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Thomso, IIT Roorkee: All You Need To Know

College fests are the perfect way to let your hair down after grueling semesters. Every institute offers its students the much-awaited festivals of fun, competitions, and concerts in a compact schedule of 3-4 days every year. Much like the grand college fests of top institutes, Thomso is the annual cultural festival of IIT Roorkee, one of the biggest annual fests in the nation.


The Indian Institute of Technology Roorkee, Uttarakhand, formerly the University of Roorkee and the Thomason College of Civil Engineering, had a modest beginning in the year 1847. It was converted to the First Technical University of India in the year 1949. These 150 glorious years not only indicate the deep-rooted history of this institution but also the quality of service  it has provided for technical escalation of our country.

The annual cultural fest Thomso is held at the start of October every year. It attracts a huge crowd of over 1 lakh students from more than 600 colleges across the country. The festival is named after its founder, Sir James Thomason, lieutenant governor 1843–53. Previously known as Tarang,  the term ‘Thomso’ was coined in 1982, after a general consent to alter the name.

Figures and Events

The 2013 fest had over 150 events and hosted 6000 guest students from 200 colleges across India. It’s enthusiastic theme was “Live free, die hard.”

  • The Awe-Inspiring Celebrities

With a behemothic footfall of more than 12,000 students, it comprises several IITs and NITs. It includes electrifying performances by the stalwarts of the entertainment industry, from India and abroad. Celebrities like Farhan Akhtar, Sonu Nigam, Shaan (singer), KK (singer), Pankaj Udhaas, Juggy D, etc. have made the crowd go crazy with their performances. Besides this, Kavi Sammelan named as Thahake has hosted popular comedians like Kumar Vishwas and Ahsaan Qureshi.

Farhan Akhtar live in concert at Thomso’13

Encompassing a lavish cultural heritage, Thomso has witnessed concerts by several well-known personalities. It has also hosted a number of Indian Rock and Fusion bands like Indian Ocean, Euphoria, Jal – The Band, The Local Train and international bands like Benea Reach from Norway. Apart from this, the fest has been a launchpad for many budding rock bands like Zero, Parikrama, and Aagman. The Fashion Pronite ‘Vogue’ has been glorified by noted actresses like Sushmita Sen and Udita Goswami. The show-stoppers are also the gorgeous students walking the ramp in stunning apparels.


Vogue, the fashion parade
  • Music, Dance and Drama Face-Offs
Grooves and Waves

Events like Step-Up, Footloose, and Street Dancing bring together loads of students to present their best dance moves. While some involve stage performances, others are judged right out on the road in ‘street’ fashion.

On the other hand, Sargam and Battle of Bands pull in all the musicians together. Melodious vocalists and talented instrumentalists are given an opportunity to astound the audience with live performances. Battle of bands provides an enthusiastic platform for all students to showcase their band skills.

Street Drama in its full glory

Apart from this, Abhivyakti, the stage play competition, introduces drama for you. Freestyle footballers also showcase their talent in Shaolin Showdown, while aspiring rappers from all over the country congregate to rap battle till the last man standing in Rap it up.

Enthu reaching heights
  • Literati and gaming

Several events are held for the literary geeks. ‘Corporate’ is the management quiz, which tests the sharpness and intuitive skills of students. 16 frames is another event that tests the cinematography skills.

The fest includes ‘Apocalypse’, an ultimate cyber gaming contest, in which participants are tested on their gaming skills in FIFA, DOTA, Counter Strike and NFS. And all of these are only the formal events! There are many more informal events that take place during the 3-day extravaganza!

Social Initiatives

Thomso works at the ground level for the underprivileged. The fest does social service by taking an initiative to understand their problems and help them. It also hosts several art exhibitions, which display the fine art of young students from poor families. The major goal is to help mainly the physically-challenged and malnourished children. These social initiatives are undertaken with the overwhelming support of social associates including NSS and Anushruti, CRY and MARD.

The essence of Thomso lies in achieving what other fests fail to do. The government of Uttarakhand had proclaimed Thomso as the “Annual Youth Festival of Uttarakhand” in 2004, thanks to its illustrious events and credibility. IITR is indeed a brilliant masterpiece of grandeur and transcendence.

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