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2.8 /5


Best Time: October-March Read More

Ideal duration: 2-3 days

Nearest Airport: Kanpur Airport Check Flights

"Leather City of the World, Manchester of India"

Kanpur Tourism

Situated on the banks of Ganges, Kanpur is the one of the largest City 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 the country. 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.

It 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.

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History of Kanpur

Kanpur was believed to have been established by king Hindu Singh Chandel of Sachendi and ruled by the dynasty between 10-13th century. Historically, the prominence of Kanpur has grown over the years as it had been a major city of the Panchala, the Slave dynasty, the Mughals, the Marathas and finally the British in 1801 A.D which it acquired from Peshwa Baji Rao. Unsurprisingly, Baji Rao’s son, Nana Sahib played a crucial part in the revolt of 1857, making Kanpur, then known as Caunpore, a British garrison town, and finally a focal point of the 1857 Sepoy Mutiny. The first woollen mill in India, the British India Corporation was set up in this very city in 1876. Starting from being a cluster of villages, it is now one of the largest cities in the country.

Shopping in Kanpur

Kanpur is known for its shopping complex and street food. Sisamau Bazaar is one of the oldest markets in Kanpur where one would get the best deal for their money. Look out for the best leather shoes and bags and sarees, although crowd may be the only obstacle. Another destination for shopaholics would be Sadar Bazaar with its vibrant artefacts. While you are shopping in Kanpur, be sure not to miss out on the street food, especially khoya laddoo and biryani. It is better to take a stroll through the roads to explore what the city has to offer. One can plan sightseeing within the city for two days and explore the food and shopping complexes in the evening.

Local Culture of Kanpur

The city is lit the most during the festival of Diwali and Janmashthami. Ram Leela is celebrated with a magnanimous grandeur while the Ganga Fair is a prominent annual celebration held after Holi. Theatre is something that the entire population enjoys being a part of which they term as ‘nautanki’ or drama. Food is one of the many specialities of the city, influenced by Mughal cooking techniques. Nawabi food and Punjabi dishes are among the mouth-watering cuisines one can find there. Your meal would be incomplete without having ‘paan’ after a Nawabi cuisine. The people speak a number of languages including Hindi, English, Bengali, Punjabi etc but the uniqueness lies in the fact that the ancient Awadhi community is found in this place in a huge number.


Be sure to carry masks due to the immense pollution in the city. If you have planned your trip in winter, carrying sufficient woollen clothes is a must as it can get very chilly. Kanpur is a metropolitan city, and one should not face too many problems with regard to payment methods. However, since the concept of cashless economy is not too common, it is always better to carry cash when you are travelling.

Suggested Itinerary

Day 1: After you reach Kanpur, you can hire a cab or rental services or even opt for local public transport to roam around the city, depending on your budget and convenience. You can start with Nana Rao Park, Kanpur Zoological Park, Moti Jheel etc. and then opt for biryani in one of the food streets. The best part about street food is that it offers the authentic flavour of a particular city. After lunch, you can end your day by visiting the various temples that are the fine examples of the architecture of the city.
Day 2: The second day can be spent on shopping and visiting the places that you could not cover during the first. Be sure to spend a considerable amount of time in the historical parks as those have elaborate descriptions of events and timelines written. If you are too tired and want something fun to do, you can opt to spend your day in Blue World, an amusement park enjoyed by the youth and adults alike.

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Holidify's Opinion

What's Great?

Due to the number of textile and leather industries, Kanpur is a great city for shopping of these items.

What's Not So Great?

Kanpur tops the list as one of the most polluted cities of India accompanied by heavy traffic and crowded spots all over the city.

For Whom?

Kanpur is a good place to visit with your family if you are planning a trip around North India.

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