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Kanpur Central: A Historical Gem in the Heart of India

Last updated :
March 10, 2024

minutes read

Imagine stepping onto a platform that buzzes with energy, where the air is filled with the aroma of chai and samosas, and the sound of train engines and announcements echo in the background. Welcome to Kanpur Central, a place that is more than just a railway station. It's a microcosm of India's vibrant culture and a testament to the country's impressive railway network.

Brief Overview of Kanpur Central

Kanpur Central, formerly known as Cawnpore North Barracks, is a bustling railway station located in the heart of the industrial city of Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh. With the station code 'CNB', it stands as a significant junction in the Indian railway network. This station is not just a transit point but also a historical landmark that has witnessed the city's evolution from a key commercial and military station during British India to the financial capital of Uttar Pradesh.

Importance of Kanpur Central Railway Station in India's Railway Network

Ranked as the third busiest railway station in the country, after Howrah Junction and New Delhi railway station, Kanpur Central holds a pivotal position in India's railway network. It serves as a major railway station between Howrah Junction and New Delhi, connecting the eastern and northern regions of India. The station's strategic location and its connectivity to major Indian cities make it a crucial hub for commercial and industrial activities. So, whether you're a local resident, a business traveller, or a tourist, Kanpur Central is a place that you're likely to cross paths with on your Indian railway journey.

The Historical Significance of Kanpur Central

Every station has a story, and Kanpur Central is no exception. Its history is as rich and diverse as the city it resides in. Let's take a journey back in time and explore the evolution of this iconic station, the story behind its name, and the architectural marvel that it is.

The Evolution of Kanpur Central Railway Station

Established in the era of the British Raj, Kanpur Central has evolved significantly over the years. Originally known as Cawnpore North Barracks, it started as a small station on the Kanpur-Allahabad line in 1859. However, as Kanpur grew into a major commercial and military hub, the need for a larger, more equipped station became evident. This led to the birth of the present-day Kanpur Central, which replaced the former Kanpur Junction, also known as Kanpur Purana.

Today, Kanpur Central stands as one of the five central railway stations in India and the third busiest, serving as a crucial junction between Howrah Junction and New Delhi. It has witnessed the city's transformation from a key British station to the financial capital of Uttar Pradesh.

The Story Behind the Name 'Kanpur Central'

The name 'Kanpur Central' is deeply rooted in the city's history. The city of Kanpur, originally known as 'Cawnpore' during the British rule, was renamed after independence. The railway station, being a central hub in the city, adopted the name 'Kanpur Central'. This name not only reflects its geographical location but also its central role in connecting various parts of the country.

The Architectural Marvel of Kanpur Central Railway Station

One cannot talk about Kanpur Central without mentioning its impressive architecture. The station building, which has stood the test of time for over 87 years, is a testament to the architectural prowess of the past. Its design reflects a blend of colonial and traditional Indian architecture, making it a sight to behold. The grandeur of the station building, coupled with its bustling atmosphere, adds to the charm of Kanpur Central.

From its historical significance to its architectural beauty, Kanpur Central is more than just a railway station. It's a symbol of India's rich history and its ever-evolving present. So, the next time you find yourself at Kanpur Central, take a moment to appreciate the stories and the history that echo through its platforms.

The Present Day Kanpur Central

Stepping into the present, Kanpur Central is a lively hub, a place where countless stories unfold every day. It's not just a railway station; it's a microcosm of Kanpur city itself. Let's explore what makes this station so special today.

Kanpur Central Railway Station: A Bustling Hub

Kanpur Central today stands as:

  • One of the busiest railway stations in India, always buzzing with activity.
  • A significant junction with over 475 trains passing through, connecting various parts of the country.
  • A place that's always on the move, reflecting the spirit of the city and its people.

Facilities and Amenities at Kanpur Central

Kanpur Central is equipped with a range of facilities to ensure a comfortable journey for its passengers:

  • Clean waiting rooms for passengers to rest.
  • Food courts offering a variety of cuisines.
  • Book stalls for those who love to read on the go.
  • ATMs for easy access to cash.
  • Designated as an 'Eat Right Station', it ensures passengers have access to healthy and hygienic food options.

The Central Courtyard of Kanpur Central: A Meeting Point for Many

The central courtyard of Kanpur Central is a significant part of the station's charm. It's:

  • A meeting point where people from different walks of life cross paths.
  • A place of goodbyes and reunions, holding countless stories and memories.

The Role of Kanpur Central in the State of Uttar Pradesh

Kanpur Central plays a crucial role in the state of Uttar Pradesh:

  • As the largest city in Uttar Pradesh, Kanpur is a significant commercial and industrial hub, with Kanpur Central at its heart.
  • The station connects Kanpur to various parts of Uttar Pradesh and beyond, serving as a lifeline for the people.
  • It's a driving force behind the city's growth and development.

From its historical roots to its present-day significance, Kanpur Central is a testament to India's progress and its dynamic railway network. It's a place that's constantly evolving, yet it remains a constant in the lives of the people it serves.

The Trains and Zones of Kanpur Central

Trains are the lifeblood of Kanpur Central, connecting it to the rest of India. But what about the station code 'CNB', or the zone it belongs to in the Indian Railway network? Let's dive into these details and more.

Understanding the Station Code 'CNB'

Every railway station in India has a unique code for easy identification, and Kanpur Central is no exception. The station code 'CNB' stands for 'Cawnpore North Barracks', a name that harks back to the station's origins during the British Raj. So, the next time you're booking a train ticket or checking the live status of a train, remember that 'CNB' is your key to all things related to Kanpur Central.

The Zone of Kanpur Central in the Indian Railway Network

Kanpur Central falls under the North Central Railway (NCR) zone, one of the 18 zones in the Indian Railway network. This zone plays a crucial role in connecting the northern and eastern parts of India, with Kanpur Central serving as a significant junction. So, whether you're travelling from Howrah to New Delhi or vice versa, chances are you'll find yourself at Kanpur Central, the heart of the NCR zone.

The Number of Trains Running from Kanpur Central

With over 475 trains passing through, Kanpur Central is always abuzz with activity. These trains connect Kanpur to various parts of the country, making it a crucial junction in the Indian Railway network. From early morning departures to late-night arrivals, there's always a train ready to take you to your destination from Kanpur Central.

Major Trains and Their Routes from Kanpur Central

Several major trains pass through Kanpur Central, connecting it to major cities across India. Some of these include:

  • Howrah - New Delhi Poorva SF Express: Connecting the eastern city of Howrah to the national capital, New Delhi.
  • Rewa - Delhi Anand Vihar T SF Express: A superfast express connecting Rewa in Madhya Pradesh to Delhi.

These trains, along with many others, make Kanpur Central a bustling hub in the Indian Railway network.

Navigating Kanpur Central

How to reach IIT Kanpur from Kanpur Central

Getting to IIT Kanpur from Kanpur Central is a breeze. Here's how you can do it:

  • IIT Kanpur is located on GT Road at Kalyanpur, about 16 km west of Kanpur city and around 18 kms away from Kanpur Central Railway Station.
  • It takes about 40 minutes to drive from Kanpur Central railway station to IIT Kanpur.
  • You can hire taxis (about Rs. 350) or auto rickshaws (about Rs.220) from the station to IIT Kanpur.
  • Please note that there is no arrangement of pick-up/drop-off from/to Kanpur Central railway station by the organizers.

The metro station near Kanpur Central

The Kanpur Metro is a convenient way to get around the city. Here's what you need to know:

  • The Kanpur Metro covers a distance of 8.98 km with 9 stations, all elevated.
  • It is built and operated by the Uttar Pradesh Metro Rail Corporation (UPMRC).
  • The metro system was inaugurated on 28 December 2021 and opened for public on the same day with the Orange Line.
  • The metro stations are conveniently located and provide easy access to various parts of the city, including the vicinity of Kanpur Central.

The number of platforms at Kanpur Central

Kanpur Central is a major railway station with a lot to offer. Here's a quick look at its platform situation:

  • Kanpur Central has a total of 10 platforms, all well-equipped to handle the large volume of passengers that transit through it every day.
  • The platforms are spacious and well-maintained, ensuring a comfortable waiting experience for passengers.
  • Despite the large number of platforms, the station is often bustling with activity due to the high number of trains that pass through it.
  • According to a NCR report, the station needs at least 10 more platforms to support the ever-increasing passenger amount. However, the re-modelling work is proceeding very slowly, but senior NCR officials are hopeful of keeping their promises.

Accommodation Near Kanpur Central

Hotels near Kanpur Central Railway Station: Comfort at your convenience

Whether you're a solo traveller or with family, finding the right place to stay near Kanpur Central Railway Station is crucial. Here are some options that you can consider:

  • The Landmark Hotel: This hotel is known for its excellent service and comfortable rooms. It's a great choice if you're looking for a bit of luxury near the railway station.
  • Hotel Royal Cliff: If you're on a budget but don't want to compromise on comfort, Hotel Royal Cliff is a good option. It offers clean rooms and friendly service.
  • The Pristine Hotel: Located just a few miles from Kanpur Central Station, The Pristine Hotel offers a comfortable stay with a restaurant and free private parking.

You can find more options and book these hotels on platforms like MakeMyTrip, EaseMyTrip, and Yatra. These platforms offer a wide range of hotels to choose from, catering to different budgets and preferences.

Exploring the options: From budget to luxury

When it comes to accommodation near Kanpur Central, you have a plethora of options. From budget stays to luxury hotels, there's something for everyone. Here are a few options:

Category Name Average Price Range Booking Platform
Hostel Zostel Kanpur ₹500 - ₹1000 per night Available on MakeMyTrip, EaseMyTrip, Yatra
Hostel Backpacker Panda Kanpur ₹500 - ₹1000 per night Available on MakeMyTrip, EaseMyTrip, Yatra
Hostel GoStops Kanpur ₹500 - ₹1000 per night Available on MakeMyTrip, EaseMyTrip, Yatra
Budget Stay Hotel MMK ₹1000 - ₹2000 per night Available on MakeMyTrip, EaseMyTrip, Yatra
Budget Stay Hotel Mandakini Plaza ₹1000 - ₹2000 per night Available on MakeMyTrip, EaseMyTrip, Yatra
Budget Stay Hotel Gagan Plaza ₹1000 - ₹2000 per night Available on MakeMyTrip, EaseMyTrip, Yatra
Luxury Stay The Landmark Hotel ₹4000 and above per night Available on MakeMyTrip, EaseMyTrip, Yatra
Luxury Stay Status Club Resort ₹4000 and above per night Available on MakeMyTrip, EaseMyTrip, Yatra
Luxury Stay Regenta Central The Crystal ₹4000 and above per night Available on MakeMyTrip, EaseMyTrip, Yatra

Remember, the right accommodation can make your journey even more enjoyable. So, take your time to explore the options and choose the one that suits your needs the best.

The Future of Kanpur Central

The new name of Kanpur Central: Embracing the future

As we look towards the future, it's interesting to reflect on the past. Here's a little trivia about Kanpur Central:

  • The station was formerly known as 'Cawnpore North Barracks'.
  • The name 'Kanpur Central' was adopted to reflect its central location and significance in the Indian railway network.
  • While the name has changed in the past, it's always remained a significant landmark in Kanpur.
  • Who knows what new name this iconic station might embrace in the future? But no matter what it's called, its importance will remain unchanged.

Is Kanpur Central Railway Station sold? Debunking the myths

There's been a lot of chatter about the future of Kanpur Central Railway Station. Let's clear up some misconceptions:

  • Contrary to rumours, Kanpur Central is not being sold.
  • Instead, it's undergoing a major transformation. A ₹710 crore project has been approved for the redevelopment of the station.
  • The project aims to transform Kanpur Central into a state-of-the-art railway station, on par with international standards.
  • The redevelopment is expected to be completed within the next 36 months.

So, the next time you hear someone saying that Kanpur Central is being sold, you can set the record straight!


Why Kanpur Central is more than just a railway station

As we wrap up our journey through Kanpur Central, let's take a moment to appreciate why this place is more than just a railway station:

  • A Historical Landmark: With its rich history and architectural grandeur, Kanpur Central is a living testament to India's railway heritage.
  • A Bustling Hub: It's not just a place where trains stop. It's a bustling hub of activity, where thousands of stories unfold every day.
  • A Gateway: For many, it's the gateway to Kanpur, opening up a world of opportunities and experiences.
  • A Symbol of Progress: With the ongoing redevelopment project, Kanpur Central is set to become a symbol of progress, embodying the spirit of a new India.

The enduring legacy of Kanpur Central

As we conclude, let's reflect on the enduring legacy of Kanpur Central:

  • Standing the Test of Time: From its early days as 'Cawnpore North Barracks' to the present day, Kanpur Central has stood the test of time, adapting and evolving with the changing times.
  • Connecting People: Over the years, it has connected countless people, facilitating journeys and creating memories.
  • Shaping the Future: With its upcoming transformation, it's all set to shape the future, offering improved facilities and services to passengers.
  • Leaving a Mark: Whether it's the first-time visitor or the daily commuter, Kanpur Central leaves a mark on everyone who passes through its gates.

Indeed, Kanpur Central is more than just a railway station. It's a place where the past, present, and future come together, creating a unique blend of history, culture, and progress. Here's to Kanpur Central - a symbol of India's railway heritage and a beacon of its bright future!

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Shuaib Azam
Shuaib is a Marketing & Growth lead at Hubble. When he isn't working on growth initiatives, Shuaib writes fiction and doodles space monkeys.

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