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 near Pune.

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 1878.

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 his lifetime:

  • 1904

    Honorary Membership of London Institution of Civil Engineers for an unbroken period of 50 years

  • 1906

    "Kaisar-i-Hind" in recognition of his services

  • 1911

    C.I.E. (Companion of the Indian Empire) at the Delhi Darbar

  • 1915

    K.C.I.E. (Knight Commander of the Order of the Indian Empire)

  • 1921

    D.Sc. – Calcutta University

  • 1931

    LLD – Bombay University

  • 1937

    D.Litt. – Benaras Hindu University

  • 1943

    Elected as an Honorary Life Member of the Institution of Engineers (India)

  • 1944

    D.Sc. – Allahabad University

  • 1948

    Doctorate, LLD - Mysore University

  • 1953

    D.Litt – Andhra University

  • 1953

    Awarded the Honorary Fellowship of the Institute of Town Planners, India

  • 1955

    Conferred Bharat Ratna, the highest distinction of the country

  • 1958

    "Durga Prasad Khaitan Memorial Gold Medal" by the Royal Asiatic Society Council of Bengal

  • 1959

    Fellowship of the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore

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    Note: The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not reflect the official policy or position of UltraTech Cement.

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