributed vigorously to charitable causes in the city by building the Ursula Horseman Hospital, the "Hallet" Hospital, Harcourt Butler Technological Institute, by protecting the Allen Forest (now a Zoo) and many other efforts. Most of these are now renamed, though a lot of residents still call them by their old names. However the distortion of names is most visible at the railway crossing bridge next to the Railway Station, where the now-closed Murray Company is conveniently called Mari (Dead) Company.

Cultural History

Kanpur was a tinderbox in the Independence and literary movements during the 1900-1950 period. The largest shopping centre is named Navin Market, after the poet Bal Krishna Sharma aka "Navin". Later poets included Gopal Das "Niraj" who also had a successful spell writing songs for Bollywood movies. 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 literatteurs like Acharya Mahavir Parasad Dwivedi, Ganesh Shankar Vidyarthi, Pratap Narain Mishra and Acharya Gaya Prasad Shukla `Sanehi’. The Agricultural University is named after the freedom fighter Chandrashekhar Azad and the Medical College after Ganesh Shanker Vidyarthi; both men spent much time in Kanpur. While ChandraShekhar 'Azad' was born in a village in nearby district of Unnao and shot himself when surrounded by a huge posse of British soldiers at Alfred Park, Allahabad, Ganesh Shankar Vidyarthi was killed during the Hindu-Muslim riots of 1948 at Kanpur.

The Legend of Bithoor

About 25 km from Kanpur is the ancient village of Bithoor. Legend has it that the wife of Lord Rama came to live at the ashram of the sage Valmiki, after Rama expelled her from Ayodhya. It was here that Sita gave birth to the twins Lav and Kush, and disappeared back into the earth (from where she was born, according to mythology) when confronted by a repentant Rama. Bithoor is also the site of the fort to which Nana Sahib escaped following the British retaking of Kanpur. Today, Bithoor is a tourist spot on the banks of the Ganga.


With the coordinates 26.4670° North and 80.3500° East, Kanpur is 80 km from Lucknow, the capital city of Uttar Pradesh. It is surrounded by two main rivers of India, Ganges in the North-East and Yamuna in the South. The districts surrounding Kanpur are Hamirpur in the South, Unnao in the North-East, Farrukkhabad in the North and Etawah in the West.



Temperatures in the cold weather could drop to freezing with maximum at almost 12 -14 degrees C. Kanpur also witnesses severe fog in the months of December and January resulting in massive traffic and travel delays. It does not snow in Kanpur. In summer(April-June) the maximum temperatures spiral upto 45 degree celsius and is accompanied by dust storm-cum-heat wave. lowest -1C [1] (, 1968

Colleges and Universities

Passenger Transport

  • Kanpur Mahanagar Bus Seva: The Kanpur City Bus Service is often criticised of rash drivers, overcrowding and lack of punctuality. Even so, it remains the most important means of mass-transport.
  • Tempos
  • Cycle rickshaws are a reliable transport medium, although a bit costlier and only meant for short distances.

Other attractions

  • The Green Park and its Modi Stadium, where many cricket Test matches are played.
  • The Allen Forest, one of the largest and best preserved zoos in Northern India.
  • Rave - The first Cineplex and shopping mall of city.
  • The Ganga Barrage which is supposed to finish around this year.

See Also

External Links hi:कानपुर sv:Kanpur


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