Since the ancient times, India has been known as a land of rich cultures and traditions. Knowledge was a defining trait of India as it had many famous universities and institutions of learning.

Unfortunately, many of these ancient universities ceased to exist due to various reasons. However, there are still some centuries old universities in India which are still thriving and gifting the nation with educated people and intellectuals every year. Following are some such old but perfectly functioning universities of India:

1. Serampore College


The Serampore College is considered the oldest university in India to remain operational, it was founded in 1817.As it was founded in Serampore, which was then under Danish rule, its letter of incorporation was issued by the then King of Denmark, King Frederick VI. Later in 1845, its control was passed to British.

seramporeThe Carey Library at the Serampore University has more than 16000 rare volumes of books and is referred by scholars from all around the globe.

Serampore, where the university is located, is a city in West Bengal. It has a literacy rate of 90%.

2. Indian Institute of Technology, Roorkee

iit roorkee

Everyone knows that IIT Roorkee is one of the top institutions in India. However, many people are not aware of the fact that it is 168 years old.

Established in 1847, the institution has produced some top notch entrepreneurs in India. 10 among the IIT Roorkee alumni hold the Padma Bhushan award while two have received the Padma Vibhushan.

iitanotherRoorkee is a city located in Uttarkhand and is famous for its proximity with Himalayas and the Upper Ganges canal.

It was ranked as the 4th top university in India by India Today and 65th in the QS Asian University rankings.

3. University of Mumbai

The gallery of highly famous alumni such as BR Ambedkar, Pratibha Patel, Cyrus Mistry, Jamsetji Tata, Anil Ambani and Mukesh Ambani is enough for the introduction of the University of Mumbai.

Another one among the oldest universities of India, the University of Mumbai was established in 1857.

mumbai universityYou will be amazed to know that this institution has produced more billionaires than the Columbia University, the New York University and even the MIT! It was ranked 9th in the world in the Wealth-X and UBS Billionaire Census 2014.

4. University of Madras

Madras university

Established in 1857, the University of Madras is one of the most reputed institutes in India. It has produced many famous people, such as S. Ramanujan, who is considered the greatest mathematician of India, Nobel laureate sir CV Raman, S. Radhakrishnan; the second president of India, Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam; the 11th president of India, chess grandmaster Vishwanathan Anand and PepsiCo chairperson Indra Nooyi.

With 73 academic departments, 109 affiliated colleges and 52 approved research institutions, it was ranked 70th in the QS International University Rankings.

5. University of Calcutta

kolkata university

With 4 Nobel laureates in its alumni pool and a statement by the United Nations terming it as the “Best university in South-East Asia”, the University of Calcutta has been ranked 2nd by India Today.

This university was also established in 1857 and currently has more than 22,000 students.

kolkata uni newIts alumni include Swami Vivekananda; the famous Indian reformer, Rabindranath Tagore; Nobel Laureate and poet, Rajendra Prasad, the first president of India, Amartya Sen another Nobel laureate and economist, Sourav Ganguly, famous Indian cricket captain, Pranab Mukherjee; the current president of India and Hamid Ansari, the current vice-president of India.