Kanpur is among the busiest and mostly populated city. Settled on the banks of mighty Ganga, this place in the state of Uttar Pradesh is very well known for its leather industries, historical monuments, shopping areas and food joints.
It’s commercial and industrial success has made it an abode for industries and has given livelihood for many people living in Kanpur. It has established as North India’s major contributor in economy and industrial sector.
The history of Kanpur is centuries old. In fact Kanpur’s name was derived from Kanhiyapur, the place of Lord Krishna. Later it emerged to be known as ‘Cawnpore’ by British during their rule. This place was believed to be founded by the Kings of Chandela’s. Though it is famous for commercial sector, it has got its historical importance because of two places Bithoor and Jajmau. They dated back to 600 BC to 1600 AD.
It is astonishing that till 13th century, the history of Kanpur was engulfed and not known at all. Bithoor being ancient and sacred place is situated on the left bank of river Ganga. It is said that Sage Valmiki had written the great epic Ramayana and gave ashram to stay for goddess Sita.
She gave birth to her twins Luv and Kush here only. Thus, according to Hindu mythology, Bithoor has a lot of religious importance. Other attractions are Brahma VartGhat, Pathar Ghat and Dhruvteela. While Dhruvteela is a place where Dhruv did penance on one leg, Jajmau is an archeological site, the mound which has been excavated in the years 1957-58.
Kanpur’s history was insignificant until 18th century as it survived in a small village with no importance. But all changed when the Nawab Wazir of Awadh was defeated by British and it came under their rule. It was time when British used Kanpur to serve as their military and administrative base. Now it became a district in the year 1803. At this time Kanpur got the name “Cawnpore” from British.
During the war of Independence, this place got major share of importance. At the outbreak of 1857 revolt, Kanpur was an important place because of freedom fighters like Nana sahib and his close associates Tantya Tope and Azimullah Khan. Cawnpore witnessed three main events at that time “wheeler’s entrenchment”, the “massacre of Sati Chaura Ghat”, and the “Bibighar massacre”.
Nana Sahib decided to capture back Kanpur, from the clutches of British and declared Independence. He did it on June 7, 1857. On June 5, Nana Sahib sent a letter to General Wheeler, about the attack which took place till June 25 and he was successful in his attempt.
Nana Sahib sent a note with a female prisoner Mrs. Jacobi to surrender and in return for a safe passage to Allahabad. This was famously known as ‘Wheeler’s Entrenchment’. Next morning when women and children were about to ascend the boat, confusion broke and disaster of Satichauraghat happened in which many were killed.
When the survivors (mostly women and children) were shifted safely to Bibighar (a house of women) Sahib wanted to keep women and children as captives and bargain with Britishers which didn’t work and they ordered Indian soldiers to kill the captive women. All the dead butchered bodies were buried in a well. After Britishers re-occupied Kanpur they built a memorial railing and raised a cross which can be witnessed even today in Nana Rao Park.
After witnessing the revolt of 1857, a phenomenal change happened with the establishment of “Government Harness and Saddler Factory” for supplying leather for military. Slowly cotton mills, leather factories started and gave a way to beginning of a new era.
Kanhapur to Cawnpowre to now to Kanpur in 21st century, this place has undergone tremendous changes. Today it is developed into a well equipped, developed and modern city. Not only it is famous commercially, a lot of good educational institutes are also established here.
For example IIT Kanpur is of of the top notch Institutes. If you are a shopping freek, you can shop from dusk to dawn. Not only this Kanpur has good amount of sightseeing places that has made it an important tourist place in the state of Uttar Pradesh.