"It is the duty of people like us to stay in our own country and build up outstanding schools of research such as some other countries are fortunate to possess." This was the vision that guided the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research which Homi Bhabha founded. The Institute was founded on 1st June1945 with support from the Sir Dorabji Tata Trust. The Institute first began functioning within the Cosmic Ray Research Unit on the campus of the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore and moved to Bombay in October that year.
In Bombay the Institute was housed at Kenilworth, a bungalow on Pedder Road. It was inaugurated by Sir John Colville, Governor of Bombay on 19th December 1945. In 1949, as the Institute grew, it found its second home at the Old Yacht Club Building (former home of Royal Bombay Yacht Club) near Gateway of India.
The foundation stone of the main building at the Colaba campus was laid by Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru in 1954.