Roorkee is a small town located in the foothills of Himalayas in the beautiful state of Uttranchal in north India. It is a part of the district and holy city of Haridwar which is merely 30 km distant away. It is about 175 kilometers north of the Indian capital, New Delhi and located between the rivers Ganga and Yamuna on the banks of the upper Ganga Canal, which take off at Haridwar. Roorkee is the gateway to pilgrim centres of Haridwar, Rishikesh, Badrinath and Kedarnath and tourist attractions of Dehra Dun and Mussorie. It is situated on National Highway (N.H.) 58 (Delhi-Haridwar) as-well-as on N.H. 73 (Haridwar-Panchkula) and is on Amristar-Howrah main rail route.
Roorkee finds its importance by being the host of many prominent institutions and organizations. The city has contributed to the national development by producing the finest quality engineers from the renowned University of Roorkee, now called the Indian Institute of Technology, Roorkee. It is also the home of various government research institutes as Central Building Research Institute (CBRI), Irrigation Research Institute (IRI) and the National Institute Of Hydrology (NIH). It also has an army base of Bengal Engineering Group & Centre (BEG&C).
Roorkee is also the place where the first locomotive engine named Mary Lind, especially shipped from England moved on rails in India. Mary Lind ran in year 1846, well before the first passenger train from Bombay to Thane.The town is also famous for the big Ganges canal, the brainchild of Sir Proby Thomas Cautley that flows on a bridge crossing a seasonal river, Solani which was built by the British in 1854 and augmented recently. The aqueduct to carry the canal is half a kilometer long and as a result, the canal flows at a height of 25 metres over the original river.
Roorkee lies at a latitude of 29° 51' North and longitude of 77° 54' East with altitude of 274 meters. It has a population of 97,064 according to the 2001 India census with males constituting 53% of the population and females 47%. Roorkee has an average literacy rate of 76%, much higher compared to the national average of 59.5% with male literacy being 81% and female literacy 72%.