The Modern Hermit of India – Mokshagundam Vishweshwarayya

Mokshagundam Vishweshwarayya also known as ‘The Modern Hermit of India’ was a true embodiment of knowledge, wisdom, creativity, and of modern ideas. Recognising his engineering services, the country celebrates his birthday 15 September as ‘Engineers Day’

He was born in 1860 in Kolar, Mysore. His father, Srinivasa Shastri was a renowned scholar in sanskrit and an ayurvedic doctor. His mother Venkachamma was a devout, down-to-earth, pious woman. When Vishweshwarayya was 15 he lost his father.

After the completion of is B.A. examinations, he joined the College of Engineering, to pursue higher studies, with the help of the Maharaja of Mysore who supported him financially. In the year 1883, he wrote his L.C.E and F.C.E examinations and passed out of college with an exceptional result.

While working under the Nizam of Hyderabad, he helped in the construction of the Musi reservoir to protect the city from frequent floods.

The Maharaja of Mysore designated Vishveshwarayya as the chief administrative officer. Before he assumed office, he invited all the members of his family and his friends and made sure that none of them would take advantage of Vishweshwarayya being in the position. After taking the responsibility of an administrator he worked really hard to make Mysore a better place.

In 1917, under the guidance of Vishweshwarayya, Government College of Engineering, Bengaluru, which is one of the finest colleges of engineering in India, the present day. He also helped in the construction of the Krishna Raja Sagar dam in 1932 under the orders of Krishnaraja Vadiyar IV. It is one of the first dams in the world which had automated flood-control barriers.

The day he retired, he denied the official vehicle and went home on foot. When asked why, he told people that as he was no longer working as an official, he must not use the vehicle. By the same token, he had a lot of other ethics and rules that he laid on himself, which he followed for sure. These rules can take any individual to reach the zenith of personal excellence, if followed.

He lived a long life of more than a hundred years and passed away on the 14th of April, 1962. But, he will be revered by   posterity, for his selfless efforts and great achievements.