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KANNAUJ (Uttar Pradesh)

Kannauj is a district in northIndian state of Uttar Pradesh. It is one among the most ancient place of India having rich cultural and archeological heritage. The ancient name of this place is Kanyakubja or Mahodya (as per Valmiki Ramayana, Mahabharata and Puran) later name Kanyakhbja was changed as Kannauj the present name of the District.

It is known as ‘Attar city’ or perfume city of India as it is known for distilling of scents and is a market center for perfume, essential oils and rose water.

Kannauj is a historic place that is situated on the banks of Ganges. Other rivers flowing from the district are Kali and Ishan.

The district was established from the former Farrukhabad district on 18 September,1997.

The district is situated in Kanpur division. Its north borders touches Farrukhabad District, at its east Hardoi district is situated. Kanpur dehat is at its south-eastern border whereas western and southern borders touch district Mainpuri and Etawah respectively. It is almost rectangular shaped district.

The geographical position of the district lies in between 27° 13 min 30 sec North latitude and from 79° 19 min to 80° 1 min east longitudes. The total geographical area of the district is 3129.2 Sq.km. [1]

 

History

During the Bronze age various pre historical weapons and tools were found in the district. Large numbers of stone statues are found here. It has great antiquity in sculpture.

The Aryans settled in this region who were close allies of Kurus. The traditional history of the district from the earliest time till the end of Mahabharata war is obtained from the Mahabharata &Puranas. ‘Amavasu’ found a kingdom, the capital of which later was Kanyakubja (Kannauj). Jahnu was a mighty king since the river Ganga is said to have been named after him as Jahnaui.

The region obtained importance during Mahabharata period. Kampilya was the capital of south Panchala and it is the place where the famous Svayamvar of Draupadi held. The name Panchala being used for the entire region of which Kampilya was the chief city.

Panchala figures as the tenth in the list of the sixteen foremost states i.e. Mahajanpada in the time of Buddha and Mahavira.

About the middle of the fourth century B.C. probably in the rule of Mahapadma, this territory was added to the Nanda empire of Magadha.

Ashoka built a monolithic pillar at Sankisa that was appreciated by the Chinese traveler.

Panchala region also was associated with the Mitra rulers as a large number of coins were found at places like Kannauj and Mathura.

The Chinese pilgrim named Fahien visited Kannauj between 399 and 414 A.D. during the reign of Chandragupta II. He spent his retreat at the Dragon-Shrine and when it was over he traveled seven yojanas to the south-east that brought him to Kannauj. Sankisa was one of the greatest Buddhist pilgrims centre at the time of Fa-hien’s visit.

There was a renewed capture of the Hunas with far greater success. After this, Harivarman appears to have been the founder of the Maukhari house of Kannauj. Harsha also advanced towards Kannauj.

In 643 A.D. the Chinese pilgrim, Hiuen Tsang, visited Kannauj. There were 100 Buddhist Monasteries with more than 10000 priests. A religious assembly was also held here by Harsha. Hiuen Tsang mentions Kah-Pi-Ta (Kapitha, identified with Sankisa) as the other important place of the district.

The city rose to prominence during the reign of Harshavardhana who is counted among the most illustrious rulers in Indi a. It was it the mid-7th century that Kannauj was named the capital city of Harshavardhana. The kingdom of Harshavardhana included the entire region between the rivers Sutlej and Narmada and eastern Bengal.

It again raised to prominence during 9th century when the city became an apple of discord for three kingdoms of the Peninsular India namely Pratihara, Palas and Rashtrakutas. A Century long “Tripartite Struggle” followed that resulted in the complete dominion of Palas over the region west of Kannauj. In the 12th century, Kannauj again came in prominence after it was declared the capital of Jaichand.Jaichand was the king who helped MohammedGhori in finally vanquishing Prithviraj Chauhan and Rajput rule from Delhi. The decisive battle was fought in the year 1192 in the wheat fields of Tarain, in modern Haryana.

While all traces of this past have vanished, Kannauj is famous for its manufacture of essence (attar) used in 4 perfumes. Though not much of the glorious past remains, the temple of Ajai Pal still exists. [2]

 

Demography

As per census 2011, the district has total population of about 1656616 out of which 881776 are males and remaining 774840 are females. The average sex ratio is 879 per 1000. The population density of the district is 792 per square kilometers.

The population contributes about 0.83% to the total Uttar Pradesh population.

Number of literates are 1017087. Out of these, male literates are 603596 and female literates are 413491 respectively. Average literacy rate is around 72.70%. Male literacy and female literacy are 80.91% and 63.33% respectively.

Total child population (0-6 years) is 257682. Male child and female child population are 165758 and 121924 respectively. School age kids contribute 15% to the overall population (14% urban areas and 15% rural areas). The number of school age kids is 257682.

16.95% of the population live in urban areas of the district. In total 280841 people live in urban areas. 83.05% of the population live in rural areas of the district. The total population living in the rural areas is 1375775.

Total 545 families live on footpath. Total population of all who live without roof are 2614.

57.7% of the population live in permanent houses. 76.7% of urban population has houses whereas 53.9% of rural people have houses. There are total 143 houses per sq. km. (676 houses per sq. km. in urban areas and 123 houses per sq. km. in rural areas).

People of different religions live in the district. The major religion here is Hindu. Other religions are Muslim, Christian, Buddhist. [3]

 

Infrastructure

The district has 13% of piped water supply. In urban areas the piped water supply is about 45.5% and in rural areas it is around 6.6%.

Total 3.8% of the population has sewerage connection with 13.5% urban contribution.

The district has 10.2% covered drains. Covered drains in urban and rural areas are 26.6% and 7% respectively.

22.1% of the people have electricity connection. 61.7% of urban and 14.2% of rural people have electricity connected.

11.7% of the population has LPG or gas for cooking.

 

Administration

Kannauj is the Head quarter of the District Kannauj. For administrative purpose the district has been divided into 3 tehsils and 8 block development office. There are 3 nagarpalikaparishads, 5 nagar panchayats and 441 gram panchayats. the district also has 693 revenue villages and 3 assembly areas. [1]

 

Religions [3]

Hindu: 83.05%

Muslim: 16.54%

Buddhist: 0.12%

Others: 0.29%

 

Languages spoken in the district

Kanauji language is spoken here. It is quite similar to Hindi. Hindi is also spoken and understood by the people here.

 

Topography

It is almost rectangular shaped district. Ganga, the main river of the district flows at the north east border. Kali river flows at the northern border of the district while Ishan flows in between the district. 

Average rain fall of the District is approximately 80 cm. The climate of the district is characterized by a hot dry summer and a pleasant cold season. [1]

 

Weather

The average annual temperature of the district is 25.5°C.

During winter January is the coldest month. The temperature ranges between 8°C and 20°C during winter.

Summer season has hot and dry days. Temperature range during these days are between 30°C and 44°C.

The rainfall here averages 868 mm.

 

Forest cover

About 4789-hectare area is covered by the forest that is about 6.1% of total geographical area of the district. The main trees found in the district are dhak, mango, babool, semal, mahua, shaal, neem, jamun etc. the main forest products extracted from plants are wood, essential oils, grass leaves, forest based Ayurvedic medicines and many more.

Major crops include potato, maize, ground nut, rice, sugarcane, pulses, wheat, mustard. Some vegetables grown here are potato, tomato, cauliflower, cabbage, ginger. Some fruits grown are banana, guava, litchi, mango, ber, citrus etc.

Some flowers cultivated are rose, tuberose, marigold, jasmine. Honey is also produced in the district.

Some livestock are cows, buffaloes, goats, pigs, bitches and dogs. [1]

 

Industries and enterprises

The district has two important industrial areas namely Industrial estate at Makarandnagar and mini industrial estate at Chhibramau.

Kannauj district is famous for essence, flavor, fragrance and perfume Industry although the bidi industry is also here and it is supposed that this district is the largest bidi supplier in Uttar Pradesh. The essence flavor and fragrance of Kannauj district are famous internationally.

Fragrance & Flavor Development Centre (FFDC)aims to serve as an interface between essential oil, fragrance and flavor industry and the R&D Institutions both in the field of agro technology and chemical technology. Main objective of the centre to serve, sustain and upgrade the status of farmers and industry engaged in the aromatic cultivation and its processing, so as to make them competitive both in local & global market.

Total number of registered units- 1687

Estimated average number of daily worker employed in small scale industries- 6748

Details of existing micro & small enterprises and artisan units in the district

Serial no.

Type of industry

No. of units

Employment

1

Agro based

139

581

2

Cotton textile

24

92

3

Wood/ wooden based furniture

6

27

4

Chemical/ chemical based

26

131

5

Engineering units

6

22

6

Repairing & servicing

9

34

7

Kachori making

212

896

8

Others

2

9

 

56% of urban people are associated with industries and services. 82% of rural population is employed in agro based industries.

Major exportable items

Perfumes, essential oils, potato and potato products.

Growth trend

The essence flavour and fragrance of Kannauj district are famous internationally. Units engaged in the manufacturing of attars & perfumery products are availing the technical support of FFDC, Kannauj and are becoming capable to sell their products in national & international market.

Government of U.P. is focusing on the sowing of high yield potato varieties. These potatoes will be used in the production of potato powder, wafers and namkeen products etc.

Farmers are diversifying from traditional crops towards cultivation of aromatic essential oil products, hence enjoying good profit from these cash crops. 

 

Public health

There are 20 allopathic hospitals with 453 beds facility. It also has 18 Ayurvedic hospitals and 3 unani hospitals. The district has 8 community health centres, 37 primary health centres and 188 sub health centres. The district has 12 private hospitals, too.

Public health infrastructure is as following table:

Sr. no.

Public health centre

Persons per centre

1

Sub-health centre

9354

2

Primary health centre

51719

3

Community health centre

159858

4

District hospitals

1758428

 

 

Banking commercial

The district has 29 commercial banks, 40 rural banks and 10 co-operative banks.

 

Communication

There are total 25865 telephone connections in the district. It has 144 post offices and 2 telephone centers. Density of PCO in rural areas is 1083 per km. and density of PCO STD is 770 per km.

Only 0.9% of the overall population has internet facility.

 

Education and research

There are total 1010 primary schools, 383 middle schools and 201 secondary & higher secondary schools.

Some schools in the district are Kannauj public school, St. Xaviers school, Kanpur public school,Jagran public school, Delhi public school.

The district has 41 colleges, 1 polytechnic and 1 ITI college.

Government colleges in the district are Dr. BhimraoAmbedkarRajkiyaMahavidyalaya and RajkiyaMahilaMahavidyalaya. Some private colleges include Gautam Buddha degree college, S.G.R. college, V.V.K degree college. These colleges offer courses in fields of Science, Arts and Commerce.

Fragrance and flavor development centre at Kannauj offers various courses in this field. The courses are aroma process assistant, post diploma in aroma process & its management. It also offers various training programs like commercial cultivation of aromatic crops, production of fragrant raw materials, fragrance & flavor creation, making of agarbatti, dhoopbatti& other perfumeries.

 

Transport and connectivity

Railways: The length of rail line is 43 km in the district. Kannauj is on the main broad gauge route between Kanpur and Mathura. Thus it is well connected to all parts of the country by express and passenger trains. The trains running between Kanpur and Farrukhabad are passing from Kannauj junction.

Roadways: The district has 67 km of national highway, 51 km of state highway and 80 km of main district highway. Kannauj has 774 km of other district & rural road. It also has 130 km of agriculture marketing board road. National highway 24 passes from the district.

The district does not have its airport. The nearest airport is Kanpur airport which is about 80 km from the district. [2]

 

Major attractions in Kannauj

Archeological museum: It has tremendous variety of clayey idols which proves that Kannauj was popular for art and culture like Kashi, Mathura and Kaushambi at ancient time. From Maurya age Kannauj was a fully developed locality. The clay models found here states that it was a very progressive district of ancient time. Historical Chinese visitor Hwenswang praised the district during his visit to India. As per the types of these ancient idols, they are classified into various categories those are very ancient age, Maurya age, Shudag age, Kushar age, Gupta age, post Gupta age and Harsh age.

Fragrance and flavor development centre (FFDC): The FFDC in the district is a perfect place to visit the numerous ingredients of perfume production. The half an hour production process tour introduces the visitors to the historical perspective about perfume production and the traditional distillation process which dates back to 3000 B.C. [4]

Lakh Bahosi bird sanctuary: The nature has gifted Kannauj by a beautiful lakh Bahosi Bird sanctuary. It is situated near Lakhbahosi village in Kannauj district. It was established in the year 1989. It is one of India’s larger bird sanctuaries. It covers around 80 square km of area. It has a large lake and a stretch of the upper Ganga canal also. Lakhbahosi is off the road going towards Tirwa on NH 91. Tirwa is a town 15 km away from Kannauj. Bird watching can be enjoyed from month of November to March. During the months of December, January and February it shows its maximum potential. Other animals spotted here are jackal, mongoose, blue bull, monkeys and fishing cat. As per survey a total of 97 bird families are available in India. 49 families from these are found at Lakhbahosi sanctuary.

Other famous places in the district are Gauri Shankar temple and Annapurna temple. [2]

 

Festivals and fairs

Festivals celebrated in Kannauj are Diwali, dussehra, holi, ayudha puja, nandgaonholi, nirjala Ekadashi, mahashivratri, janmashtami.

Some fairs celebrated are ayurvedjhasimahotsav, bateshwar fair, dadrimela, Kailash fair, taj festival.

 

Shopping areas

Being perfume city, the best things to shop here are perfumes, essential oils, pure floral waters and many types of fragrances. All kinds of fragrances and flavors are available here. There are wholesale and retail shops for the same.

One can buy beauty products containing natural oils and fragrances.

Aromatherapy is also popular here. It is the process of using natural & organic oils extracted from flowers, stems, bark, leaves or other parts of a plant to increase physical and psychological well-being. Various aroma oils are transported to the foreign countries like United States, Australia, Dubai and many more.

 

Food and cuisine

Some of the famous dishes in Kannauj are makhanmalai, mutter paneer, shami kebab, tuned kekabeb. Popular street foods include kachori, alootikki, samosa, pakora, parathas.

Some well-known sweets are Mathura peda, aam panna, allahabadi cake, malpua.

A special drink of Kannauj is Kanji.  

 

References

[1] http://dcmsme.gov.in/dips/dlp%20kannauj.pdf

[2] https://kannauj.nic.in/

[3] https://www.census2011.co.in/census/district/531-kannauj.html

[4] http://uttarpradesh.gov.in/en/details/fragrance-and-flavour-development-centre-ffdc/330039003200

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