India’s greatest civil engineer

Giants in History: Sir Mokshagundam Srinivasa Shastry Vishveshwarayya (15 September 1860 – 14 April 1962) is widely regarded as India’s most outstanding engineer.

In a career that spanned almost his entire life, Vishveshwarayya played a pivotal role in several engineering projects, including designing the Krishnarajasagara dam that is still the source of irrigation and drinking water for parts of Karnataka today. He also served as one of the Chief Engineers of the flood protection system for the city of Hyderabad. Optimistic about the potential of technology to transform economies and societies, Vishveshwarayya wrote two books on the industrialisation of India. Although he was conferred a British knighthood and the Bharat Ratna, India’s highest civilian award, Vishveshwarayya did not seek fame or publicity for his accomplishments, preferring to work diligently in the background. To commemorate his achievements, his birthday on 15 September is celebrated as Engineer’s Day in India.