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IIT Bombay was established in the year 1958 and the financial assistance was provided by UNESCO and to some extent by Soviet Union. It was the 2nd IIT to be established in India. The site chosen for constructing the institute was at Powai, 29 Kms from the city of Bombay. The foundation stone of the institute was laid down by Jawahar Lal Nehru on March 10, 1959.
The prime reason for establishing this institute was to cater to the need of a high quality institute for post graduate studies and research.
The IIT Bombay campus is located at Powai, a suburb in north western Mumbai, between the Vihar and Powai lakes. The closest railway stops to IIT Mumbai on the Mumbai Suburban Railway are Kanjurmarg and Vikhroli, both on the Central line. The four main entrances to the campus are the Main Gate, the Middle Gate (now closed for security reasons), the Y-Point Gate (also called the Market Gate) and the Lake Side Gate. The Main Gate is the only one which is open 24 hours a day, while the Y-Point Gate is open only between 7 a.m. to 11 p.m.
The Tree of Knowledge - a wrought Iron Structure in the lawns facing the Administrative Building at IIT Bombay
The campus is divided into clusters of buildings. The academic area chiefly comprises the Main Building, various Departmental annexures and auditoria. All department annexures are connected by a corridor named Infinite Corridor. Beyond the Convocation Hall lies the hostels (with the exception of Hostel 10, which is abutting the departmental annexure). The hostels are numbered from 1 through 13, with Hostel 10 (under-graduate and post-graduate) and Hostel 11 (post-graduate) specially reserved for women. Tansa House is a housing complex exclusively for the single male project staff. It is the smallest hostel in IIT Bombay with 128 rooms. The Tulsi House is meant for married research scholars. Apart from these, few students also reside in Type -1 quarters, Vihar House, QIP quarters and DRDO building which are situated in the campus.
Bombay by Hostels 1, 5 and 10 (Performing Arts Festival)
Due to its proximity to the Sanjay Gandhi National Park, the campus is extremely clean, green and mostly untouched by the pollution of the rest of the city. The proximity of the campus to the national park has also led to occasional sightings of panthers and Gharial (Gavialis gangeticus) crocodilians along the banks of Lake Powai. A popular weekly newspaper Planet Powai reports events and happenings of this campus regularly.
The institute has a swimming pool; football, hockey and cricket grounds; and tennis, basketball, squash and volleyball courts. It also has a Students' Activity Center (SAC) for various cultural and other extracurricular activities.
Cultural activities like dramatics also mark an important feature in the life of a student of IIT Bombay. Many students are very passionate about the annual inter-hostel Performing Arts Festival (PAF).