Just 24 Kms from the city of Mysore in the district of Mandya in the state of Karnataka lies the Krishnaraja Sagar Dam (or KRS in short), one of India’s first irrigation dams built way back in 1924 before India even got its independence. The dam was financed by the then Maharaja of Mysore Sri Krishnaraja Wodeyar IV after whom the dam has been named. Built over river Kaveri (Cauvery), the dam was the source of water for drinking and irrigation in the fertile valley of the Kingdom of Mysore. It is still the main source of water supply for the cities of Mysore, Mandya and even Bangalore.
Built by one of India’s finest engineers Sir Mokshagundam Vishveswariah, who is known as the architect of modern Mysore and the father of planning in India, the dam is a marvel of engineering built entirely on a mixture of limestone and brick powder without the use of cement which was a very rare commodity at that time. Interestingly, it was also one of the first dams in the world to have automatic sluice gates.
The best part of the dam is its beautifully laid out terrace gardens spread over 60 acres behind the dam with running waterways and a number of fountains which are beautifully illuminated at night. The Brindavan Gardens, the credit for which goes to Sir Mirza Ismail, the then Dewan of the princely State of Mysore, who designed and created the garden in 1927. Mentored by the ingenious Vishveswariah himself, Sir Mirza Ismail, who was also a friend and classmate of the King, was a very proficient administrator who helped shaped Modern Mysore.The establishment of Hindustan Aeronautics Limited being one of his many achievements which is too long to be listed here. It was during the turbulent pre-independence period that this trio took Mysore to its heights which is aptly called the ‘Golden period of Mysore’. Thanks to these visionary geniuses that we get to enjoy the fruits even today.