Situated on the banks of Ganges, Kanpur is one of the largest cities of Uttar Pradesh, and the industrial capital of the state known for its chemical, textile and leather industries. Known for its immense human resource, it has also earned a reputation as the eleventh most populous agglomeration in India. Kanpur has established itself in the pages of history, being a part of major dynasties and an important British garrison town until 1947.
The bloody tale of the capture of Kanpur by various rulers is recorded all over the city in different architectures, museums, books and by the oral legends. Kanpur was believed to have been established by king Hindu Singh Chandel of Sachendi, initially naming it as ‘Kanhiyapur’ because it was said to be founded on the birthday of the Hindu god, Lord Krishna. Later on, in its way to acquire the name ‘Kanpur’, it was known as Kanhapur, Caunpoore and Cawnpore. Many old texts suggest that it derived its name from the legendary character of Mahabharata, Karna, as it was called Karnapur too.
Kanpur is a city where one finds a perfect blend of history, architecture, commerce and culture with authentic cuisines, traditional theatrical art and an amalgamation of two eras running parallelly. Having played a significant role in the first Indian war of Independence, Kanpur houses several historical tourists’ spots. Being situated on the banks of Ganges, it serves as a pilgrimage destination too. Apart from this, the IIT-Kanpur is a major educational institute of the region and one of the country’s best.
Places to Visit
Blue World Theme Park
Situated on Mandhana-Bithoor Road, the Blue World Theme Park is a fantastic water and amusement park with tons of rides. The rides have been thematically divided into the following – European, Fairy Land Theme, Chinese Theme, Jungle Theme, Mayan and Egyptian Culture and Indian themes.
Spread across 25 acres of land containing a Water Park and an Amusement Park, Blue World Theme Park also cites multiple restaurants inclusive of all ranges of budget and culinary authenticity.
There are also musical fountains, laser shows and an exciting 7D show as well. The park also offers a dedicated space for special occasions like birthdays or social gatherings. The water park also offers refundable rental swimwear.
Green Park Stadium
Located along the banks of the river Ganges, Green Park is a cricket stadium found at the Kan Chembar at Kanpur. Established in 1945, this well-lit stadium holds an accommodating capacity of 32,000.
Formerly known as Modi Stadium, the Green Park Stadium is managed by the Uttar Pradesh’s Sports Department. It is UP’s only International Cricket Stadium that hosts Test and One-day matches. It also has the biggest manually operated scoreboard in the world. Live cricket matches are the best time to visit the stadium.
Nana Rao Park
Nana Rao Park is a vast public garden centrally located on Mall Road in Kanpur. This beautiful garden is the ideal spot for nature lovers, famous for its lush greenery, particularly evergreen trees and bright-coloured flower beds.
The garden adorns water-fountains and life-size statues in historical honor of personalities including Tatya Tope, Rani Lakshmi Bai, Lala Lajpat Rai and Ajizan Bai. The park features a historic banyan tree called “Boodha Bargad”, symbolising freedom from the English colonists.
There is also a public swimming pool, Vyayamshala (standard fitness facility), and a carefully maintained plant nursery. As a result, visitors approach the park for leisure purposes such as spending time with family and friends, brisk walking, yoga, badminton, swimming and bird-watching.
Mahatma Gandhi Park
Mahatma Gandhi Park is a lush green garden located in the cantonment area of Kanpur. One of the oldest and most well-known parks in Kanpur, the Mahatma Gandhi Park is equipped with play areas for children and recreational space for adults.
JK Temple, otherwise called as Juggilal Kamplapat temple is located on the Govind Nagar road of Sarvodaya Nagar in Kanpur. It is a beautiful combination of both ancient and modern architecture. There are nearby lakes and greenery such as the popular Moti Jheel.
Constructed under the supervision of the Singhania family in 1953, the JK temple is largely managed by the JK trust, even till today. The idol of the Hindu deity Radha Krishna is found at the centre of the temple which is surrounded in lush greenery and small lakes.
This revered portion on the temple site is among the main attractions for devotees here. The temple hosts the festival of Janmashtami to celebrate the birth of Lord Krishna in August. Devotees often prefer visiting the temple on this auspicious day and the temple remains open all day long on Janmashtami.
Kanpur Zoological Park
Also known as Allen Forest Zoo, the Kanpur Zoological Park is located in Nawabganj, approximately 7 kilometres from Kanpur city. Situated in the human-made Allen Forest, this zoological park houses a picturesque landscape, lush vegetation, a beautiful lake, and several rare species of plants and animals.
Maintained by the Forest Department, State Government of Uttar Pradesh, the Kanpur Zoological Park is home to many wildlife species including white tigers, leopards, black bears, grizzly bears, sloths, zebras, rhinoceros, hippopotamus and reptiles such as snakes.
With prominent life-size models of dinosaurs, state-of-the-art enclosures, an international standard veterinary facility and attractive garden areas, the park offers endless photo ops and chances to be part of the conservation projects. It is also a great bird-watching spot.
Also known as the Kanpur Sangrahalay, this official museum of Kanpur is located on the Pool Bagh Ground. The Kanpur Museum exhibits artefacts and documents from the colonial period to the modern-day Kanpur. Formerly launched as the King Edward Memorial Hall in memory of King Edward VII, it was further renamed as the Gandhi Bhawan in 1999. It also has an in-house public library.
Moti Jheel, located in the Benajhabar area of Kanpur, is a water storage spot as well as a great sightseeing point. Translating to the Pearl Lake, Moti Jheel also avails boating facilities with an array of street food stalls and toys sold at the entrance and within its premises. Constructed during the British colonial rule, Moti Jheel along with Moti Park and Kamala Retreat is a significant local recreational spot.
The ISKCON temple is yet another international spiritual tourist attraction dedicated to Lord Krishna. The temple is located on Mainavati Marg, Bithoor Road, about 4 km from Kanpur. The best time to visit is in August and September due to Krishna Janmashtami and Radhashtami respectively.
The deities here receive an annual Maha-Abhishek, which is the traditional bathing of the holy idols, at the Royal Gold Leaf Shrine. In addition to customary rituals, there are three festivals that mark this significant custom. The avatars of Lord Krishna, Sri Sri Radha Madhav, Sri Sri Nitai Gaursundar and Sri Sri Janakai Janaki Vallabha Laxman Hanuman are conventionally decorated and preserved.
Sports Village, located on Bithoor Road is an attraction known for its slides and water rides and a getaway from the summer heat in Kanpur. A leisurely space for adults, the village also acts as a haven for kids to swim in multiple pools and a playground. There is a canteen providing local food and refreshing beverages. Sports Village also has a guest house available for pre-bookings for marriages or other occasions and events.
Must Try Food in Kanpur
1. Haveli Restaurant
2. Little Chef Hotel
3. Sagar Ratna
4. Talk Of The Town
5. Pandit’s Mithai Shop
6. Baba Foods
7. Energy Stores
8. Urban Crave
10. Anaicha’s Food Joint
How To Get Here
Being a prominent city in Uttar Pradesh, Kanpur is well connected by bus, train, car and flights to major destinations in India. Reaching Kanpur from cities outside Uttar Pradesh is most convenient through the nearby major city – Lucknow. Within the state, buses and trains ply to and from Kanpur on a regular basis.
Even though Kanpur has an airport of its own – Chakeri Air Force Station – it allows minimal direct flights from Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata and is not open to civilians. The nearest airport to Kanpur is the Chaudhary Charan Sing Airport in Lucknow. Located about 80.5 km away, it takes about 1 hour 45 minutes to reach. The Lucknow Airport has regular direct flights to Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Patna and some other major cities.
The nearest major international airport to Kanpur is the Indira Gandhi International Airport in New Delhi. Even though it is around 438 km away, it is accessible by NH19 and Taj Express Highway.
Kanpur is well connected with all the major cities of Uttar Pradesh and the nearby states with NH 2, NH 25, NH 86 and NH 91 passing through it. The major bus station is the Jhakarkati Bus Station and ISBT (Inter State Bus Station) which has buses going to Delhi, Jaipur, Agra and the other neighbouring cities. Apart from UPSRTC (Uttar Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation), some private companies operate regular AC and Non-AC buses on these routes.
Kanpur, being a garrison town of the British has one of the oldest and the busiest railway stations in the country-Kanpur Anwarganj. It is well connected with all the major cities with around 600 trains passing through daily.
The Kanpur Central railway station is about 3 km from the city centre while the other station, Kanpur Anwarganj Railway Station is 1.1 km away. Both the stations are well connected through busses and taxi/cab services. The GovindPuri Railway Junction, the Panki Station and the Rawatpur station are for boarding passenger trains around the city.