Reading Time: 3 Minutes
Whether it’s early in the morning, or late at night, it’s undeniable that IIT Bombay runs on just one fuel: tea.

You probably have a favourite chai spot too, where the milk-to-water ratio is just right, and the hint of elaichi that the chaiwala adds makes all the difference. Some others amongst us are not so choosy. All that matters is to get a cup of tea to keep you awake, no matter where it’s from.

So how far from tea are you in your hostel at any given time? What about when you’re in your class? Your lab? We take a look at all the tea spots in the institute, and try to give you a visual insight (pun completely unintended) into how these are spaced out – in both location and time.

Here’s a map of all the places you get tea in the institute. Every mess, canteen, and tapri included. By my count, there’s a whopping 45 of them.

[Click on image for a larger version]
How many could you identify? (Don’t worry, there’s a labeled version coming right up)
But I’m more interested in knowing where I could sit and work, while still being within walking distance of a cup of tea. I’m lazy and I’d consider one minute of walking reasonable. Some of my friends will go up to 2 minutes. Anything more is for desperate times only. So here’s an animated map of what’s within walking distance of every tea stall that’s pen at a given time.
It traverses through the hours of the day, and shades the area within walking distance of each tea spot.

[Click image for a larger version, or here for a gfycat version, which is faster to load, and allows you to control the animation]

At 8 in the morning, pretty much everyone is in their hostel, and most messes are serving tea. In just a couple of hours, the bulk of the attention shifts to the academic area. If you’re a late waker, too bad. Around noon, the hostel canteens open up again. The academic area is still flush with tea for those who can’t afford to take a break.

Late in the afternoon, at around 5 pm, the hostel area becomes the focus again, as students returning from labs and lectures enjoy a refreshing cup. Or three. At night, the academic area runs out of options entirely. Hostel canteens serve tea till reasonably late, till the blips start to go out one by one, and by 4 am, all you can hope for is that the tapri outside main gate is open. Sleep beckons, but IIT stays awake, watching the clock strike 5, then 6, and 7, till the messes open again at 8 and provide the much needed respite from a tea-less existence.

It’s kind of hypnotic to watch the bubbles appear and disappear, and live through the day in one GIF. And now, as I wrap up this post at a healthy 4.30 am, it’s time to decide whether to venture till the main gate, or stay up till the next glass of that sweet, sweet nectar becomes available in the morning.

As always, all the data and code is accessible on GitHub, for you to play around with.

1. The areas are circular because I’ve used aerial distances. While this is not the most accurate thing to do, it’s a reasonable proxy. I used a walking speed of 5 km/hour,
2. The data was collected from a variety of sources, including the IITB website, Google Maps, and simply asking people we vaguely knew to be reliable sources of information. If we’ve made some inadvertent errors, let us know and we’ll fix them.
3. The regular, non-exam-time, everyday timings have been used. In exceptional circumstances, some of these may not be open at the time we’ve indicated they will, or vice versa.