Sir Mokshagundam Visvesvaraya was truly one of the most eminent engineers ever produced by India. An engineer par excellence, he was the chief architect behind the construction of the Krishna Raja Sagara dam in Mandya which helped convert the surrounding barren lands into fertile grounds for farming. He was always an idealistic person and he believed in simple living and high thinking. On his birthday today, which is also celebrated as Engineers Day, here are some interesting things about Sir Mokshagundam Visvesvaraya:
1. Born into a Telugu Brahmin family in a village near Bangalore, he completed his primary education from his village school and went to high school in Bangalore.
2. He joined the Central College in Bangalore. Being a good student he always was, he completed his Bachelor of Arts in 1881 in spite of all the hardships in his life and he later went to the prestigious College of Engineering at Pune after he managed to get some help from the Government.
3. After his graduation in 1884, he found a job with the Public Works Department (PWD) of Mumbai and joined as an Assistant Engineer. He then joined the Indian Irrigation Commission and helped to implement a complex system of irrigation in the Deccan area.
4. He designed and carried out the waterworks for the Municipality of Sukkur in 1895. He is credited with the development of the Block System which would prevent the wasteful flow of water in dams.
5. His work was becoming so popular that the Government of India sent him to Aden to study water supply and drainage system in 1906-07. He did so and designed a project based on his study which was implemented in Aden.
6. When the Visakhapatnam port was in danger of being eroded from the sea, Visvesvaraya with his high intelligence and capabilities came up with a good solution to solve this issue.
7. During the decade of the 1900s Hyderabad city was reeling under the threats of flood. Once again the brilliant engineer supervised the engineering work at Hyderabad by lending his services as a Special Consulting Engineer in 1909.
8. He was appointed as the Chief Engineer of Mysore State in 1909 and as the Diwan of the princely state of Mysore in 1912, a position he held for seven years. As the Diwan, he made immense contribution towards the overall development of the state.
9. He served as the chief engineer for the construction of the Krishna Raja Sagara Lake and dam in 1924 across river Kaveri in Mandya district near Mysore in Karnataka.
10. A recipient of several honorary doctoral degrees from eight universities in India, Visvesvaraya was knighted as the Commander of the Order of the Indian Empire (KCIE) by the British for his contributions to the society in 1915. He was awarded with independent India’s greatest honor, The Bharat Ratna in 1955 for his relentless work in the fields of engineering and education.