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Clockwise from top right: Green Park Stadium; Civil Lines district; Kanpur Police headquarters; Landmark Hotel; Kanpur Memorial Church; JK Temple
Nickname(s): "Leather City of the world";[1] "Manchester of the East"[2]
Country India India
State Uttar Pradesh
Region Awadh
Lower Doab
District Kanpur Nagar District
Kanpur Dehat District
 • Mayor Shri Jagat Vir Singh Drona
 • Deputy Mayor Shri Haji Suhail Ahmed
 • Metropolis 302 km2 (117 sq mi)
Elevation 126 m (413 ft)
Population (4767031)[4]
 • Rank 12th
 • Metro 4,920,067[3]
 • Official Hindi, English, Urdu, Awadhi
Time zone IST (UTC+5:30)
PIN 208 0xx
 • 209 2xx
  • 209 3xx
  • 209 4xx
Telephone code 0512
Vehicle registration UP-78
Coastline 0 kilometres (0 mi)
Sex ratio 0.855 /
Literacy 84.37%
Climate Cfa (Köppen)
Precipitation 980 millimetres (39 in)[citation needed]
Avg. annual temperature 22.0 °C (71.6 °F)[citation needed]
Avg. summer temperature 48.7 °C (119.7 °F)[citation needed]
Avg. winter temperature 7 °C (45 °F)[citation needed]
Website www.kanpurnagar.nic.in

Kanpur (/ˈkɑːnpʊər/ About this sound pronunciation ; formerly Cawnpore) is the [5]largest city in the state of Uttar Pradesh in India. It is the administrative headquarters of Kanpur Nagar district and Kanpur division.

Kanpur has an area of over 605 km2 with an approximate population of 5.03 million inhabitants in its area. It is administratively divided into 6 zones and 110 wards with a ward population range of 19,000 to 30,000.[6] It is the 75th largest city in the world.[7]

The name is believed to have derived from Karnapur (meaning "town of Karna", one of the heroes of the Mahabharata). Another theory is that it came from the nearby town of Makanpur, earlier known as Khairabad, where the Sufi saint of the Madariya Sufi order, Badiuddin Zinda Shah Madar, settled.[8]


In 1207, Raja Kanh Deo of the Kanhpuria clan established the village of Kanhpur, which later came to be known as Kanpur.[9][10] The area that is now Kanpur was ruled by rulers of Kannauj, Harsha Vardhan, Mihir Bhoja, Jai Chand and early Muslim rulers through the Sur Dynasty. The first mention of Kanpur was made in 1579 during Sher Shah's regime.

In May 1765, Shuja-ud-daula, the Nawab of Awadh, was defeated by the British near Jajmau. From 1773 to 1801, it was part of the Oudh kingdom and then came into the hands of the British. At this time, the British realized the strategic importance of the site of Kanpur. European businessmen had, by this time, started establishing themselves in Kanpur. In order to ensure protection for their lives and property, the European businessmen shifted the 'Awadh local forces' to here in 1778. Kanpur passed into British hands under the treaty of 1801 with Nawab Saadat Ali Khan of Awadh.

1857 uprising[edit]

Main article: Siege of Cawnpore

In the 19th century, Kanpur was an important British garrison with barracks for 7,000 soldiers. During the Indian Rebellion of 1857 900 British men, women and children were besieged in the fortifications for 22 days by rebels under Nana Sahib Peshwa. They surrendered on the agreement that they would get safe passage to the nearby Satti Chaura Ghat whereupon they would board barges and be allowed to go by river to Allahabad.[11]

Though controversy surrounds what exactly happened at the Satti Chaura Ghat, and who fired the first shot, it is known that, soon afterwards, the departing British were shot at by the rebel sepoys and were either killed or captured. Some of the British officers later claimed that the rebels had, on purpose, placed the boats as high in the mud as possible, to cause delay. They also claimed that Nana Sahib's camp had previously arranged for the rebels to fire upon and kill all the English. Although the East India Company later accused Nana Sahib of betrayal and murder of innocent people, no evidence has ever been found to prove that Nana Sahib had pre-planned or ordered the massacre. Some historians believe that the Satti Chaura Ghat massacre was the result of confusion, and not of any plan implemented by Nana Sahib and his associates. Lieutenant Mowbray Thomson, one of the four male survivors of the massacre, believed that the rank-and-file sepoys who spoke to him did not know of the killing to come.[12]

Many were killed and the remaining 200 British women and children were brought back to shore and sent to a building called the Bibighar (the ladies' home). After some time, the commanders of the rebels decided to kill their hostages. The rebel soldiers refused to carry out orders and butchers from the nearby town were brought in to kill the hostages three days before the British entered the city on 18 July. The dismembered bodies were thrown into a deep well nearby. The British under General Neill retook the city and committed a series of retaliations against the rebel Sepoys and those civilians caught in the area, including women, children and old men. The Kanpur Massacre, as well as similar events elsewhere, were seen by the British as justification for unrestrained vengeance.[13]


The city's coordinates are 26.4670° North and 80.3500° East. The Government of Uttar Pradesh has carved out the new district of Kanpur Dehat from the old Kanpur Rural district. Kanpur, along with Allahabad and Fatehpur, are part of the Lower Doab, which in antiquity was known as the Vatsa country. It is surrounded by two main rivers of India, the Ganga in the northeast and the Pandu River (Yamuna) in the south. The districts surrounding Kanpur are Hamirpur in the south and Unnao in the north-east. The arid region of Bundelkhand lies just south of Kanpur. Kanpur district along with Kanpur Dehat district lie between the fertile Doab region of the Ganga and Yamuna rivers. The river Yamuna marks the boundary between the Avadh and Bundelkhand regions. Kanpur City comes under the Indo-Gangetic plains of India.


Kanpur features an atypical version of a humid subtropical climate that resembles the climate of Delhi to some degree. It has one of the lowest temperatures in the northern plains during the winter season and is one of the warmest during the summer season. Unlike many other cities with a humid subtropical climate, Kanpur features long and very hot summers, mild and relatively short winters, dust storms and a monsoon season. Kanpur lies in the northern plains of India, which witness extremes of temperature. It can drop to a minimum of 0 °C in the winters while it goes up to 48 °C in summers. Kanpur experiences severe fog in December and January, resulting in massive traffic and travel delays. In summer excessive dry heat is accompanied by dust storms and Loo, traits more commonly seen in desert climates. Rains appear between July and September almost at the end of regular monsoon season. Some rainfall is recorded during the harvest season of March–April. Snowfall has never occurred in the city. There are sometimes hailstones accompanied with rain in the winter season during the month of January but sometimes hailstorms have also occurred in the months of March and April. In January 2002, the city witnessed a heavy hailstorm which left the city streets white with ice pieces and in 2009 when the last hailstorm was recorded. Dust storms are frequent during the months of April–June. These dust storms are sometimes accompanied with light drizzles. Such dusty winds raise the level of particulates in the atmosphere resulting in severe air pollution and increasing health hazards. Sometimes the speed of winds exceeds 100 km/h in the outer areas of the city. Kanpur City lies on the right bank of the river Ganga, which is elevated very high from the river, which is the reason that the city never floods. Some of the rural outskirts of the city lie on the flood-prone areas of the Ganga, and it often floods the villages on its banks during the monsoon season. The Left bank sandy areas on the banks of the Ganga are cultivated to produce summer fruits like watermelon. The dry and hot Loo winds help the growth of watermelon which results in its great yield. The average rainfall recorded in the city is 885 mm.

Climate data for Kanpur
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 31.1
Average high °C (°F) 23.1
Average low °C (°F) 7.9
Record low °C (°F) 1.6
Average precipitation mm (inches) 18.7
Average rainy days 1.9 1.5 1.0 0.8 1.2 4.6 13.7 10.7 6.8 2.1 0.4 0.7 45.5
Source: India Meteorological Department (record high and low up to 2010)[14][15]

Surrounding areas[edit]

Flora and fauna[edit]

Civic administration[edit]

Kanpur Municipal Corporation HQ
Kanpur City officials
Divisional Commissioner
Mohammad Iftikharuddin[16]
Captain Jagatveer Singh Dron[17]
Chief Metropolitan Magistrate
Peeyush Pandey[18]
Metropolitan Magistrate
Pradeep Kumar Jayant[19]
District Magistrate
Dr Roshan Jacob[20]


See Ethnic communities in Kanpur, List of people from Kanpur

Religions in Kanpur 2011
Religion Percent
Distribution of religions
Includes Parsis (<1%).
Kanpur Population 
Census Pop.
1891 188,712
1901 197,170 4.5%
1911 178,557 -9.4%
1921 216,436 21.2%
1931 243,755 12.6%
1941 487,324 99.9%
1951 638,734 31.1%
1961 705,383 10.4%
1971 1,275,242 80.8%
1981 1,782,665 39.8%
1991 1,874,409 5.1%
2001 2,551,337 36.1%
2011 2,701,324 5.9%
Source: Census of India[21]

As per 2011 census Kanpur city has a population of 2,701,324.The total population of the district is 4,524,324 out of which males were 24,59,806 and females were 21,21,462. The literacy rate was 70.76 per cent.[22]

The majority of Kanpur's population comprises people from Central and Western Uttar Pradesh. However, Punjabis and Anglo-Indians have also settled in large numbers in areas of Swaroop Nagar, Tilak Nagar, Azad Nagar and Civil Lines. While the majority of the population is Hindu, there is a significant Muslim minority population. There are also small groups of Sikhs, Jains, Christians and Buddhists. As per 2011 census literacy rate of Kanpur is 82.42% (http://www.census2011.co.in/census/city/131-kanpur.html).

In Kanpur, the banking services were availed by only 61 percent of the households (Census 2001). About 8 percent of the households did not possess basic assets such as vehicles (bicycles, scooter, moped, car, jeep, etc.), televisions and radios. Katiyabaaz (Powerless), a 2014 Indian documentary film deals with the issue of power theft in the city of Kanpur.[23]

There are 35 Parsis in Kanpur with their Fire Temple at M.G Road.[24]

Metropolitan area[edit]

The metropolitan region defined under JNNURM by Kanpur Nagar Nigam, includes the Kanpur Nagar Nigam area, 8 kilometer around KNN boundary and newly included 47 villages of Unnao district on the north-eastern side, it extends to Murtaza Nagar, in the west its limit is up to Akbarpur, Kanpur Dehat Nagar Panchayat limit, in the eastern side the limit has been expanded on the road leading to Fatehpur and in extended up to. The metropolitan region area includes the area of Shuklaganj Municipal Committee (Nagar Palika), Unnao Municipal Committee (Nagar Palika), Akbarpur Village Authority (Nagar Panchayat) and Bithoor Village Authority (Nagar Panchayat) area.[6] In 1997-98, total metropolitan region area has increased to 89131.15 hectare out of which 4,743.9 hectare (5.31%) was non-defined (prohibited area) and rest 29,683 hectare and 54,704 hectare (61.39%) was urban and rural area respectively.



Air India (Regional) landing at Kanpur Airport

Kanpur Airport has scheduled commercial flights to Delhi. The nearest International Airport is the Chaudhary Charan Singh International Airport at Lucknow, which is around 77.1 km from Kanpur.


Upstream view of Ganga from Kanpur railway bridge
Downstream view of Ganga from Kanpur railway bridge

The city has had chronic problems with maintaining local roads.[25] There are several important National Highways that pass through Kanpur.

NH No Route Total Length
NH 2 Delhi » Mathura » Agra » Kanpur » Allahabad » Varanasi » Mohania » Barhi » Palsit » Dankuni (near Kolkata) 2542
NH 25 Lucknow » Kanpur » Jhansi 352
NH 86 Kanpur » Hamirpur » Mahoba  » Chhatarpur » Sagar » Bhopal » Indore 674
NH 91 Ghaziabad » Aligarh » Etah » Kannauj » Kanpur 405
NH 157 (Proposed) Kanpur » Raebareli » Sultanpur » Shahganj » Azamgarh » Gaura Barhaj » Siwan » Muzaffarpur 581

The Inter State Bus Station (ISBT) of Kanpur officially named as the "Shaheed Major Salman Khan Bus Station". It is locally known as the "Jhakarkati Bus Station" enquiry number: 0512 2328381. It provides buses to important cities of India. The other bus stations are:[26]

Ring road

The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) is all set to develop a four-lane outer ring road along the periphery of Kanpur with an aim to prevent traffic congestion in the industrial city caused by long-distance heavy vehicles. The new road, which will help the heavy vehicles to bypass the city, will be developed on a "Built, Operate and Transfer" (BOT) basis under the phase-VII of National Highways Development Programme (NHDP).[27]


Kanpur Central is the major rail head. Beside, Kanpur Anwarganj, Panki, Govindpuri and Kalyanpur are major railway halt stations. Kanpur Metro is planned MRTS for the city.

Kanpur Central (Platform view)

Sister Cities[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Kanpur India - Kanpur Uttar Pradesh, Kanpur City, Kanpur Guide, Kanpur Location". Iloveindia.com. Retrieved 2012-12-19. 
  2. ^ "Nick Name of Indian Places". Facts-about-india.com. Retrieved 2012-12-19. 
  3. ^ "Provisional Population Totals, Census of India 2011; Urban Agglomerations/Cities having population 1 lakh and above" (PDF). Office of the Registrar General & Census Commissioner, India. Retrieved 26 March 2012. 
  4. ^ "Provisional Population Totals, Census of India 2011; Cities having population 1 lakh and above" (PDF). Office of the Registrar General & Census Commissioner, India. Retrieved 26 March 2012. 
  5. ^ http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/lucknow/Lucknow-pips-Kanpur-emerges-as-most-populous-city-in-UP/articleshow/7879054.cms
  6. ^ a b "Final Report : Kanpur City" (PDF). Jnnurm.nic.in. Retrieved 2015-07-29. 
  7. ^ "Largest cities in the world and their mayors - 1 to 150". City Mayors. 2012-05-17. Retrieved 2012-12-19. 
  8. ^ Suvorova, Anna Aronovna (2004). Muslim saints of South Asia: the eleventh to fifteenth centuries- Volume 14 of RoutledgeCurzon Sūfī series. Routledge. p. 171. ISBN 0-415-31764-9. 
  9. ^ "Kanpur History - History of Kanpur City- History of Kanpur India". Journeymart.com. Retrieved 2015-07-29. 
  10. ^ "Man" (PDF). Dspace.wbpublisher.gov.in. p. 479. Retrieved 2015-07-29. 
  11. ^ Wright, Caleb (1863) [1863]. Historic Incidents and Life in India. J. A. Brainerd. p. 239. ISBN 978-1-135-72312-5. 
  12. ^ Sen, Surendra Nath (1995) [1957]. Eighteen Fifty-seven. Publications Division, Ministry of Information & Broadcasting, Government of India. p. 145. ISBN 81-230-0093-6. 
  13. ^ Dalrymple, W. 2007. The Last Mughal. The Fall of a Dynasty: Delhi, 1857, Alfred Knopf, New York
  14. ^ "Kanpur Climatological Table Period: 1971–1990". India Meteorological Department. Retrieved April 11, 2015. 
  15. ^ "Ever recorded Maximum and minimum temperatures up to 2010" (PDF). India Meteorological Department. Retrieved April 11, 2015. 
  16. ^ "Mohammad Iftikharuddin, new Kanpur commission er". The Times of India. 2014-04-24. Retrieved 2010-05-05. 
  17. ^ "S.K. Nataraj elected Mayor of Kanpur". The Hindu. 2010-04-24. Retrieved 2010-05-05. 
  18. ^ "Court dismisses complaint against Mulayam". The Times of India. 2012-03-29. Retrieved 2010-05-05. 
  19. ^ "Metropolitan Magistrate". Kanpur District Court. 2012-04-15. Retrieved 2011-04-08. 
  20. ^ "Dr Roshan Jacob is new Kanpur DM". The Times of India. 2012-03-20. Retrieved 2012-03-20. [dead link]
  21. ^ "Kanpur City Development Plan Under JNNURM" (PDF). JNNURM - Demography. pp. 3–13. Retrieved 2008-12-29. 
  22. ^ "Urban Agglomerations/Cities having population 1 lakh and above" (PDF). Provisional Population Totals, Census of India 2011. Retrieved 2012-07-07. 
  23. ^ "'Katiyabaaz': A documentary maker challenges mainstream space". The Times of India. 23 August 2014. Retrieved 2014-08-30. 
  24. ^ "Appeal – Cawnpore Parsee Anjuman, Kanpur | Parsis, Iranis, Zarathushtis - ALL Under One Roof". Zoroastrians.net. Retrieved 2015-07-29. 
  25. ^ Potholed roads, eight to ten hours long power cut, overflowing drains and contaminated drinking water tell the tale of the Industrial town, which is fast turning into a big slum. Siddiqui, Faiz Rahman (29 April 2014). "'Outsider' Joshi takes on 'local' Jaiswal". The Times of India. Archived from the original on 21 July 2014. 
  26. ^ "UPSRTC". UPSRTC. Retrieved 2012-12-19. 
  27. ^ "Kanpur to get outer ring road to bypass traffic blues". Indianepress.com. Retrieved 2011-01-20. 


External links[edit]