Kanpur is a city located in the state of Uttar Pradesh, India and is the 12th most populous city of the country and the second-largest city in the state after Lucknow. It is nestled on the banks of the Ganges River and is known for its industrial and commercial activities. The city has a rich history and was known as "Kanhapur" during the reign of the Kuru dynasty. Later it became a part of the Mauryan Empire and was an important center for trade and commerce during the Mughal era. In the 19th century, the city emerged as a major industrial hub, especially in the areas of textiles, leather, and chemicals.
The historical tale of Kanpur being captured by various rulers can be seen in several museums, distinct architectures, and books. It was established by king Hindu Singh Chandel of Sachendi and was initially named Kanhapur or Kanhiyapur as it was founded on the birthday of the Hindu god Krishna. One can find a perfect blend of history, culture, architecture, commerce, authentic cuisines, and traditional art running parallely with the modern world. Being located on the banks of Holy River Ganga, it is home to pilgrimage sites as well.
Places to Visit / Tourist Places
- JK Temple– Also called as Juggilal Kamplapat temple, JK temple shows both ancient and modern architecture and is dedicated to Radha Krishna. It has a lush green lawn surrounding it and serene lake called Moti Jheel nearby it. The temple is a must-visit site during Janmashtami and other festivals as well.
- Kanpur Zoo – Also called Allen Forest Zoo, the zoological park is 7km from the city centre and is a product of the human-made Allen Forest. It houses a charming landscape, lush vegetation, a serene lake, and some rare species of plants and animals.
- Moti Jheel – It is a water storage spot as well as a great picnic and sightseeing point in Kanpur located near JK temple. Created during the British rule, the lake also has boating facilities with some street food stalls and toys sold at the entrance.
- ISKCON Temple Kanpur – It is another famous temple dedicated to Lord Krishna and is known for its beautiful architecture with a white façade, vibrant yet peaceful atmosphere and soothing spiritual music being played in the premises.
- Valmiki Ashram – It is a holy site located in a hilltop in Bitoor, Kanpur and is believed to be the place where sage Valmiki wrote the epic Ramayana. It covers a vast area and comprises three temples and a pond.
- Brahmavart Ghat – It is the holiest of the holy ghats dedicated to Lord Brahma and is in the Bithoor town of Kanpur. Devotees come here to take the holy ritual bath and gather at the altar called the Wooden Slipper to offer prayers. Here, boat riding facilities are also available.
- Ram Janki Mandir – Located in Barra, Kanpur, the Ram Janki Mandir is dedicated to Lord Hanuman. It is one of the most sacred sites among Hindus and is also listed under the exclusive holy sites revered to Hanuman, Ram, and Sita together.
- Kanch Ka Mandir – Also called as Jain Glass Temple, it is a beautiful temple made of glass and is dedicated to Lord Mahavir and the 23 remaining Tirthankaras.
- Kanpur Memorial Church – One of the oldest and stunning churches of India, it is also known as All Souls Cathedral Church and is renowned for its historical significance and architecture. Established in 1857, the church is a memoir of the lost British troops of the Sepoy Mutiny.
- Massacre Ghat, Kanpur – It is one of the most visited attractions in Kanpur because of its historical importance and landscape. Officially named as Nana Rao Ghat, it is also called as Sati Chaura Ghat as it was the same site where women in olden period used to perform the terrifying Sati ritual.
- Cricket match at Green Park Stadium– Located on the banks of river Ganga, the cricket stadium was established in 1945 and has a capacity of 32,000 spectators at once. Some state level and sometimes national level test matches are conducted here which is a must-have experience when in Kanpur.
- Sports village, Kanpur – It is an amusement park known for its slides and water rides and is a great escape from the summer heat. It has multiple pools and playgrounds for kids and separate area to enjoy for adults. Canteen in the premises sells local food and refreshing beverage and it also has a guest house available for weddings and events.
- Blue World Theme Park, Kanpur – This is a fantastic and thrilling water and amusement park with tons of rides and swimming pools. The rides have been categorised in themes as – European, Fairy Land Theme, Jungle Theme, Chinese Theme, Mayan and Egyptian Culture, and Indian Themes for a wholesome experience for both children and adults.
Nightlife (Pubs, clubs, lounges)
- Blue Ice - This nightclub is a popular entertainment destination in Kanpur and is located on the premises of a resort offering a variety of music genres, including Bollywood and Western music. They also have a dance floor, a bar serving a range of drinks and cocktails, and a lounge area for those who want to relax and socialize. Blue Ice is open from 8 pm until late at night.
- The Landmark Hotel - The Landmark Hotel is a luxury hotel in Kanpur and features a lounge bar called The 3Sixty Lounge. The lounge is a chic and contemporary space with plush seating and a relaxed ambience. They offer a variety of drinks, including wines, beers, and cocktails, as well as a selection of snacks and light bites. The lounge is open from 11 am until midnight.
- Royal Sky - Royal Sky is a rooftop lounge bar located in Swaroop Nagar, Kanpur. The lounge offers a panoramic view of the city and has a laid-back and casual vibe. They offer a range of drinks and cocktails, including beer, wine, and spirits, and serve a variety of snacks and finger food. The lounge is open from 7 pm until midnight.
- Taal - Taal is a popular nightclub located in the heart of Kanpur. The club has a spacious dance floor and a DJ playing a mix of Bollywood and Western music. They also have a bar serving a range of drinks and cocktails, as well as a lounge area for those who want to relax and socialize. Taal is open from 9 pm until late at night.
Food to Try in Kanpur
- Sultani Dal – It is made of pigeon peas with a blend of spices and herbs and a simple, healthy yet delicious dish is ready to be devoured with rice or roti.
- Shami Kebab – It is a traditional dish prepared using minced meat mixed with chickpea powder, spices, and herbs and then pan fried to perfection. It is a popular evening snack and a starter and is devoured with green mint chutney.
- Biryani– The biryani in Kanpur also represents the origin of the city and has a special flavour to it. It is slow cooked in desi ghee and whole spices that enhances the flavour and is prepared on special occasions in homes and restaurants.
- Thaggu Ke Laddoo – The famous 50-year-old joint serves delicious desi ghee laddoos made with khoya and dry fruits. It is a healthy yet scrumptious choice to have some sweets.
- Shekhawat Thali – This famous thali depicts the food of Kanpur as a whole. Available in a few restaurants, Thali is served with a variety of sabji, daal, rice, roti, and sweets in it and requires more than one person to finish it.
- Basket Chaat – This one is chaat on a whole new level. Spicy, tangy, quirky, and full of flavours, chaat is served in a small edible basket made from potato shreds and is filled with mashed potatoes, pomegranate seeds, papdi, and tangy and spicy chutneys.
- Kebab Paratha– Kebab Paratha is a special food item in Kanpur where thin, hot, and peppery parathas made with maida are served with hot and spicy kebabs (veg/non-veg) and with a dash of chutney and salad in the side.
- The Landmark Hotel - This 5-star luxury hotel is in the heart of Kanpur and offers amenities such as an outdoor pool, a fitness center, and a spa. The approximate price per night starts from INR 7,500 for a deluxe room.
- Regenta Central The Crystal - This 4-star hotel is located near the city center and features amenities such as a restaurant, bar, and fitness center. The approximate price per night starts from INR 4,500 for a deluxe room.
- Hotel Mandakini Plaza - This 3-star hotel is located in the city center and offers amenities such as a restaurant, bar, and free Wi-Fi. The approximate price per night starts from INR 2,500 (USD 34) for a deluxe room.
- OYO 3584 Hotel Orient Palace - This budget hotel is located in the Civil Lines area of Kanpur and offers amenities such as free Wi-Fi and free breakfast. The approximate price per night starts from INR 1,200 for a standard room.
- Hotel Raja Seth - This budget hotel is located in the heart of Kanpur and offers amenities such as free Wi-Fi and a restaurant. The approximate price per night starts from INR 1,000 for a standard room.
- Hotel Gaurav - This budget hotel is located near the railway station and offers amenities such as free Wi-Fi and a restaurant. The approximate price per night starts from INR 800 for a standard room.
- The Attic: The Attic is a rooftop restaurant located in the heart of the city that offers a beautiful view of the city. It serves a variety of Indian and international cuisines.
- ThagguKe Laddu: ThagguKe Laddu is a famous sweet shop and restaurant in Kanpur known for its delicious laddus, chaat, and other Indian snacks.
- Zaffran: Zaffran is a fine-dining restaurant that serves North Indian, Mughlai, and Chinese cuisine. It is known for its elegant decor and excellent service.
- Singh Sahib: Singh Sahib is a popular restaurant that serves traditional Punjabi cuisine. It is in the Vivanta by Taj hotel and is known for its lavish buffet spreads.
- Blue Fox: Blue Fox is a multi-cuisine restaurant located in the Mall Road area of Kanpur. It serves a variety of cuisines, including Indian, Chinese, and Continental.
- The Terrace Grill: The Terrace Grill is a rooftop restaurant that offers a beautiful view of the city. It serves a variety of North Indian and Chinese cuisines.
- Urban Qettle: Urban Qettle is a cafe that serves a variety of continental dishes, coffee, and desserts. It is known for its cozy ambiance and live music performances.
- Z Square Mall - This is one of the largest malls in Kanpur and has a variety of stores, including clothing, electronics, and food outlets.
- Rave 3 Mall - This mall is known for its multiplex cinema, as well as its selection of clothing stores, cafes, and restaurants.
- Mega Mall - This is another popular mall in Kanpur and features a mix of stores selling clothing, accessories, electronics, and more.
- South X Mall - This mall is located in the southern part of the city and has a mix of stores selling clothing, jewelry, and other items.
- City Mall - This mall is located in the heart of the city and has a variety of stores, including a supermarket, a food court, and a multiplex cinema.
- Naveen Market - This is one of the most popular markets in Kanpur and is in the city center. It is known for its variety of shops that sell clothes, footwear, jewelry, and household items. The market is also famous for its street food, including chaat and other local delicacies.
- PPN Market - PPN Market is another popular market in Kanpur that offers a range of products, including clothing, jewelry, and handicrafts. The market is particularly famous for its leather goods, such as bags, shoes, and jackets.
- Gumti Market -This market is located near the Phool Bagh area of Kanpur and is known for its traditional clothing, such as sarees and salwar kameez, as well as jewelry and handicrafts. The market is also popular for its street food, including chaat and samosas.
- Kakadeo Market - This market is located in the Kakadeo area of Kanpur and is known for its clothing and footwear shops. The market also offers a range of household items, such as kitchen utensils and home decor.
- Birhana Road - Birhana Road is a popular shopping destination in Kanpur and is known for its clothing shops and jewelry stores. The market is particularly famous for its bridal wear and wedding accessories.
Kanpur has numerous shops to shop from where you can get a variety of items at a very affordable and wholesale rate. Being one the largest and major cities in Uttar Pradesh, Kanpur has all the things available for your daily and luxury needs. Some of the best shops to shop from in Kanpur for goods such as sweets, garments and accessories, groceries, sarees, jewellery, wedding wear, home décor, etc. are:
- Khazana Mart
- Banarasi Misthan Bhandar
- Somdutt Plaza
- Big Bazaar, South X Mall
- Raj Kamal's
- Bhikharam Sweet House
- Shri Lagan Sarees
- Golden Basket
- Raj Ratan Sarees
- The Raymond Shop
- Tanishq Jewellery
- Kashi Jewellers
Museums in Kanpur
- Kanpur Sangrahalaya: Kanpur Sangrahalaya is a museum that showcases the history, art, and culture of Kanpur and its surrounding regions. It features several galleries with exhibits on archaeology, natural history, and modern history.
- Nana Rao Park Museum: Nana Rao Park Museum is a small museum located in Nana Rao Park. It features exhibits on the Indian Rebellion of 1857 and the role of Nana Sahib in the rebellion.
- JK Temple Museum: JK Temple Museum is a museum located inside the JK Temple complex. It features several exhibits on the history and culture of India, including paintings, sculptures, and artifacts.
- Maharaja Lakshmi Bai Museum: Maharaja Lakshmi Bai Museum is a museum located in the Phool Bagh complex. It features several exhibits on the life and legacy of Rani Lakshmi Bai, a prominent figure in the Indian Rebellion of 1857.
Gardens and Parks
- Phool Bagh: Phool Bagh is a beautiful garden in the heart of Kanpur, located near the Moti Jheel Lake. It features a variety of flowering plants, fountains, and a musical fountain show in the evenings.
- Nana Rao Park: Nana Rao Park is a popular public park in Kanpur, named after Nana Sahib, a famous freedom fighter. It features a large statue of Nana Sahib, a pond, and several walking trails.
- Jajmau Park: Jajmau Park is a beautiful park located near the Jajmau Hill, known for its historical significance. It features several walking trails, a small pond, and a children's play area.
- Kamala Retreat: Kamala Retreat is a peaceful and serene garden located on the outskirts of Kanpur. It features several varieties of flowers, trees, and a small pond. It is an ideal place for picnics and family outings.
- Mahatma Gandhi Park: It is a lush green garden located in the Cantonment area of Kanpur. This is one of the oldest parks in Kanpur and has play areas for children and recreational space for adults.
Best Time to Visit
October to March is the best time to visit Kanpur when the winter arrives and makes the weather pleasant during the day and chilly during peak winter nights for sightseeing.
The summers can be very scorching and unbearable here with hot winds (loo) blowing throughout the day which makes traveling a bit uncomfortable.
During the monsoons, heavy rainfall is common here which makes many tourist attractions inaccessible at times. It is best to avoid the months of June-July.
How to Reach
- By air: The nearest airport to Kanpur is the Chaudhary Charan Singh International Airport in Lucknow, which is approximately 85 km away. From there, you can take a taxi or a bus to Kanpur.
- By train: Kanpur has several railway stations, including Kanpur Central, Kanpur Anwarganj, and Kanpur Bridge Left Bank. There are several trains that connect Kanpur to major cities in India, such as Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, and Chennai.
- By road: Kanpur is well-connected by road to major cities in North India, including Delhi, Agra, Lucknow, and Varanasi. There are several national highways that pass through Kanpur, such as NH-19, NH-27, and NH-34. You can take a bus or a taxi to reach Kanpur from these cities.
Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)
What is the old name of Kanpur?
The old name of Kanpur was Kanhapur given by the two rulers Hindu Singh of Sanchendi and Ghanshyam Singh of Ramaipur.
Is Kanpur a capital city?
Which city is bigger Lucknow or Kanpur?
Kanpur is bigger in terms of area which is 300 km sq. with a population of 2.92 million, while Lucknow has a population of 2.90 km sq. and is the second biggest city.
Which language do they speak in Kanpur?
Hindi is spoken as an official language, but Kanauji dialect is common amongst local people. Other dialects such as Braj, Awadhi, Bihari, Bhojpuri, Bagheli Bundeli are also spoken by few.