Kanpur is the biggest city of the state and is the main centre of commercial and industrial activities. Formerly it was known as Manchester of India. Now it is the commercial capital of Uttar Pradesh.
It is situated on the most important national highways no. 2 & 25 and state highway,the main Delhi-Howrah railway trunck lines & at the bank of holy river Ganga. It is about 126 meters above the sea level. Presently civilian air-service to Delhi is available for the city at Ahirwan. The other nearest civilian air port Amausi (Lucknow) is 65Km. away from Kanpur.
Nestled on the banks of the eternal Ganga, Kanpur stands as one of North Indias major industrial centers with its own historical, religious and commercial importance. Believed to be founded by king Hindu Singh of the erstwhile state of Sachendi, Kanpur was originally known as `Kanhpur. Historically, Jajmau on the eastern outskirts of present day Kanpur is regarded as one of the most archaic townships of Kanpur district.
The biggest city of UttarPradesh and eighth biggest in India. Kanpur is the most important metropolis of the state. According to the 2001 census, the city had a population of 25,51,337. Among the big towns of Uttar Pradesh , the growth of kanpur has been phenomenal. It ranked third after Lucknow and Varanasi in 1901, but by 1961 it assumed a position on top of the list. It has registered an increase of over five times from 1,97,170 in 1901 to 9,71,062 in 1961 in the course of six decades. This is mainly due to its most central location in the state. Kanpur has benefited from its fertile agricultural hinterland of the Upper Ganga Valley and Bundelkhand plateau, the available developed links of transportation and the stimulant of World War-2 with its industrial demand. In this city, in spite of a low percentage of irrigated area, the density is high and that is obviously due to great industrial Concentration.
Upto the 1st half of the 18th century Kanpur continued to survive as an insignificant village. Its fate, however, took a new turn soon after. In May 1765, Shuja-ud-daula, the Nawab Wazir of Awadh, was defeated by the British near Jajmau. It was probably at this time that strategic importance of the site of Kanpur was realized by the British. European businessmen had by this time gradually started establishing themselves in Kanpur. In order to ensure protection to their lives and property the `Awadh local forces� were shifted here in 1778. Kanpur passed into British hands under the treaty of 1801 with Nawab Saadat Ali Khan of Awadh. This forms a turning point in the history of Kanpur. Soon Kanpur became one of the most important military station of British India. It was declared a district on 24th March 1803.