Imagine studying in a college that has rich architectural elements, embodying layers and layers of history. Fascinating, right? If you’ve been dreaming of getting into a college that was built by visionaries, that not only offers academic excellence but also a conducive environment for learning, then you’ve arrived at the right place. Check out the most beautiful college campuses in India!
Nestled in the sub-tropical locales of Doon Valley in Uttarakhand, the history of Forest Research Institute (FRI) dates back to 1878 when it was first established as Forest School. The research institute is renowned for its 450 hectares of sprawling forest area with Siwalik hills as the backdrop.  
CG Blomfield was the brainchild behind the impeccable colonial-style Greco-Roman architecture of the building, which is deemed the oldest of its kind in India. FRI has also been one of the most photo-op worthy set locations for Bollywood films like Student of the Year (2012) and Rehna Hai Tere Dil Mein (2001) 
Sustainable architecture and contemporary settings of Birla Institute of Technology and Science (BITS) are the highlights of the Pilani campus in the Jhunjhunu district of Rajasthan. The campus has perfectly manicured gardens, a first-of-its-kind Saraswati temple on the southern end — forming a striking visual axis with a clock tower on the top of the academic block — and a terrace with skylights that illuminate the campus area with ample natural light. 
BITS Pilani is one of the most sustainable campuses in India that aims to reduce dependence on unconventional energy resources by making use of rooftop solar power plants, battery-powered vehicles to move around the campus, water recycling measures and energy-saving LED fixtures.  
Established in 1993, Pearl Academy’s architecture is a beautiful amalgamation of traditional Indo-Islamic architecture, classic Rajasthani elements, and contemporary style featuring collisions of formal geometry. Set in the arid Kukas industrial area of Jaipur,  the 1.2-hectare (approx.) campus draws inspiration from ornate Rajasthani building elements such as baoli (step-well) and jaalis (perforated stone screens) along with self-shading and open courtyards to offer respite from the heat in the mornings and extensive use of pillars and railings to form a thermal underbelly for warmth at night.  
The use of architecture for design and functionality by Morphogenesis earned it the World’s Best Learning Building award at the World Architecture Festival Awards (WAF Awards) 2009 in Barcelona, Spain.  
St. Xavier’s College is an architectural marvel founded in 1869. Identified as a heritage structure by the Mumbai Heritage Conservation Committee, the campus stands out for its Indo-Gothic architecture, the in-house museum that preserves rare, old books, the famous leisure space named “The Woods” — housing an expansive tree plantation — and an auditorium with two secret underground passages.  
Sprawling over 1.18 hectares, the institute is renowned for its green initiatives and sustainable efforts to ensure efficient water conservation and waste management 
Spread across 260 hectares, Hyderabad’s Indian School of Business has one of the most exceptionally beautiful campuses in India. The architecture blends contemporary and natural elements, featuring tree canopies, elegant brick buildings, natural boulders, a 500-seat auditorium and an open-air atrium.  
The distinctive and sustainable campus design elements minimise wastage of space and improves efficiency and practicality, along the lines of its Mohali campus. Both campuses are LEED rated green buildings
What’s more, the Mohali campus is spread over 70 acres, providing stunning greenery and beauty with its simple architecture that has been expertly blended with nature.
Established in 1909, Bengaluru’s Indian Institute of Science (IISc) is the result of founder Jamsetji Nusserwanji Tata’s economic and educational reforms in pre-independence India. Spread over 150 hectares, the institute infuses European functional architectural elements under the vision of German architect Otto Koenigsberger.  
Koenigsberger perfected the IISc building and designed the dining hall and auditorium in 1944. His creations also included designing the old Aerospace Engineering building and the distinctive closed-circuit wind tunnel (which was supposedly India’s first) in 1946. 
Its former students and faculty members include prominent names such as Vikram Sarabhai, Homi J Bhabha and CNR Rao.  
Established as The Roorkee College during the British Empire in 1847, the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) was declared an institution of national importance in 2001, thus changing its name and status from University of Roorkee to IIT, Roorkee.  
The James Thomason building is an administrative building of the campus that is shaped in a quadrangle, built in renaissance style and overlooks the Himalayan snow-clad peaks. Nestled in the tranquil town of Roorkee in the foothills of the Himalayas, the aesthetically pleasing, 141.6-hectare (approx.) campus sports modern architecture and heritage buildings along with idyllic walking trails.  
This sprawling campus of IIM is spread across 45.5 hectares atop the twin hills of the Kunnamangalam area in the Kozhikode district of Kerala. The natural settings and serene landscape of the campus is a treat to the eyes as well as the soul. Founded in 1997, IIM Kozhikode’s world-class infrastructure equipped with modern facilities set in tranquil locales of the Western ghats makes for a wonderful experiential learning hub.  
Nestled in Kashmir Valley on the banks of Srinagar’s Dal Lake, the National Institute of Technology (NIT), which was established in 1960, has one of the most beautiful college campuses in India, without a doubt. The picturesque Himalayan and the Zabarwan Hills form the backdrop of the campus with the renowned Hazratbal shrine on its northern side.  
Spread over 27.1 hectares, the campus features a landscaping design with abundant greenery and tree-lined pathways for long walks. Come winter, it turns into nothing short of a winter wonderland with frozen Dal Lake and mesmerising views of snow-capped mountains.   
King George’s Medical University in Lucknow flaunts spectacular architectural brilliance. What started as a proposition by Maharaja of Vijaynagaram led to the laying of the foundation stone by then Prince of Wales, King George V, in 1906 and culminated in a fully functional medical college by 1911.  
Sir Swinton Jacob undertook the architecture and designed it in Indo-Saracenic style, also known as Mughal-gothic style. The main campus building blends Islamic architecture with Neo-European elements such as curved rooves, minarets, screened windows and jharokha or overhanging balconies.
Which one of these beautiful college campuses in India have you seen yet?
Hero and featured image credit: Indian School of Business/Twitter
This story first appeared on Travel+Leisure India and South Asia.
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