Eminent engineer and statesman, Sir M. Visvesvaraya was born on September 15, 1860 in Muddenahalli village in Karnataka’s Kolar district. He lost his father, who was a Sanskrit scholar at the age of 15.
After completing his early education in Chikkaballapur, he moved to Bangalore for his higher education. He joined the Science College in Poona to study Engineering and was ranked first in the L.C.E. and the F.C.E. Examinations in 1883.
The Government of Bombay promptly offered him the job of an Assistant Engineer at Nasik. During his stint as an engineer, he successfully implemented many projects. He was the brain behind the Krishnaraja Sagar dam in Mysore.
Known for his simplicity, he was appointed as the Dewan by the Maharaja of Mysore in 1912. During his tenure as the Dewan of Mysore, he worked relentlessly for the overall development of the state. Many new industries came up during his tenure as the Dewan. These include the Sandal Oil Factory, the Soap Factory, the Metals Factory, the Chrome Tanning Factory and the Bhadravati Iron and Steel Works.
He was awarded with many honors during his lifetime. These include the “Kaisar-i-Hind” award in 1906, the C.I.E. (Companion of the Indian Empire) in 1911, the K.C.I.E. (Knight Commander of the Order of the Indian Empire) in 1915 besides the Bharat Ratna. Though he retired as Dewan of Mysore in 1918, he continued to work actively even after his retirement. This great statesman was awarded the Bharat Ratna in 1955 for his service to the nation. He passed away on April 14, 1962.