Illu Festival – IIT Kharagpur

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.


Hostel life

Hostel life for Mechanical Engineering, IIT Kharagpur

After a bit of formalities like filling up the registration form, Verification of our counselling allotments, collecting our Medical book and some official work, the room keys were handed over to me. First year students generally get room on the basis of triple sharing.

The rooms are spacious enough for 3 students to stay comfortably. The institute will be providing you with a bed, study table and a shelf. You will have to purchase a mattress and other daily essentials which you’ll easily find as many temporary shops are setup during this time all around the campus.

So the next task was to arrange all my luggage and belongings properly and in the best possible way. A big thanks to my mom on this front as she was the one who actually arranged my room and I was just helping her with some small things.

So this was the look of our fully arranged room:

The room is well ventilated and you will not be feeling entrapped. We have two balconies…one in the front and the other one in the back.

View from the rear balcony. That’s the old block. We have 5 blocks in the hall and freshers are alloted the E Block (The most recently built one).

That’s the view from the front balcony.

Beleive me doing all this is not easy. You will get exhausted by the time all this is done. So after a small afternoon nap, we decided to take a tour of the campus. The campus is lush green and the positive vibe it gives out is truly magnific.

View from the classroom complex.

View from the Academic Block

So after a quick exploration of the campus we returned back and it was time for my parents to leave.

Now it was time for my first meal in the mess. It was too good. (Would have been better if they would have maintained the quality throughout the year🙃🙃)

meal in the mess.

Night view of my hall.

IIT Kharagpur Campus photos

IIT Kharagpur has the largest campus of 2100 acres. And its buildings were designed under the guidance of a Swiss architect Werner M. Moser which make this campus definitely an extra ordinary one. IIT Kharagpur has 19 academic departments, eight multi-disciplinary centres/schools, and 13 schools of excellence in addition to more than 25 central research and development units.

The institute campus has six guest houses, a civic hospital, four nationalised banks, four schools, a railway reservation counter and a police station. The campus has a water pumping station, electrical sub-station, telephone exchange, a market, six restaurants, and a garbage disposal section for the daily needs of the residents.

1. The Old Building, where it all started… (This place was Hijli Detention Camp during British rule).

Circle of life:

2. The Main Building. All the administrative activities take place here.

  Main Building on Republic Day Celebrations

3. This is the Gymkhana. Here you can attend most of the sports facilities. It also serves as a meeting spot for various student communities.

4. Lakeside at Gymkhana.

5. Jnan Ghosh Stadium (Only IIT Kharagpur and IIT Madras have synthetic tracks).

6. Nalanda Classroom Complex. Most classes take place here.

7. View of the classroom.

8. Netaji Auditorium. You will begin and end your journey here… and then every weekend (even during exams !) will become fun with free movie screening). This is also the place where most of the stage shows take place during the General Championship. So this place will definitely make a special place in your heart !

9. Tagore Open Air Theatre or TOAT as we call it. Enjoy some great shows and stand-ups here…

10. Hostels 💖 (we call them  halls of residence).

Civil Engineering Hostel

for first year was of triple occupancy

College life in IIT kharagpur

Founded in 1950, IIT Kharagpur is the first IIT to be set up in the country and is recognized as an institute of National Importance by the Government of India.

NIRF Ranking 2019, IIT Kharagpur enjoys the 4th rank in the Engineering.

Oldest IIT in the Country

Stepping into the IIT Kharagpur campus, you will realize nothing in your life would now be of the same scale as before. Life at IIT Kharagpur is larger than life, thanks to its 2200 acre campus, the aggressive competitive spirit among students and the vast pool of Technical programmes. Thousands of kilometres away from home, IIT Kharagpur is your home for the next four years. Life at IIT Kharagpur may seem daunting to many of you, but after a while, you get used to seeing the strange face that becomes familiar with time. Though IIT Kharagpur is the oldest IIT in the country, it has enabled itself to stay ahead of time and meet the expectations of aspirants. Every day at IIT Kharagpur is a new day with all sorts of lectures, technical events, seminars, guest lectures and activities. Few months into the course, you will feel you have seen it all that is when greater experiences and surprises await you down the line.

Student Life at IIT-KGP has two anchors – Halland Gymkhana

The institute is fully residential. Students are accommodated in 21 Halls of Residence and the staff is provided with quarters. Accommodation for visitors is arranged in the Technology Guest House, CEC Guest House, Alumni Guest House or CTS Visitors Hall, or if need arises, in students’ Hall of Residence.

Hall Culture

  • Halls at Kharagpur: A place to live, nurture, grow and excel
  • Belonging to one’s hall, often referred to as Hall Tempo, is soon inherited within each KGPian, and henceforth the hall becomes an integral part of one’s identity
  • Broad spectrum of Inter Hall activities canvassed with Intra Hall activities

Hall Day

  • A culture quite unique to IIT Kharagpur
  • Theme based celebration of each hall of residence towards the end of an academic year
  • Celebration of sorts with people inviting their friends to their room and rejoicing the year well spent

All the Halls of Residence and Guest houses have regular catering facilities. Other eating places are Sahara, Dreamland, Vegies, Super-Duper, Tikka, Billoo’s Restaurant etc. Some joints located within the Institute premises serve tea, coffee, soft drinks and light snacks.

Technology Students Gymkhana

  • Nerve Centre of all extra-curricular and co-curricular activities on campus
  • Incepted in 1952
  • Managed by the students, for the students, under guidance & active participation of faculty and staff members

Students Activities


Inter-IIT, Athletics, Football, Aquatics, Hockey, Badminton, Lawn Tennis, Basketball, Table Tennis, Chess, Bridge, Water Polo, Cricket, Weightlifting, Volleyball.

Social & Cultural

Dramatics, Music, Dance, Debate, Illumination, Rangoli, Spring Fest


Kshitij, Knowledge Cup (Tech Quiz, Biz Quiz, Math Olympiad), Innovation Cup (Hardware Modeling, Ad Design, Product Design), Application Cup (Case Study, Chemical Innovation, Open Soft)

Community Service

Weekly teaching, Scholarship and study support, Support to women self-help group, Medical camp, Backward caste certificate camp, Awareness campaigns, Cloth distribution, Village road-building.

Diwali Celebrations

Celebrating Diwali is a part of the students life at IIT-KGP. Students prepare for over a month for a competition which takes place on the day of Diwali for best Illumination (lighting lamps – Diyas) and Rangoli. This is an inter-hall competition and prize is awarded by Technology Students Gymkhana every year on the same day. Students exhibit extraordinary skills in conceptualizing, designing, execution and apllication of technological methods in this competition.


The Central Library offers about 300,000 volumes in an open shelf system on different fields of science and technology, humanities and social sciences. The library subscribes to about 1400 periodicals. The library system is fully computerized and users can access foreign university libraries through wide-area network facilities.

All book reading fans out there check this new initiative from HRD and IIT KGP. 6.5 million books are now available in one single portal, where you can read online, or download the books. There are text books, audio and video content. Just browsing them all may take years! Enjoy. National Digital Library is an initiative by HRD ministry. It is a huge collection of learning resources (68 lakh books) from primary to PG level. Students  can use it free of charge.

To register, go to:

Computer Network

The backbone of lIT Kharagpur network is based on gigabit fibre optic technology. All the Departmental LANs are connected to the gigabit fibre optic backbone as separate VLANs. Three links are in use to provide email and Internet facilities. All laboratories, faculty and officers chambers, All rooms in halls of residence are provided with Internet connectivity.


Academic progress of students is given the utmost importance. In the first year students are taught almost every basic subject from all the departments. Also students are allowed to take up additional courses which are of their interest and not taught by their respective departments. Students are encouraged to undertake projects supervised by their professors. Some are even sent to foreign training to gain international exposure. Like everything in IIT-KGP , the academic syllabus too is dramatically huge. The academic competition is intense and would always keep you on your toes.

Every day was a new adventure with all sorts of workshops, seminars, guest lectures and even marathons going on every other day.