IIT Guwahati

My sixth visit to an IIT campus.

IIT Guwahati was the sixth of the Indian Institutes of Technology, opened just in 1995 with a brand-new campus built from scratch on the banks of the Brahmaputra river in Assam, near Guwahati.  I visited there this week to give a talk in the Computer Science & Engineering department.  [Location] Read on.

IIT Guwahati academic buildings.

IIT Guwahati has a Guest House, as at IISc and at all IITs.  This Guest House, shown below, is huge and includes a nice conference facility.  It is nestled on a little hill between two lakes and is designed to have lake views but not be too high. (This view is from one of the other hills on campus.) The Guest House was very attractively designed and quite pleasant.  In many ways, I think, it is the nicest of the Guest Houses I’ve stayed in.

IIT Guwahati guest house.

The campus is large and spread out. All the buildings are new, of course, and many more are under construction. The faculty housing looks particularly nice, with a range of options from apartment buildings to two-story surburban style bungalows with lawns and gardens.

IIT Guwahati academic buildings.

The academic buildings are clustered in one area of campus, in a clever and functional design.  A series of walkways, one at ground level and the other at first-floor level, form a large extended rectangle.  Attached at points along that rectangle is each department building (see photo at right).  In the middle of the rectangle are three “core” buildings, which hold classrooms and shared lab spaces.  The result is a very walkable space; you can walk at ground level when it’s rainy or sunny/hot, or you can walk at first-floor level when it’s nice, a very short distance to every other department. 

Between department buildings are courtyards, each different in the way it is landscaped (see photo below).   At the very end of the rectangle, you can just see the mighty Brahmaputra river through the trees, at the edge of campus. Looking back, you can see tall hills nestled up against the other end of campus.

A courtyard among IIT Guwahati academic buildings.

While I was there I gave a talk in CS&E and met with some of the faculty.  At the Guest House I met many interesting people… a senior professor who had founded a BioTech Park attached to IIT; a pair of French exchange students, just arrived and still a bit bleary-eyed; a new PhD student from Iran, and his wife.

This was my sixth visit to an IIT, and thus I have visited six of the “current” IITs.  Well, in the past year, seven more IITs have been opened, though none are yet fully functioning on their own campus. I’ll just have to come back in a few years to complete my tour ;-).

This post was transferred from MobileMe to WordPress in 2020, with an effort to retain the content as close to the original as possible; I recognize that some comments may now seem dated or some links may now be broken.

Author: dfkotz

David Kotz is an outdoor enthusiast, traveller, husband, and father of three. He is also a Professor of Computer Science at Dartmouth College.

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