Infobox Indian Jurisdiction
native_name = Roorkee |

type = City | latd = 29.87 | longd = 77.88
state_name = Uttarakhand
leader_title =
leader_name =
altitude = 268
population_as_of = 2001
population_total = 140 000| population_density =
area_magnitude= sq. km
area_total =
area_telephone = 91 1332
postal_code = 247667
vehicle_code_range = UK 08
sex_ratio =
unlocode =
website =
footnotes =
distance_1 = 172
direction_1 = SSW
destination_1 = New Delhi

Roorkee ( _hi. रुड़की) is a town and a Municipal council in the Indian state of Uttarakhand.

It is located on the banks of the Ganga canal(Gangnehar) on the National highway-58 between Delhi and Manna Pass, at a distance of 30 km from the Hindu pilgrimage city of Haridwar.


Roorkee derives its name from Ruri, the wife of a Rajput tribal chieftain, and earlier it was even spelled as 'rurki'. [ History page from a website of Roorkee] ]


Roorkee was the capital of a Moghul Mahal (similar to a present day Pargana) during the time of Akbar, as is referred in Ain-e-Akbari, authored by Abul Fazal [ Town] The Imperial Gazetteer of India, v. 21, p. 324.] .

During the 18th century, it came under the rule of Landhaura state, till the death of its Gujjar king, Raja Ramdaval in 1813 and later, became a part of the the territories of the British East India Company.

Before 1840s, when the work on the Ganga Canal began under the aegis of Proby Cautley, an officer in British Army, it was a mere mud built village on the banks of the hill torrent, named Solani [ Town2] The Imperial Gazetteer of India, v. 21, p. 325.] . Digging work on the Upper Ganga Canal formally began in April 1842 [ Ganges Canal] , v. 12, p. 138.] , and soon this village started developing into a city. The canal was formally opened in April 8, 1854 , irrigating over 767,000 acres (3,100 km²) in 5,000 villages.

Another factor that contributed to the city's rapid growth was the inception of the 'Roorkee College', which has its origin in the training classes started in 1845 to train local youth to assist in the civil engineering works in the making of the Upper Ganga Canal [ [ Engineering Colleges] The Imperial Gazetteer of India, 1909, v. 4, p. 321.] . On November 25 1847, the college was formally constituted, through a proposal by the Sir James Thomason, Lt. Governor of North Western Province (1843-53) , and after his death in 1853, the college was rechristened as 'Thomason College of Civil Engineering'. The college later upgraded to University of Roorkee in 1949, and on September 21, 2001, through an Act of Indian parliament, it was made one of Indian Institutes of Technology, IIT Roorkee [ IIT Roorkee] Official website.] .

The municipality of Roorkee was created in 1868 , when it was already home to the Bengal Sappers and Miners since 1853, and two artillery units were stationed here . Today, it has a large army base with headquarters for Bengal Engineering Group and Centre (BEG&C), also known as Bengal Sappers, established in 1803.

Later in 1901, when the city had a population of 17,197, it was made headquarters of the Roorkee Tehsil, in Saharanpur district of the United Province of the British Raj; the tehsil included in it 426 villages (of the "parganas" of Jwalapur, Manglaur and Bhagwanpur) and six towns, most important among them being Haridwar and Manglaur..

Roorkee is also famous for the shrine of 13th century, Sufi saint Alauddin Sabir Kaliyari - the dargah is also known as Sarkar Sabir Pak - situated in Piran Kaliyar town, where an annual 15-day spiritual fair (Urs) is held in his honour.

Roorkee has many firsts in Indian history to its credit:

* It had the first engineering college in Asia (and in the British Empire outside Great Britain) established in 1845 .
* India's first rail locomotive, named Mary Lind, ran here on December 22 1851 between Roorkee and Piran Kaliyar. The railway line was built to carry soil used for the construction of the upper Ganga canal aqueduct from Piran Kaliyar, 10 km away from the city [ [ First train ran between Roorkee and Piran Kaliyar] The Hindu, Aug 10, 2002.] . The locomotive rail paths are still intact.

* India's first aqueduct was constructed over the Solani river, near Roorkee, part of the Ganga canal project, which itself was India's first irrigation work in North India, started by the British [ [ and Navigation] Imperial Gazetteer of India, 1909 v. 3, p. 341.] .
* India's first Hydro-Power Station became operational in 1913 at Pathri near Bahadrabad on the Upper Ganga Canal [ [ UP IRRIGATION DEPARTMENT (IN HISTORICAL CONTEXT)]]


Roorkee is located at coord|29.87|N|77.88|E|. [ [ Falling Rain Genomics, Inc - Roorkee] ] It has an average elevation of 268 metres (879 feet).Roorkee is 172 km north of the Indian capital New Delhi and located between the rivers Ganga and Yamuna, close to the foot hills of Himalayas. Before the creation of Uttarakhand on November 9 2000 [ [ Uttarakhand] Govt. of India, Official website.] , Roorkee was a part of the state of Uttar Pradesh.


Roorkee comes under Northern Railway region of Indian Railways and is connected to major Indian cities.

The nearest airport is Jolly Grant Airport in Dehradun, though the preferred one is Indira Gandhi International Airport in New Delhi.

Roorkee's major neighbour-cities are Dehradun, Ambala, Chandigarh, Meerut, Haridwar, Muzaffar Nagar and Rishikesh. The National Highway NH58 (Delhi-Haridwar-Mana Pass) and NH73 (Panchkula/Chandigarh - Yamuna Nagar - Roorkee) pass through the heart of the city.


As of 2001 India census [GR|India] , Roorkee had a population of 140,000. Males constituted 53% of the population and females 47%. Roorkee has an average literacy rate of 77%, higher than the national average of 64%: male literacy is 92%, and female literacy is 72%. 11% of the population is under 6 years of age.

With a population of about 140,000 inhabitants, it is the third largest Municipal Council in the state of Uttarakhand, after Haridwar & Haldwani.

Languages spoken are Hindi, English, Urdu and Punjabi.


Roorkee is a well known centre of education and research. It is best known for Indian Institute of Technology Roorkee (formerly University of Roorkee and originally the Thomason College of Civil Engineering).

The Punjab Engineering College, Chandigarh started its operations in India, from a single room in the main building of erstwhile 'Thomason 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, till 1954, when it 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), 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. In addition to the university, the notable colleges and schools in Roorkee are:


* Indian Institute of Technology, Roorkee


* [ College of Engineering Roorkee] (COER)
* Roorkee Institute of Technology (RIT)
* Bishambhar Sahai Law Institute
* Roorkee College of Pharmacy
* [ Roorkee Institute of Management Sciences (RIMS)]
* Institute of Management Studies--(IMS)
* Roorkee School for the Deaf
* BSM Law College
* KLDAV Degree College
* BSM PG College
* SDPC Girls' College
* Methodist Girls' Degree College
* Roorkee Degree College
* Seventh Day Adventist Degree College
* District Institute of Education & Training


* St. Gabriel's Academy
* St. Ann's Sr. Sec. School
* Army School
* Knox Memorial School
* St. Joseph School
* Kendriya Vidyalaya - I
* Kendriya Vidyalaya - II
* Adarsh Bal Niketen
* Flora Dale Public School (Children's Sr. Sec. School)
* St. John's Senior Secondary School - CBSE
* St. John's Senior Secondary School - ICSE
* Montfort School
* Sarvagya Public School
* Greenways Modern School
* Chandra Shekhar Public School, ROORKEE
* Saraswati Vidya Mandir Senior Secondary School
* Roorkee Public School
* Doon Public School - Roorkee
* St. Mark's Academy,Delhi Rd., Roorkee
* B.S.M. Intermediate College
* KLDAV Intermediate College
* Arya Kanya Pathshala Intermediate College
* Moolraj Girls' Intermediate College
* Sofia Girls' School
* Government Boys' Intermediate College
* Methodist Girls' Intermediate College
* Sri Gandhi Mahila Shilpa Mahavidyalya Intermediate College
* Marwari Intermediate College


Roorkee has expanded considerably in recent times. At present, the city's posh residential areas include:Ganeshpur,Civil-lines Residential area, Bhagirathi Kunj, Solani Puram, Adarsh Nagar, Niti Nagar, Ram Nagar Outer, New Avas Vikas township, Salman Colony, Zohra Bagh, New Nehru Nagar, Defence Colony, Akashdeep Enclave, Pradeep Vihar, Colonel's Enclave, Ganga Enclave,RajVihar Colony, Preet Vihar,Purwa deen dayal,Saket colony, Sanjay Gandhi Colony, South Civil Lines, Ashoka Puram, Green Park Colony etc.

Main commercial areas are: Civil-lines Market,Vishal Mega MArt Main Bazar,Tyagi Market, Sultan Tower, Nehar Kinara (Canal View Road), B.T. Ganj, Chaw Mandi, Old Railway Road, Amber Talab, MaktoolPuri, Roorkee Cantt [Sapper Market I & II, Lalkurti] , Delhi Road etc.

Famous Village Sunehra is also there, which has its remakable presence in the struggle for freedom against the British Government.


External links


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