Visvesvaraya was born
in Muddenahalli in the Chikkaballapur Taluk of Kolar District (Mysore State), on the 15th
of September 1861. His father was Srinivasa Sastry, his mother Venkachamma. The father was
a scholar in Sanskrit. The parents were good pious folk. Visvesvaraya learnt from them
respect for the culture and the traditions of the land.
Visvesvaraya completed his early education in Chikkaballapur; then he came to Bangalore
for higher education. He joined the Central College.
But his pocket was empty and h no roof over his head!
A family from Coorg in South India was looking for a tutor for the children.
Visvesvaraya, himself a student, became their tutor. He lived with them and also earned a
few rupees. Later in life, Sir M.V. himself gave away more than a hundred thousand rupees
to a Polytechnic Institute; but as a student he earned every rupee by hard work.
Discipline was ever Sri MVs watchword. Even as a young student he worked hard and
in a systematic way. He was an early riser and started his work quite early. Everyday he
completed the days work. Everything about him was spick and span, everything regular
and disciplined. So he lived to the last day of his life and he lived to be 101.
The poverty-stricken lad stood high in the B.A. Examination in 1881. He got some help
from the Government of Mysore and joined the Science College in Poona to study
Engineering. In 1883 he ranked first in the L.C.E. and the F.C.E. Examinations (these were
like the B.E. Examination of today).
As soon as the results were out the Government of Bombay offered MV a post. He was
appointed Assistant Engineer at Nasik.