Just how good is life at IIT Roorkee?

So, when the article said LIFE AT IIT Roorkee, you might have expected me to come up with something that might help you to know more about IIT-R. WELL, the place undoubtedly is AMAZING. It has a lush green campus spread across  360 acres. But does not every IIT come with a cool campus and awesome students who make the place worth spending an important part of your life?

Subtle things that are unique to IITREvery department here like Civil, Electrical, Computers, Chemical, Metallurgy, Earth Science etc have been established for decades. There are certain specific departments of IITR like Earthquake engineering and hydrology which are one of a kind. Other than this, there is a long list of projects undertaken by the students here. Keeping up with the pace of technology, IITR also came up with its own ‘tinkering lab’ last year.

Let’s also touch the history of IITR. After all, this is also something unique to the institute.

This college was established in 1847. We, at Roorkee, love to boast about our 170 years of glorious past. Back in 1847, it was the ONLY TECHNICAL INSTITUTE in ASIA. Question arises – How on earth did they come up with the idea of setting up an institute in the remotest possible area??!

Here goes the reason….. even I got to know about it in our Orientation’16 (because as I said Roorkians love talking about their past. A part of Orientation programme’16  included our interaction with people who graduated from the insti in late 70s and 80s to tell us about its history, the college back then and the Roorkee IIT that we have now). A British officer Proby Thomas Cautley, in 1841,  came up with the proposal of Ganges canal to divert Ganges water for irrigation and other purposes. The construction started in 1843. This canal had to pass through the Sonali River area in Roorkee. Cautley himself monitored the construction but he needed some skilled civil labours/engineers to work on the canal construction. For this he set up this place initially with a view to train canal workers and it later came up as Thomsan’s College of Civil Engineering.  Reason why civil department of IITR is famous – ‘its roots are very deep’!! After that the story is simple…. it was later named as Roorkee college of engineering and in 2001 became the 7th Indian Institute Of Technology.

Let’s now touch some parts of college life here..


Hang around the campus. It has cafeterias and restaurants for you. Get outside the campus only to realize that the town has nothing much to chill out and that the campus was still better. Have a craze for books? The library here would serve you best. Fully equipped with books, online journals, magazines and what not.  Students club has table tennis, Foosball, snooker, carrom, chess, etc to keep you busy.

CLUBS AND SOCIETIES:  Every IIT offers you loads of opportunities to discover yourself by the means of clubs and student societies where you be with people who share similar interests and thus get a platform to enhance your talent. Then there are two major events – THOMSO  & COGNIZANCE(Cogni), the cultural and Tech fest of IITR respectively. Well, the bigger the fest, the more advantages it bring to you being a member of its organizing team. A senior of mine from the ‘cogni’ organizing team got placed this year in Schlumberger simply because when he was facing the interview panel, he was asked how did he manage a crowd of around 10k in just 2 months of time span; to which he humbly replied,  I handled it with the help of my organizing team and faculty members. And Bingo!! This gave him an edge over other candidates..

SPORTS : I have been a basketball player since school times. So I went for sports selection and got selected in trials. Our coach addressed us on our first day and said, “Beta, be regular to court and when you will come here daily you’ll be amazed by the energy of this place and once you be part of INTER IIT or SANGRAM (IITR sports fest) then that will surely help you come up as a confident and strong individual. And now I realize his words were so damn true. I have been going to the basketball (baski) court regularly and I feel of it as a place which is all peaceful and calm throughout the day and suddenly gets all charged up after 5PM in the evening when the students with their coaches start practicing in all grounds, hockey, football, cricket, baski, volley etc and in other indoor courts. The place becomes alive and the matches go on till 10-11PM (or even late) after that!

The alumni base of IIT Roorkee is, of course,tremendous. Time to time you get to interact with the pass outs of various clubs or sports societies whichever you are a part of. Also your department senior might guide you and best part is the experience you get to know about and the number of Chapos you get. Wait!….. What’s a Chapo?? ….It is a culture at IIT where at any point of time a junior may ask a senior to treat him/her. Chapo = Chai Pakoda. But the treat may range from a simple coffee to a proper dinner. Even if you are in 4th year, you can demand a chapo from your senior from 5th year or some PhD scholar. That is to say that we first yearites keep getting Chapos from our seniors of all years.

For me, I am still exploring more about life at IIT Roorkee. I have tried my best to sum up my experience till now to present to you an insight of the life here. However all my words are still less to describe it completely.

Stay in touch to know more such stories.

-Shaivy Adhikari

1st year undergrad IIT Roorkee



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