(Last Updated on : 09/04/2013)
The monuments of Kanpur in Uttar Pradesh
are mostly historical in nature. In fact, each monument of the city has a story to tell to its visitor. Rather it can be said that a long history is associated with every piece of architecture in Kanpur
. Not only the Kanpur monuments have a story to tell but at the same time they bear evidence which justify the historical lineage of each of these monuments. The most notable monuments of the city are Jajmau the Massacre Ghat, the Kanpur Memorial Church, Jain Glass Temple, Shri Radhakrishna Temple and a lot more.
Jajmau in Kanpur is the abode of Siddhnath and Siddha Devi temples and the mausoleum of Makhdum Shah ala-ul-Haq. Beside these structures also stands a mosque built by Kulich Khan in 1679.
The principal British monuments are concentrated at the site of Wheeler's entrenchment, which lies in the old cantonment area about 2-5 km from the centre of the city. The lines of the old entrenchment are marked with inscribed stone posts. In the centre stands Ali Souls' Memorial Church, designed by Walter Granville, architect of the East Bengal Railway and later a consulting architect to the government of India. Commenced in 1862, it was not completed until 1875, the design being simplified during the course of its erection. It is a handsome building in a Lombardi-Gothic style, faced in red brick with polychrome dressings, dominated by a tall campanile and spire. The interior is surprisingly cool and spacious, a welcome refuge from the unremitting heat and glare. There is a fine stained-glass rose window over the west door. The apsidal east end carries fourteen marble memorial tablets to the fallen. Numerous other poignant memorials line the walls.
Outside are a number of interesting monuments, notably a blue and white tiled pavement enclosed by iron railings marking the graves of over seventy officers and men captured and executed on 1st July 1857, four days after the massacre at the Sati Chaura Ghat. Nearby is the capped well-head where so many died during the siege in vain attempts to draw water.
In a separate enclosure to the cast of the church is the Memorial Garden, approached through two gateways over which are inscribed the moving words: 'These are they who come out of great tribulation." A short path leads to Baron Carlo Marochetti's famous mournful seraph, set in front of a pierced Gothic screen designed by Sir Henry Yule. Originally, the statue and screen stood in the Municipal Gardens in the centre of the city, over the site of the Bibighar well, where the dismembered remains of European women and children were discovered by Havelock's relieving troops, but the memorials were relocated here after Indian independence in 1948.
The Sati Chaura Ghat, where the massacre at the boats took place, is little changed since 1857. Situated about one kilometre north-east of the church, a dry, dusty track winds down below high banks to the river frontage, where the little hexagonal temple of Lord Shiva
survives. A small plaque inlaid in a wall at the head of the track in 1930 is all there is to mark the spot.
The Military Cemetery on the edge of the cantonment contains a number of interesting graves from the late 19th century. Within the city the King Edward VII Memorial Hall is noteworthy and Christ Church, close to the municipal gardens, is worth a visit. The interior contains monuments to the Mutiny, including several memorial tablets.
Besides these historical edifices of Kanpur
, Shree Radhakrishna Temple on the other hand resembles a blend of both tradition as well as modern styles of architecture. The temple had been built by J.K Trust. The principal deities of the temple are Shri Laxminarayan, Shri Aradhanarishwar, Shri Narmadeshwar and Shri Hanuman.
The Jain Glass Temple on the other hand is a beautiful structure with works of glass and enamel all over.
Hence, it can be concluded saying that the monuments have the ability to satiate the quench of a traveller who is in search of history but at the same time he will not be bored as there is enough scope to witness the artistic skill of the architectural pieces of Kanpur.