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Know all about the legendary stalwart of Modern India Engineering M Visvesvaraya

September 15th of every year is celebrated as Engineer’s day in India, to commemorate the birth anniversary of the legendary civil engineer Sir Mokshagundam Visvesvaraya.

Born: 15th September 1861
Died: 12th April 1962

Mokshagundam Visvesvaraya was the 19th Diwan of Mysore Kingdom. Visvesvaraya was born into a Telugu speaking family on 15 September 1861 in Muddenahalli village (now located in Chikkaballapura district, but part of Kolar district at the time of his birth) in the princely state of Mysore (now Karnataka), India. His father, Mokshagundam Srinivasa, was a school teacher and a noted Sanskrit scholar, while his mother, Venkatalakshamma, was a homemaker. His parents were from Mokshagundam, a village of Prakasam district in Andhra Pradesh.
M Visvesvaraya honoured by Google on his 158th Birth Anniversary
M Visvesvaraya honoured by Google on his 158th Birth Anniversary

Visvesvaraya lost his father at the age of 12. He got his primary education at Bandahalli Primary School, Chikkaballapur, and attended a high school in Bangalore. In 1881, he received BA degree from Central College, Bangalore (then affiliated to University of Madras). He then enrolled at College of Engineering, Pune and received LCE (Licentiate in Civil Engineering), which is equivalent to DCE (Diploma in Civil Engineering), from University of Bombay to which the college was affiliated then.

Visvesvaraya took a job with the PWD of Bombay and later was invited to join the Indian Irrigation Commission. He implemented an extremely intricate system of irrigation in Deccan.


  • Sir M Visvesvaraya was internationally recognized for his genius in harnessing rainwater resources in India.
  • He designed a flood protection system for Hyderabad.
  • He designed automatic weir water floodgates, was first installed in 1903 at the Khadakwasla Reservoir, Pune.
  • He was responsible for the construction of Krishna Raja Sagara dam in Mysore as a chief engineer.
  • He served as a dewan of Mysore State. He was responsible for the turn-around of Bhadravati Iron and Steel Works, setting up of the Mysore Sandalwood Oil Factory and the founding of the Bank of Mysore.
  • Visvesvaraya gave his valuable technical advice for the location of Mokama Bridge over Ganga in Bihar. At the time, he was over 90 years old
  • He was instrumental in developing a system to protect the Visakhapatnam port from sea erosion. This dam created the biggest reservoir in Asia when it was built.
  • Visvesvaraya is known to have designed and planned the entire area of Jayanagar in South Bangalore. The foundation of Jayanagar was laid in 1959

Awards & Recognition:

  • To remember his remarkable contributions, Indians celebrate engineers days on his birth anniversary.
  • He received Bharat Ratna in 1955.
  • Visvesvaraya was appointed a Companion of the Order of the Indian Empire (CIE) in 1911.
  • Visvesvaraya was knighted as a Knight Commander of Order of Indian Empire (KCIE) by British for his myriad contributions to the public good.
  • He was awarded fellowship of Indian Institute of Science (Bangalore)


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