Shri Radhakrishna Temple was built about half a century back by the JK Trust of Singhania Family and is also referred to as the JK Temple. The temple reflects a unique blend of ancient and modern architecture. The mandapas have high roofs to ensure adequate ventilation.
The temple comprises of five shrines dedicated to popular Hindu gods and goddesses, most notably Radha and Krishna after whom it is named. The other four shrines are dedicated to Hanuman, Lakshmi Narayan, Ardhanarishwar and Narmadeshwar. The beautifully carved idols are placed under a high-roofed mandap or canopy.
Shri Radhakrishna Temple is located close to a magnificent park and lake. The temple is bathed in light at night and its reflection in the water of the lake presents a mesmerising sight. Entry to the temple is free of charge.
The word Dwarkadhish refers to Lord Krishna, who is regarded as the master or the ruler of the city of Dwarka. The temple of Dwarkadhish is, therefore, dedicated to him. It is situated close to Kamla Tower in Kanpur.
According to the Hindu calendar, the festival of Shravan falls in the months of July and August. Hindus in North India regard this period as the holiest and the most auspicious part of the year. There is no better way of celebrating the festival than in the company of Lord Krishna and his consort Radha.
They drape the idols of both the deities in colourful clothes and place them in the swing and sway them reverentially with a thin rope tied to it. They sing happy songs as they perform these rituals.
Dwarkadhish Temple in Kanpur is famous for its jhoola where the devotees perform the ritual of swinging the godly couple with religious zeal.
Also called Jajesmow in the nineteenth century, the city of Jajmau is located on the suburban area of Kanpur on the bank of the river Ganga. Presently an industrial hub, the city, according to the Archaeological Survey of India, is the oldest human habitation in the region.
The tools, artefacts and earthen pottery discovered during the excavations take the history of the city back to 1300-1200 BCE. The ASI also found an ivory seal, which belongs to the period of Chandragupta Maurya. The exhibits are currently displayed in Kanpur Sangrahalaya.
The city is home to an old mosque called Jinnat Masjid. Situated on the top of a hill, it boasts of a marked architectural similarity to Taj Mahal because of its white colour.
A little distance away from the mosque, down the hill, is another popular shrine of Hazrat Makhdoom Shah Ala, a Sufi saint whose tomb was built by Feroze Shah Tughlaq in 1358.
Moti Jheel literally translated means pearl lake. It is located in Swaroop Nagar locality of Kanpur. This lake was developed as a reservoir of drinking water during the British rule in India. Of late, it has become an attractive tourist destination of the city because of the children’s park and the artistically landscaped gardens located by its side.
The rectangular lake is flanked by Lala Lajpat Rai Hospital on one side and a host of other important buildings of the city's municipal committee along with the water treatment plant of the Kanpur Development Authority on the other.
Moti Jheel, with flowers and ducks swaying gracefully in its waters, is an important recreational area for the residents of the city. While the children love to play various games, such as cricket and badminton, the people in general come here for walks in the morning and evening on a path specially built for this purpose around the lake.
Phool Bagh, also called Ganesh Vidyarthi Udyan, is located in the central part of the city near the Kanpur Central railway station, LIC Building and Nana Rao Park. The park was known as Queen Victoria Garden during the British rule in India.
The garden has hosted several historical public assemblies addressed by some of the greatest leaders and speakers of modern India including Mahatma Gandhi, Indira Gandhi, Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Ram Manohar Lohia.
Phool Bagh is also a home to the popular Kanpur Sangrahalaya and Cawnpore Union Club. The sangrahalaya is the official museum of the city and is an attraction in its own right. Until a few years ago, the park was well maintained and had many green spaces to its credit. However, it is now used for political rallies and the greenery has more or less disappeared. Its historical legacy continues to be a draw.
The name of the temple, Bhitargaon, also suggests its location. According to the legend, it was located in the inner area of an ancient village called Phoolpur. Bhitargaon has an ancient temple which was built in 6th century during the golden Gupta period of India. Hence, the temple got its name after the village.
Bhitargaon Temple is regarded as the oldest Hindu sacred place having a high roof or shikhara. The 68.25-feet-tall structure from the ground was built with terracotta and 18-inch-long, 9-inch-wide and 3-inch bricks. It is built upon a 36-feet by 47-feet platform. The walls of the temple are 8 feet thick.
It contains a vaulted arch which was used for the first time in India. The whole structure is a testimony to the state of architecture in those days. The 15-feet by 15-feet sanctum is constructed in two storeys and it represents the Hindu concept of repentance of Nar and Narayan over the kidnapping of Goddess Sita.
Allen Forest Zoo, also known as the Kanpur Zoo, is located over a large area of natural forest. It is different from the other zoos as you can see the animals in their natural habitat instead of the caged varieties you would see in other zoos. It is named after Sir Allen, a botanist who originally conceived this project.
The zoo is home to a large variety of animal species including the rare musk deer, jaguars, rhinoceros, tigers, lions, monkeys, langurs and cheetahs. There is also an aquarium and a botanical garden consisting of several lakes and some rare species of plants. Animals and birds apart, the zoo is a refreshing oasis of peace and greenery, just about 2 kilometres from the city centre.
The zoo is the largest in Asia in terms of forest cover and includes a natural lake surrounded by ancient trees. It is a popular picnic and leisure destination for people of all age groups including students who visit it for recreation and education.
Kanpur Sangrahalaya or Kanpur Museum is the official museum of the city. It is home to a large number of exhibits, mementos and artefacts that narrate the history of the people of the city who proactively participated in India’s struggle for independence from the British. One of the main attractions here is a historical artillery gun belonging to the British times.
The museum is a valuable source of authentic information about the history and culture of Kanpur. Set up in the year 1999, it is currently situated on the grounds of Phool Singh Bagh at the crossing of the Kanpur-Lucknow Road.
Nana Rao Park is also known as Company Bagh. It was called Memorial Well during the British rule because the Indian freedom fighters under the leadership of Nana Sahib put to death some 200 British women and children during the 1857 War of Independence. The building in which the massacre took place was called Bibighar. The bodies of the victims were thrown in a well located close to it. The park is, thus, of great historical importance with regards to the Indian Freedom Movement.
The British soldiers used the area close to it for prosecution of Indians to seek revenge against the death of their compatriots. They forced the people of Kanpur to pay 30,000 pounds to erect the memorial building.
The government of India pulled down the British memorial after the independence of the country. The park currently has the statues of the great leaders of the 1857 struggle, such as Tatya Tope, Azizan Bai and Rani of Jhansi.
Jain Glass Temple was built by the Jain community as a mark of reverence to the 24 Tirthankars of their religion. The temple contains the statues of Bhagwan Mahavir and the Tirthankars. They stand under the huge canopies built on a large marble platform.
The temple is situated in Maheshwari Mahal close to Kamla Tower. As the name indicates, the whole structure of the temple is built with glass and enamel. It is designed in conventional architectural style and attracts a huge crowd of local visitors and tourists from far and wide.
While the floors are constructed with marble, the walls and ceiling of the temple are decorated with mirrors cut in exquisite artistic designs. It is indeed a great work of art. The murals on the walls are made up of stained glass and portray the teachings contained in the Jain scriptures. The temple has magnificently styled arches with ornate mirror-work.
Kanpur Memorial Church was built by the British government in India in 1875 to commemorate the death of the English people during the historic Siege of Cawnpore as the city was called during those times.
The grand church, earlier known as the All Souls Cathedral, sprawls in the centre of Kanpur Cantonment on Albert Lane close to Cawnpore Club. The red brick Lombardic structure of the church was conceived and designed in Gothic style by Walter Granville, a British architect of the East Bengal Railway. It is flanked on one side by a cemetery which contains the graves of the British people and soldiers.
The church also has a memorial garden on its eastern wing, which can be reached through two gates. It has a carved screen and a statue of an angel in its centre with its arms crossed and holding pylons symbolising peace for the world. It was built by a sculptor called Baron Carlo Marochetti.
Green Park, also called Green Park Stadium, is situated close to the bank of river Ganga in Civil Lines area of Kanpur. The park got its name from an English lady, Madam Green, who used it for practicing horse riding in pre-independence years.
The park serves as the playing ground for the UP cricket team. This multipurpose stadium is equipped with flood lighting facility and can seat 60,000 spectators. The park has witnessed several international cricket matches. A unique feature of the stadium is that it offers a special seating area for students, called Students Gallery. It is fitted with video screens and the world’s largest manually operated scoreboard.
It was here that the invincible Australian cricket team was defeated by Indian players in December, 1959. The park has witnessed several great Indian and internationally reputed cricketers, including Subhash Gupte, Jasubhai Patel, Malcolm Marshall, Sunil Gavaskar, Gundappa Vishwanath, Kapil Dev, Anil Kumble and Mohammed Azharuddin, who thrilled the cricket lovers with their scintillating performance.
Kamla Retreat is a popular tourist resort in Kanpur which was built by Shri Padam Pat Singhania, an eminent industrialist of India, in the year 1960. The retreat is located on Kamla Nehru Road.
The park is actually a private estate owned by the Singhania family. It consists of several places of tourist interest including a museum, which has on display several archaeological and historical mementos and artefacts dating back to the ancient past.
The retreat also boasts of several parks, lawns and canals with boating facilities. There is also a swimming pool with high-tech equipment for creating artificial waves. The pool is lit by psychedelic lights that present a spectacular sight at night.
There is also a zoo spread across a lush-green area where various species of variegated birds, reptiles and animals roam freely. The retreat has hosted several great personalities, such as Pt Jawaharlal Nehru and Chow En Lai, the first prime minister of China before the Indo-China war of 1962. Prior permission is required to visit the park.