Ilumination, popularly known as Illu, is a festival unique to IIT Kharagpur. It is inspired from the day of Diwali (the festival of lights) and is usually held on the day of Diwali itself. It is held as a competition among student halls. As part of the Illumination festival, all halls build vertical panels of bamboo (called Chatais) on which thousands of lamps (diyas) are mounted forming outlines of people or things; illustrating an event, or a place of importance.
The chatais may reach a height of 6 metres (20 ft), with nearly 20,000 lighted lamps. The lamps on the chatais are lighted with all other light sources switched off, to showcase the art-panels made by the flickering lamps. On the same day as Illumination, the Rangoli Competition is organised as an inter-hall event. Rangolis of exquisite detail and shading—measuring around 3.5 by 3.5 metres (11 by 11 ft) —are constructed using coloured powders, crushed bangles, and pebbles. Interplay of light and shadow and ambient music are part of the display. Every Diwali, IIT Kharagpur celebrates the festival of lights in a manner so unique that stands testimonial to every KGPian‘s journey in the land where dreams don’t lie. Illumination, popularly known as Illu, remains wide awake in every soul that has watched the event stand tall in every sense of its grandeur from the point of preparation to the moment of watching the flawless structure glowing in the dark instilling in all a sense of pride, honour, togetherness and accomplishment with time coagulating around you.