Google celebrated Engineer’s Day today with its doodle of M. Visvesvarayas, the greatest civil engineer of India. Mokshagundam Visvesvaraya was born 157 years ago on September in 1861. India’s highest honour, the Bharat Ratna was conferred on him in 1955, seven years before his death. He was knighted as a Knight Commander of the British Indian Empire (KCIE) by King George V for his contributions to the public good. Due to his knighthood, he is called Sir and fondly remembered as Sir MV. India celebrates Engineer’s Day in his memory on his birthday.
Mokshagundam Vishweshvaraya was born to a Telugu speaking Brahmin family. His father, Mokshagundam Srinivasa Sastry, was a school teacher while his mother, Venkatalakshamma, was a homemaker. Visvesvaraya was born in Muddenahalli village in the princely state of Mysore. He later became Diwan of Mysore.
Visvesvaraya received a BA degree from Central College, Bangalore, (then an affiliate of the University of Madras), a rare accomplishment in the India of that era. He received LCE (Licenciate in Civil Engineering) equivalent to DCE (Diploma in Civil Engineering) from the University of Bombay to which the College of Engineering was affiliated.
Visvervaraya started his professional career with Public Works Department of Bombay (Mumbai). From there he was invited to join Indian Irrigation Commission. He implemented an extremely intricate system of irrigation in Deccan.
He designed and patented a system of automatic weir water floodgates that were first installed in 1903 at Khadakvasla Reservoir near Pune. These gates were employed to raise flood supply level of storage in reservoir to the highest level likely to be attained without causing any damage to the dam. Based on the success of these gates, the same system was installed at the Tigra Dam in Gwalior and Krishna Raja Sagara (KRS) Dam in Mandya/Mysore, Karnataka.
In 1906–07, Government of India sent him to Aden to study water supply and drainage systems. The project prepared by him was implemented in Aden successfully.
Visvesvaraya achieved celebrity status when he designed a flood protection system for city of Hyderabad. He was instrumental in developing a system to protect Visakhapatnam port from sea erosion. This dam created the biggest reservoir in Asia when it was built. Visvesvaraya gave his valuable technical advice for the location of Mokama Bridge over Ganga in Bihar. At the time, he was over 90 years old. Patna has a big building Visvesvaraya Bhawan in his memory and has a statute on its premise.
He is called Father of Modern Mysore State and also referred to as Father of Engineers.