Interesting Facts About M Visvesvaraya, Father of Modern Mysore, on his Birth Anniversary

ENGINEERS’ DAY 2022: Engineers help build nations. And to honour their contributions to the growth of a nation, World Engineers’ Day is celebrated on different dates in different countries. In India, the event is observed on September 15. The date was chosen to honour India’s first civil engineer and 19th Dewan of Mysore, Mokshagundam Visvesvaraya, who was born on this day in 1860. For his industrial, economic and social projects, he was also called “Father of Modern Mysore”. On his birth anniversary, we will take a look at some of the most interesting facts about Visvesvaraya.

  1. M Visvesvaraya was born into a Tamil Brahmin family at Mysore’s Muddenahalli village, Karnataka. His name, Mokshagundam, refers to the village of the same name in Andhra Pradesh, where his ancestors hail from.
  2. Visvesvaraya graduated as an engineer from the College of Engineering, Pune.
  3. He designed and implemented a complex irrigation system while working for the Indian Irrigation Commission and also created and patented the technology of automatic floodgates, called the Block system.
  4. Visvesvaraya was the chief architect and engineer of the Krishna Raja Sagara (KRS) dam on the river Kaveri at Mandya, Karnataka. The dam was named after Mysore’s monarch Krishna Raja Wadiyar IV.
  5. Visvesvaraya believed that India needed large-scale industries, factories and steel plants to develop economically. He disagreed with Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi about making India self-sufficient through cottage industries or rural ways of life alone.
  6. Visvesvaraya also believed that modern education was a key component in a nation’s development. To that end, he helped set up Mysore University in 1916.
  7. He spent a significant portion of his life designing infrastructure for the sixth Nizam of Hyderabad, Mahboob Ali Khan and later the king of Mysore, Maharaja Krishnaraja Wadiyar IV.
  8. Following the devastating Musi river flood in 1908, which killed thousands of people, Visvesvaraya helped construct a system of drainage and sewage that made Hyderabad flood-free for the future.
  9. As a person, he was a rationalist, dedicated to his work, and punctual. He was also a patriot with a strong vision for India’s future.
  10. Visvesvaraya was also awarded the Bharat Ratna in 1955.

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