Located on the banks of the Ganges canal on the national highway between Delhi and Dehradun, Roorkee is known as one of the country’s oldest cantonments, and the headquarters of Bengal Engineer Group (Bengal Sappers) since 1853.
Roorkee has been a proclaimed centre of technical education, as the first engineering college of India was opened here in 1847 during British regime. Today, it is best known for Indian Institute of Technology Roorkee (IIT), which was formerly called the University of Roorkee, rechristened from its original name, the Thomson College of Civil Engineering. The Punjab Engineering College, Chandigarh started its operations in India, from a single room in the main building of erstwhile ‘Thomson College of Civil Engineering”, when it shifted to India from Lahore in Pakistan after the Partition of India in 1947. It continued to operate from the premises in Roorkee until 1954, when it was shifted to its present premises in Chandigarh.
Roorkee is also home to several government research institutes: Central Building Research Institute (CBRI), Irrigation Research Institute (IRI), Institution of Engineers – Regional Center (IE), Alternate Hydro Energy Centre (AHEC), Irrigation Design Organization (IDO) and National Institute of Hydrology (NIH). With the availability of numerous schools, colleges and institutions for higher education and professional degrees, students come for enrollment from all over India and abroad.