Nana Rao Park / Company Bagh (Hindi: नाना राव पार्क / कम्पनी बाग़, कानपुर ) is a public city park in Kanpur city, the industrial hub of Uttar Pradesh in North India. It was earlier known as Memorial Well and commemorated the British women and children who had been massacred in a building on the site and their bodies dumped into a well in the grounds during the Indian Rebellion of 1857.
Bibighar massacre (1857)
The park is of immense historical significance as the location of the massacre of around 200 British women and children by the Nana Sahib's forces in the 1857 Indian rebellion. The women and children had surrendered to Nana Sahib, after receiving his oath that they would be allowed to leave Kanpur (then Cawnpore) safely.
Nana Sahib broke his word and the women & children were killed by local butchers, the bodies then dumped down in the well. Some were thrown in while alive, effectively being left to suffocate & drown under the weight & remains of other victims Due to the massacre the area within sight of the well was used for punitive actions by British soldiers of the East India Company.
Memorial Well (1858 to 1947)
Originally the park was first called Memorial Well after the memorial which was subsequently raised to commemorate the dead. The memorial had a large railing, a marble gothic screen with "mournful seraph" and a cross at the site of the well. The inhabitants of Cawnpore were forced to pay £30,000 for the creation of the memorial; this was partially their punishment for not coming to the aid of the women and children.
Nana Rao Park today
The park is well maintained and is popular with many fitness groups. Presently, the park is one of the favorite Kanpur parks frequented by early morning and evening visitors. For many people in Kanpur, the park serves as an outdoor location for the start of the day. This includes brisk walking, jogging, swimming, badminton and yoga.
The park is replete with statues of eminent people who played a part in the Massacre & the Indian independence struggle. The statues include those of Tatya Tope, Rani Lakshmi Bai, Lala Lajpat Rai, Ajizan Bai.