Once famed as “Manchester of the East”, Kanpur stands as one of North India’s chief industrial centres with its own historical, religious and commercial enormity. Nestling on the banks of the River Ganges, the city was a breeding ground for a change in the freedom and literary movements during the first half of the 20th century. Supposed to have been founded by King Hindu Singh of the earlier state of Sachendi, the city was formerly known as “Kanhpur”.
Kanpur was one of the major hubs of the industrial revolution in India. The spectacular town also played a momentous role in the promulgation and popularization of Hindi with the contribution of the prominent writers such as Acharya Mahavir Prasad Dwivedi, Balkrishna Sharma `Navin’, Ganesh Shankar Vidyarthi, Pratap Narain Mishra and Acharya Gaya Prasad Shukla `Sanehi’.
Crawling from small military villages to one of the biggest districts of the country, Kanpur today has emerged as a magnificent town with huge cultural and industrial magnitude. It is the second largest commercial town in north India after the national capital.
Certainly, the tanneries in the city are known globally for the finest quality leather tanned by them. It has become the core producer of saddlery products and a prominent centre for leather processing. The beautiful leather apparels, industrial gloves, stylish belts and bags that adorn the people and add to their personality are actually manufactured in this splendid town. Kanpur has indeed earned the glory of being called as a “Leather City”.
So next time if you see someone wearing leather shoes of robust strength, or carrying a brightly coloured bag with bold patterns, you’ll be compelled to admire the skilled craftsmen of this wonderful city called Kanpur.
In fact, both Kanpur and Agra in U.P are the two renowned production and export centres for leather as well as leather products. While Kanpur is known for leather horse-riding equipment, bags and purses, Agra is considered to be the biggest footwear manufacturing centre in the country.
Besides being a colossal in the leather-craft, the city also boasts of numerous business giants and big brand-names like Ghari detergent, Red Tape Shoes, Goldie spices, Duncan Industries and many more, as such holding a prominent place in Indian economy.
This industrially opulent town is actually rich in culture too. The people here celebrate the festivals, carnivals, and fairs with great zeal and fervour. They enjoy every occasion with huge enthusiasm. Notably, a unique festival of Ganga Mela held five days after Holi, is celebrated here with gusto. It is meant to commemorate the revolutionaries of the 1857 rebellion. On this occasion, people throw colours, greet one another and bathe in the sacred Ganges. Various musical and dance performances add to this fiesta.
In fact, the vicinities of Kanpur offer a lot more to its visitors. Besides its cultural vividness, the city attracts one with its pleasing aura. Among its most prominent attractions are-
Allen Forest Zoo- also called as Kanpur Zoo, it is an oasis of green and encompasses the largest land area of any zoological garden in Asia. Sprawling in an area of 77-hectare, the zoo is located about 2 km from the city’s centre.
Phool Bagh- earlier known as Queen Victoria Garden, this city park has been the setting for various public meetings and political rallies in Kanpur from early twentieth century. Inside its grounds are Kanpur Sangrahalaya, Cawnpore Union Club, etc. It is really a haven amidst the madding rush of the town.
JK Temple- also known as Radhakrishna Temple, this masterpiece is an exceptional blend of ancient and modern architecture. The temple comprises five shrines that are dedicated to various Hindu deities. The greenery and the serene lake enveloping the temple enhance the beauty of its surroundings.
Kanpur Memorial Church- designed in Lombardic Gothic style, the church was built in 1875. It is popularly known as the All Souls’ Cathedral and is situated in heart of the Kanpur Cantonment.
Boodha Bargad- this symbol of patriotism is a witness to those martyrs who had sacrificed their lives in the first war of independence. Though the tree is dead but the memorial can still be found at Nana Rao Park. It was at this Boodha Bargad (Old Banyan) that 144 freedom
fighters were hanged during the revolt of 1857. A testimony to their martyrdom, the place still smells of the spirit of our brave heroes.
Moreover, the places like Bithoor, Jajmau, Company Bagh Chauraha, Fairdeal Aquariums, Massacre Ghat etc. are also a magnet for zillions of tourists to this wonderful town. Along with these places, a visit to the amazing tanneries (around 1000 in number) located here is a must.
Once you step on the land, the city of Kanpur would render you with the immortal feeling of patriotism, please you with its trendy crafts and soothe you with its fascinating ambiance.
So plan a trip to Kanpur and embellish your memories with delightful experiences!