All You Need to Know about the Greatest Indian Engineer Sir Visvesvaraya


Sir Mokshagundam Visvesvaraya was unquestionably one of India’s most illustrious engineers. Engineer’s Day is observed in India as pay homage to the greatest Indian engineer and Bharat Ratna awardee. Popularly known as Sir MV, Visvesvaraya was born in a Telugu family on September 15, 1861, in Chikkaballapur, Karnataka.

On the occasion of his birthday here are some facts about Sir MV:

  • He was an Indian civil engineer and statesman who served as the 19th Diwan of Mysore from 1912 until 1919. In 1924, he worked as the primary architect behind the construction of the Krishna Raja Sagar dam across Kaveri River in Mandya, Karnataka, and was an excellent engineer.

This aided in the conversion of the neighbouring barren areas into productive farming grounds. He had always been an optimist who believed in living simply and thinking deeply.

  • His primary education was completed at his village school. He attended high school in Bangalore and subsequently enrolled in Central College. He was always a good student, completing his bachelor of arts in 1881 in spite of all hurdles in his life, he later went to the prestigious College of Engineering at Pune after managing to get some help from the government.
  • After graduating in 1884, he found employment with the Mumbai public works department (PWD) as an assistant engineer. He then joined the Indian irrigation commission and aided in the implementation of a complex irrigation system in the Deccan area.

Also, at Lake Fife Storage Reservoir, he designed and built automated gates that he patented; in 1903, he created a novel irrigation system known as the “Block System.”

  • When the Visakhapatnam port was in danger of being eroded from the sea, Visvesvaraya came up with a good solution to solve this issue. He proposed sinking two ships to function as breakwaters to prevent littoral drift into the inner harbour.

Similarly, he lent his services as a special consulting engineer when Hyderabad city was under flood threats during the decade of the 1900s.

  • His work became so popular that in 1906-07, the government of India sent him to Aden to study water supply and drainage systems. He did so, and a project based on his study was implemented in Aden.
  • He played a pivotal role in the establishment of Government Engineering College in Bangalore in 1917, one of India’s earliest engineering institutions. The university was renamed Visvesvaraya College of Engineering later on.
  • King George V honoured him as a Knight Commander of the British Indian Empire (KCIE) for his contributions to the public good.
  • He was a receiver of many honorary doctoral degrees from eight Indian universities. In his honour, his birthday, September 15, is celebrated as Engineer’s Day not just in India but in Sri Lanka, and Tanzania too.
  • In 1955, he was awarded the highest Indian honour, the Bharat Ratna.

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