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Mokshagundam Visvesvaraya Summary

We celebrate engineers day on September 15th in India to honor Sir Mokshagundam Visvesvaraya, who was born on that date in 1860. He came from a family of modest means Muddenahalli, Chikkaballapura District, Karnatakaand his parents were Srinivasa Sastry and Venkachamma. Despite this background he made an exemplary career for himself as an engineer and statesman.

He received many awards including the prestigious Bharat Ratna award in 1955. Sir Mokshagundam Visvesvaraya is one of the most respected engineers of India. Sir M Visvesvaraya has been instrumental in the development of many key infrastructure projects in India. Sir M Visvesvaraya served as the Chief Engineer of Mysore State from 1884 to 1901. Sir M Visvesvaraya is also one of the first recipients of the Indian Republic’s highest honour, the Bharat Ratna.

Sir Mokshagundam Visvesvaraya quotes “It is easy to stand in the crowd but it takes courage to stand alone”.

Sir Visvesvaraya was a prominent engineer in India who designed and built many dams in Maharashtra state, the first of which were installed in 1903 at the Khadakvasla reservoir. He later went on to work as chief engineer during construction of Krishna Raja Sagara Dam before becoming President of All India Manufacturers Association. Sir Visvesvaraya is credited with modernizing the city of Mysore.

He was named after his grandfather, Mokshappa. As Sir Visvesvaraya had no siblings, his parents lavished all their attention on him. Sir Visvesvaraya’s father died when he was just 10 years old and he was raised by his mother Lakshmamma who instilled strong moral values in him.

Sir Visvesvaraya’s first exposure to engineering came at the age of 12 when he helped his uncle in the construction of a small canal. Sir Visvesvaraya was an average student but he was very hardworking and determined. He passed his matriculation examination in 1881 and enrolled at the Central College, Bangalore. Sir Visvesvaraya graduated from college in 1884 with a degree in Civil Engineering.

After Sir Visvesvaraya’s graduation, he briefly worked under the British Raj as an Assistant Engineer. Sir Visvesvaraya soon realised that he needed to further his education if he wanted to be successful in his career. Sir Visvesvaraya went to England in 1884 to study at the University of Cambridge where he obtained a triple distinction i.e. he topped his class in all the three subjects he studied. Sir Visvesvaraya returned to India in 1887 and started working as a Consultant Engineer. Sir Visvesvaraya’s first major project was the construction of a bridge over the River Krishna in Mysore.

The bridge was completed in just two years and it was hailed as an engineering marvel. Sir Visvesvaraya’s next project was the construction of a dam on the Bhima River in Maharashtra. Sir Visvesvaraya designed and patented a system of automatic weir water floodgates which were first installed in 1903 at the Khadakvasla reservoir, Pune. Sir Visvesvaraya also worked on the irrigation systems of the Deccan Plateau.

His honesty and integrity were known to all. In 1912, Maharaja of Mysore appointed Visvesvaraya as his Dewan. He reminded his relatives of their agreement when he accepted the position that none of them would approach him for favours before dinner. As Dewan of Mysore, he worked tirelessly for educational and industrial development of the state which lead to many new industries including: The Sandal Oil Factory, The Soap Factory, The Metals Factory, and The Chrome TanningFactory Linking these facilities through an efficient transport system was one of his major achievements during this period.

Out of the several factories he founded, the Bhadravati Iron and Steel Works is most noteworthy. Not only this, but he was also knighted by the British in recognition of his many contributions to society at large. After retiring from his post in 1908, Visvesvaraya sir was appointed as a minister for Mysore state. Furthermore, Sir Visvesvaraya designed a flood protection system for Hyderabad city to guard against future floods. For all his accomplishments , he was presented with India’s highest honor the Bharat Ratna in 1955.

He installed a very intricate system of irrigation in the Deccan area. He also designed and patented a system of automatic weir water floodgates which were first installed in 1903 at the Khadakvasla reservoir near Pune. These gates lifted the floodwater supply level to the tallest point likely to be reached by its floods, without causing any damage to vital areas like dams. The same successful system was then installed at other high-risk locations, like the Tigra dam in Gwalior and Krishnaraja Sagara (KRS) dam in Mandya.

He helped construct many dams including the Krishnarajasagar Dam on the Kaveri River in Mandya. Sir Visvesvaraya also planned and designed the city of Vishakapatnam. Sir Visvesvaraya was knighted by King George V in 1915 for his contributions to engineering. Sir Visvesvaraya also served as the Diwan of Mysore from 1912 to 1918.

Sir Visvesvaraya retired from active service in 1924 but he continued to work as a consultant engineer till the end of his life. Sir Visvesvaraya died on 12 April 1962 at the age of 101. Sir Mokshagundam Visvesvaraya is remembered as one of India’s greatest engineers.

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