One of the british india,s largest garrisons Kanpur, or Cawnpore as it was then know’ witnessed some of the bloodiest battles in 1857.More than 1,000 British soldiers and civilians were killed when Nana Sahib, the Maratha ruler, broke theBritish siege held by General Sir Hugh Wheeler in June 1857. When British reinforcements arrived, equally ferocious reprisals occurred. Today, Kanpur is an industrial city with leather, products. The old garrison, now an enclave of the armed forces, has some interesting relics of the Raj. Amongthem is the All Souls’ Memorial Church, a grand Gothic style structure with an intricate stained-glass window over the west door. Built after 1857, it is a memorial to those killed during the siege. East of the church, the pretty Memorial Garden has a statue of an angel surrounded by a Gothic screen. This statue originally stood at the site of a terrible massacre, where British women and children were hacked and thrown down a well near Bibighar, in the town’s centre. Northeast of the church, Sati Chaura Ghat along the Ganges, is the spot where Indian forces killed 500 British soldiers and civilians. The Military Cemetery on the edge of the cantonment has many interesting graves, while in the town, the King Edward VII Memorial Hall and Christ Church (built in 1840) are also worth visiting.
ENVIRONS: Bithur, 25 km (16 miles) west of Kanpur, boasts a fort built by the Peshwas. It is also the legendary birthplace of Lay and Kush, the twin sons of Rama and Sita . About 60 km (37 miles) south of Kanpur, lies the beautiful 5th-century brick temple at Bhitargaon. built by the Gupta kings. The only one of its kind still surviving, most of the relief panels on the temple have vanished, but some terracotta sculptures inside remain.