While the Rohini series of sounding rockets was being developed by ISRO under the leadership of Dr. Vikram Sarabhai, it was decided to set up a rocket launching center as well. The center had to be far away from densely populated areas in the interests of safety, along with certain other requirements. Sriharikota met all the requirements perfectly. It is a spindle shaped coastal island, which separates Pulicat lake from the Bay of Bengal. The climate is sunny, and suitable for rocket launching, while the area around the island is largely uninhabited.
The first Rohini sounding rocket was launched from SHAR in October 1971.