Kanpur is known for many things that highlight it as a historically important city yet, there are hidden facts about this city that are unknown to most of its residents as well! From a distinct drama style to industries, many unique features have evolved within the bounds of this city. Check out this list of 15 amazing facts that will make you understand how Kanpur adorned different hats to cater to the changing mindset of its population!
Jamwant- from Bithoor to London!
Cultivated by the farmers in Kanpur's Bithoor area, Jamwant is a special variety of jamun which is being labelled as a "big breakthrough". Owing to its classification under 'exotic' produce in the European market, it is being exported to London and the first batch was dispatched in June 2021.
Second-oldest golf course
Britishers introduced Golf as a sport in Kanpur by building a Golf Course in the cantonment area, which one can spot now when travelling between Lucknow and Kanpur. It is touted to be the second-oldest 9 holes half golf course in India, after Kolkata.
Home to one-of-its-kind institutes
While Kanpur is home to leading higher-education institutes like IIT, HBTI and GSVM, it is also the city where one-of-its-kind research institutes are located. This list includes the International Institute of Saddlery Technology and Export Management and the Indian Institute of Pulses Research.
Evolution of a distinct drama style
The north Indian folk operatic theatre, Nautanki, found a new form when it travelled to Kanpur. Interweaving eloquent and melodious speech with clear and iconic gestures, the Kanpur Nautanki style is probably the reason why so much drama runs across this city!
Town of Ghats
Kanpur's Bithoor area, which is now famous for the numerous theme parks that it hosts, was once known as 'Bavan Ghaton ki Nagari' or the City of 52 Ghats. However, only 29 of these ghats have survived industrialisation and other adventitious projects.
Site of anarchism
Kanpur was the hotbed of revolt and mutiny during 1857 when India decided to fight the British rule, under the leadership of the Mughal King. Many battles have marked this city in which historical leaders and strategists like Azizun Bai, Jhansi ki Rani and Nana Saheb have fought.
Holi celebrations- a sign of rebellion
First celebrated in 1942 as a sign of rebellion against Britishers, Kanpur's Ganga Mela is a striking symbol of the city's rich history and cultural heritage. Celebrated around Holi till this day, people gather at the Sarsaiyya Ghat during the evening hours to mark this auspicious occasion.
Kanpur is said to trace its origin back to the time of Ramayana and this belief found proof when utensils found near the Jajmau Teela were carbon-dated back to the same timeline. It is also believed that this aashram in Bithoor (seen in the picture) is where Valmiki penned down this epic.
Harbinger of industrialism
Catering to the battalions posted here, were the mills of the British India Corporation whose success is the reason why Kanpur earned the sobriquet- Manchester of East. These mills are said to mark the advent of industrialisation in India and today's top industries of this city are carrying forward their legacy.
Preserving nature & wildlife
One of the oldest zoological parks of India, Kanpur's Allen Forest Zoo was opened to the public on 4 February 1974. Established in a manmade forest, the terrain of the park is undulating and spread across a sprawling campus of 76.56 hectares.
GI tag for horse saddle
The leather industry burgeoned in Kanpur after the Satti Chaura Revolt, when Britishers turned this city into a fortress. Continuing that tradition well after independence, the city has become the leather hub of India and also received a GI tag under Kanpur Saddlery, for its unique productions.
Renamed more than a dozen times
Believed to be named Kanhapur after its thirteenth-century ruler, Raja Kanh Deo of Kanhpuria clan, this city's name has undergone as many as 21 changes. These changes were made between the 18th and 19th-century to suit the accent of Britishers, though the sound of the word kept the essence intact.
Goldmine of archaeological sites
One among the noted archaeological sites of Kanpur is the temple in Bhitargaon- the oldest Hindu terracotta shrine belonging to the Gupta period. The other one is the Jagganath Temple of Behata Bujurg, which belongs to the Buddhist era and is said to predict monsoons! Other places include- Angira Ashram, Musanagar (numerous post-Harappan artefacts have been dug out here) and Lala Bhagat (a temple that deifies a male hen).
Home to UP's first cricket ground
Green Park Stadium has been hosting national and international matches on its pitch since it was established as a cricket ground in 1945. UP's first cricket ground to do so, this was once a favourite horse riding spot for a British lady, Madam Green, after whom this stadium is named.
Home to a unique glass temple
Shri Dharmnath Swami Temple belonging to the Svetambar Jains, also known as the Jain Glass Temple, has completed its 150th foundation year in February 2021. Initially built out of stone, this temple was transformed by Lala Raghunath Bhandari with colourful glasses and meenakari work.
Let us know in the comments below if you have a fact that we ought to include in this list. Also, if you liked this listicle, then follow Knocksense Kanpur for more updates about the history, culture, food and people of this city!