Mokshagundam Visvesvarayya (15 September 1861 – 14 April 1962) commonly known as Sir M. Visvesvaraya, was a renowned Indian engineer, statesman, and Diwan of the princely state of Mysore (now Karnataka).
Life and Career
He was born on September 15, 1861, in Muddenahalli, a village in the present-day Chikkaballapur district of Karnataka, India. He was the chief architect behind many significant infrastructure projects in India during the pre-independence era.
Visvesvaraya’s father, Srinivasa Sastry, was a Sanskrit scholar, and his mother, Venkachamma, was a homemaker. From a young age, Visvesvaraya displayed exceptional talent in academics and engineering. He attended primary school in his village and later moved to Bangalore for further education. He pursued his undergraduate studies in engineering at the College of Science in Pune (now known as the College of Engineering, Pune).
After completing his engineering studies, Visvesvaraya joined the Public Works Department (PWD) of Bombay (now Mumbai). He earned a reputation for his innovative ideas and engineering prowess. He was instrumental in designing and implementing several important projects, such as the Krishna Raja Sagara dam in Mandya, Karnataka, and the flood protection system for the city of Hyderabad.
Visvesvaraya also served as the Chief Engineer of Mysore State and later became the Diwan (Prime Minister) of Mysore in 1912. During his tenure as Diwan, he implemented various progressive reforms in areas like education, industrialization, and public works. His visionary leadership greatly contributed to the overall development of Mysore.
Visvesvaraya passed away on April 14, 1962, at the age of 101, leaving behind a legacy of engineering brilliance and exceptional public service.
Award and Legacy
Throughout his life, Visvesvaraya received numerous awards and honors for his outstanding contributions. He was knighted by the British government in 1915 and was given the honorific title of “Sir” before his name. In independent India, he was awarded the Bharat Ratna, India’s highest civilian award, in 1955 in recognition of his invaluable services to the nation.
Mokshagundam Visvesvaraya’s legacy is profound and enduring. His engineering expertise played a pivotal role in shaping India’s infrastructure and contributed significantly to the nation’s progress. He was an ardent advocate of industrialization, education, and public welfare.
Visvesvaraya’s birthday, September 15th, is celebrated as “Engineer’s Day” in India, honoring his contributions to the field of engineering. His dedication to public service, his visionary ideas, and his commitment to the nation’s progress continue to inspire generations of engineers and leaders in India and beyond.
Visvesvaraya’s name remains synonymous with excellence, and he is remembered as one of India’s greatest engineers and statesmen. His work and contributions have left an indelible mark on the country’s development and continue to be celebrated as a source of inspiration for the future.