ancient times, Kanpur was known as Cawnpore by the
British. Under the British, it was one of the most
important garrisons on the Ganga. During the Mutiny in
Delhi, the insurgents turned towards Cawnpore. Here they
rallied under Nana Sahib who bore a grievance against
the British because they had not pensioned him off as
handsomely as his father. He laid siege to the British
community of around 1,000 people under Sir James
Wheeler. After a few weeks, the defenders were reduced
to a few hundred through gunshot wounds, starvation and
disease. Nana Sahib then offered a truce and arranged
for boats to take the survivors downstream to Allahabad.
When they were boarding these at Satichura Ghat, they
were raked with fire and hacked down by horseman. The
survivors were either butchered and thrown down a well
or died of cholera and dysentery. General Sir James
Neill was seized with an Old Testamental vision of
revenge when he saw the mangled bodies down the well (Moorhouse).
The captured mutineers had to lick clean a portion of
the bloody ground, and were then hanged. To break a
man’s caste, pork and beef were stuffed down his throat,
thus condemning him to eternal damnation. More often
than not, persons suspected of belonging to the mutineer
army were bayoneted on sight, regardless of whether they
were armed or not. Nana Sahib escaped after pretending
to commit suicide in the Ganga and is believed to have
died of fever in Nepal in 1859.
Tourist Attractions in
The various British monuments are located at the
site of Wheeler’s entrenchment in the south-east of the
city and is known as the old cantonment area. Some of
the historical buildings are the All Soul’s Memorial
Church, Memorial Garden, King Edward VII Memorial Hall
and Christ Church.
All Soul’s Memorial Church
The All Soul’s Memorial Church was built in 1875
in Romanesque style. This church has a
handsome Gothic style building with a campanile and
spire designed by Walter Granville. The interior is cool
and spacious and has an attractive stained glass window.
It bears the names of British soldiers who died in the
revolt against the British East India Company in 1857.
Outside the church, there is an enclosed pavement
marking the graves of over 70 officers and men captured
and executed on 1 July 1857, four days after the
Satichaura ghat massacre.
In the Memorial Garden there is a statue by Marochetti
and a screen designed by Sir Henry Yule. Originally
these stood over the Bibighar well where the dismembered
bodies of European women and children had been thrown.
They were relocated here in 1948.
The Satichaura Ghat is just over 1 km north-east of the
church and little changed. A dusty track leads down to
the river Ganga and a small Siva temple stands by it.
There is a small plaque in the wall at the head of the
How to reach Kanpur
Kanpur is directly connected by Indian Airlines flights
with Delhi and Lucknow.
Kanpur is situated on the main broad gauge Delhi-Kolkata
line and also has lines from Lucknow, Agra and Central
India. Kanpur is directly connected by rail with Agra,
Delhi, Kolkata, Patna, Varanasi and Lucknow.
Kanpur is connected with all major cities on good roads
like Lucknow, Allahabad, Varanasi, Khajuraho, Agra,
Jhansi, Bhopal and Delhi.