The fire broke out in the Bakarganj area of Babupurwa, according to police sources. Before the shopkeepers could raise an alarm, gusty winds spread the fire and within no time, the entire shopping area was reduced to ashes.
Some of the shops stocked foodgrain and some belonged to cloth merchants as well, police told IANS. Eleven fire tenders fought for more than four hours to bring the blaze under control.
While no one was injured in the incident, police estimate that property worth over Rs.1 crore was burnt. Police are trying to find out the reasons behind the fire and the area has been cordoned off.
Kanpur is about 80 km from the state capital city Lucknow.