Born on the 15th of September, 1860 as Mokshagundam Visvesvaraya, he earned his
civil engineering from the College of Engineering, Pune. He took his first job with
the Public Works Department, Mumbai and was later invited to join the Indian Irrigation
Commission. Here he used his skills in designing and implementing extremely complicated
and successful civil engineering projects. His valuable contributions to the nation
led him to being known as 'The Father of Indian Civil Engineering'.
In his loving memory, 15th September of every year is celebrated as Engineer’s Day
On the occasion of Sir MV's 155th Birth Anniversary, UltraTech captures the highlights
of his illustrious life & career through this photo essay.
1895 - Sir MV gained a lot of recognition for his water works in the Sikkur
district of Sindh. The task involved supplying drinking water from the river Sindh.
1902 - Sir MV was instrumental in building Asia's first hydroelectric project
at the Shivanasamudra Falls in Karnataka.
1903 - Sir MV designed automatic floodgates for the Lake Fife Storage Reservoir
(Michigan). These gates could raise the flood supply level of storage in the reservoir
without causing any damage to the dam. They were first used in the Khadakwasla Reservoir
1906 - He designed an effective underwater drainage system and prepared a
scheme for the supply of drinking water in the Port of Aden. He was awarded the
"Kaiser-i-Hind" medal for this outstanding work.
1908 – He designed a new system of irrigation, the Block System, where the
doors automatically closed in case of an overflow. The purpose of this system was
to make irrigation work in Bombay Presidency more popular and profitable.
1911 – Sir MV was appointed a Companion of the Order of the Indian Empire
(CIE). This was the most eminent order of chivalry founded by Queen Victoria in
1909 to 1912 -1909 to 1912 - Sir MV was the chief engineer during the construction of the Krishna Raja Sagara Dam on the Kaveri River in the Mandya District, Karnataka. It was
the largest reservoir in India during that time and was the main source of irrigation
and drinking water to a number of cities. The estimated cost of the project was
about 23 million rupees.
1912 - Sir MV was appointed the Devan of the Kingdom of Mysore by the Maharaja
of Mysore, Krishnarajendra Wodeyar.
1915 - Honoured with the Knight Commander of the Order of the Indian Empire
(KCIE) by the British for his myriad contributions to the public good.
1916 - Sir MV established the University of Mysore, the very first university
outside of the British administration in India.
1916 - Since he believed that industries were the key to the growth of a
nation, he introduced a number of industries in Mysore during his time as the Devan.
The Government Sandalwood Oil Factory was one of them.
1917 - Sir MV established the Government Engineering College in Bangalore,
one of the very first engineering colleges in the country. The college was later
renamed University Visvesvaraya College of Engineering (UVCE) in memory of its founder.
1918 - 1918 - Since coal was not available near the Bhadravati in the Shimoga
district of Mysore, transporting it was becoming uneconomical. Sir MV engineered
a method in which wood could be used for smelting iron instead of coal. A scheme
was setup and Sir MV took charge as Chairman of the Board of Management.
1920 and 1927 - Sir MV surveyed the flood affected areas of Hyderabad and
advised the government to build two reservoir dams – one across river Musi and another
across its tributary Easi to control floods. He suggested that the banks of the
river should be raised within the city and gardens and sidewalks should be built
all along the river front.
Here are some honours and laurels conferred on Sir Mokshagundam Visvesvaraya during
Honorary Membership of London Institution of Civil Engineers for an unbroken period
of 50 years
"Kaisar-i-Hind" in recognition of his services
C.I.E. (Companion of the Indian Empire) at the Delhi Darbar
K.C.I.E. (Knight Commander of the Order of the Indian Empire)
D.Sc. – Calcutta University
D.Litt. – Benaras Hindu University
Elected as an Honorary Life Member of the Institution of Engineers (India)
D.Sc. – Allahabad University
Doctorate, LLD - Mysore University
D.Litt – Andhra University
Awarded the Honorary Fellowship of the Institute of Town Planners, India
Conferred Bharat Ratna, the highest distinction of the country
"Durga Prasad Khaitan Memorial Gold Medal" by the Royal Asiatic Society Council
Fellowship of the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore
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