Gautams of Amarpur – Gulmi

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Gautams of Amarpur – Gulmi

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Gautams of Amarpur – Gulmi

(A Genealogy of the Kapilmani Clan)

Gautam family shrine – Amarpur

Kapilmani Gautam

Gautams of Amarpur – Gulmi

A Genealogy of the Kapilmani Clan 2016

Kapilmani Gautam & Manikarna Gautam

People who contributed to prepare this booklet:

– Mitra Prasad Gautam- Writer and researcher

– Kul Chandra Gautam- Major sponsor

– Historical facts and anecdotes collected by:

o

o o o o

o Dharma Prasad Gautam o Upendra Prasad Gautam o Rajesh Gautam

o Ishwori Gautam

This English version is translated by Kul Chandra Gautam Edited by:

Dinesh Gautam, Sushil Gautam and Bishnu Gautam

Chudamani Gautam

Moti Prasad Gautam Jagat Prasad Gautam

Shivalal Guatam

Ram Bahadur Gautam

– Other help and contribution by:

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Introduction

Until a Nepali version of this booklet was published in 2010, the history and genealogy of the extended Gautam family of Amarpur, Gulmi was not properly documented. Although the Gautam Samāj of Nepal has made great efforts to research and record the origins, movements, struggles and achievements of the Gautam clan from ancient times up to

the 20th century, little was recorded about the branch of the larger Gautam dynasty that settled down in the western part of Gulmi district in

the 18th and 19th century AD.

There are many fascinating anecdotes of the struggles, adventures and achievements of the Gautam clan that settled down initially in the Arkhalé, Raindi and Seuwā villages, northwest of Tamghās headquarters of Gulmi, and later moved further west to the remote village of Amarpur, and the surrounding hamlets of Sattimlā on the slopes of the Chhāpa- Arjai hills.

All these anecdotes and information about the Gautams of Amarpur were passed on orally from generation to generation, and nothing was written down and archived. There was a real risk of facts and fiction being mixed up; history being distorted, and vital information getting lost.

Concerned about this risk, and with a desire to preserve and disseminate an accurate history and genealogy of the clan for posterity, Mr. Kul Chandra Gautam took the initiative to support research, record and publish this booklet. It is one among several other projects for the development of Amarpur and surrounding communities initiated by Kul Gautam following his retirement and return to Nepal after a long and illustrious career at the United Nations.

Much of the initial research and writing of the original booklet in Nepali was carried out by Mitra Prasad Gautam. He interviewed many elders of the Gautam clan, including Chudamani and Jagat Prasad Gautam of Sattimlā, Shivalal Gautam of Khoriyabari, Moti Prasad Gautam of Kāligaundi, and Ram Bahadur Gautam of Kumalgaun, among others, to collect historical facts and anecdotes. Others who helped in preparing the

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booklet included Bishnu Prasad Gautam, Dinesh Gautam, Dharma Prasad Gautam, Upendra Prasad Gautam, Rajesh Gautam, Ram Chandra Gautam, Ishwori Gautam, Sheshkanta Gautam and Gopal Gautam.

Kul Chandra Gautam translated the booklet into English and provided financial support for its publication.

According to the traditional patriarchal system prevailing in Nepal, genealogies normally include the names of only male members of the clan and their ancestors and descendants in chronological order. The deciding factor in the family lineage is gotra that traces a family’s ancient roots to the earliest founding father of the clan or dynasty – usually a respected sage (rishi) in ancient Hindu scriptures or mythology dating back to the Vedic age. In the case of the Gautams of Nepal, their founding father is believed to be the great sage Atri, after whom their gotra is named. Thus, all male descendants of the Gautam dynasty automatically inherit the Atri gotra of their forefathers. Girls born into Gautam family also automatically inherit the gotra of their fathers and retain it until they are married, at which time they usually acquire the gotra of their husband’s family. Similarly, women who marry someone from the Gautam family automatically acquire the Atri gotra, and forsake their parental gotra.

With the changing times and norms of modern age, the patriarchal family system of Nepal is also changing slowly. As gender equality becomes the new norm, attempts are made in modern genealogies to include the names of female members of the family and list them accordingly in family trees. In preparing this booklet, a serious attempt was made to include the names of female members, but it was found very difficult to do so, as very few families had records or recollection of the names of their female ancestors and relatives.

As an illustration of what needs and can be done in the future, and to encourage and inspire others to do so, this booklet includes the names of female family members of the descendants of the Kapilmani Gautam clan. To make the task manageable within limited time, space and

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resources, the booklet contains the names of both male and female descendants of Kapilmani, his wives and children. For practical purposes, the cut-off point for the names of female members of the clan included in this edition of the booklet goes up to the third generation of descendants whose parents had the Atri gotra at birth or by marriage. No doubt, future generations will find other creative and even more progressive, comprehensive and inclusive ways to prepare future editions of this genealogy in accordance with our society’s changing social norms, values and practices.

Along with preparation of this booklet, the Gautams of Amarpur and Sattimlā also undertook the task of renovating their old family shrine (kul-devatā ko mandir) located at Kāligaundi in Amarpur. Several charts of the Gautam family tree have been inscribed in marble slabs (shilā- lekhs) on the walls of the family shrine. It is hoped that this shrine where the Gautams get together at least twice a year for collective worship to honour their ancestors and their patron deities will be a place of pilgrimage and pride for future generations of Gautams. And hopefully this booklet will inspire them to carry forward their glorious heritage, preserve their positive traditions, help-each other in the spirit of solidarity, and become enlightened citizens of their community, nation and the world at large.

From Kannauj, India to Jumla in Nepal

It is believed that the Gautams were a community of Brāhmans of the Atri gotra (i.e. the descendants of the Hindu Āryan sage Atri) who lived originally in the village of Kānyakunj (Kannauj) in Haryana in what is today Farrukhabad district of Uttar Pradesh in India. Following the Mogul invasion and conquest of India, there was a time when Muslim rulers unleashed a campaign of forcible conversion of Hindus into Islam. To escape this terror and to protect their religion, the Gautams fled to what is today’s Jumlā region of western Nepal, that was part of the Sinja kingdom around 1193 AD (1250 BS).

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It is believed that Kāshidās (of the 8th generation of the Gautam lineage), was the very first Gautam to have migrated from India and settled down in Nepal. The King of Sinjā at that time was apparently very impressed with the scholarly knowledge, expertise and wisdom of Kāshidās, and appointed him as royal priest. Among the ancestors of Kāshidās, the earliest known Gautam of the Atri gotra was Ritubhadra, a Agnihotri Brāhman, who was a direct descendant of the great Hindu rishi (sage) Atri and his wife Sati Anusuya.

From Sinjā-Gotāmkot to Galkot (Bāglung), and Arkhalé, Gulmi

Apparently, the King of Sinjā was so pleased with the advice and service of the royal priest Kāshidās and his descendants that he granted a large piece of land as birtā (land-grant) to them in a place called Gotāmkot in Rukum. According to one version of an anecdote these inhabitants of Gotāmkot and their successors, came to be known as Gotāmés. Another version of the story is that along with the land-grant, the King of Sinjā gave his priest an honorific title of “Gotāmé”. Yet another version says that it was actually much later that a descendant of Kāshidās named

Kābaru or Kāpadi (of the 27th generation of the Gautam lineage) who was given the large land-grant in a place called Gotāmkot, and along with it an honorary title of “Gotāmé”.

It is said that Shridhar Gotāmé (of the 29th generation in the Gautam lineage) moved further east from Rukum/Gotāmkot to Arghākhānchi and settled down there. Later some of Shridhar’s descendants moved towards the eastern part of Nepal, while others moved north towards Bāglung. Wherever they settled down, the Gautams apparently became generally successful residents and respected citizens of the area.

A prominent personality among the Gautams who had moved from Arghākhānchi and settled down in the Galkot region of Bāglung was Balbhadra. He had three sons – Manohar, Kālu and Shreekrishna. All of them migrated further east towards Gulmi where Manohar settled down in Thorgā, Shreekrishna in Johāng, and Kālu Pādhye in Arkhalé. It is estimated that Kālu moved to Arkhalé around 1813 AD (1870 BS).

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Initially, Kālu stayed in a public inn (pouwā) in Arkhalé and carefully assessed the social and economic situation of the area. He learned that most of the local people were very poor and were being exploited by the well-to-do landlords and money-lenders (sāhus) of neighbouring Arghātosh. These sāhus charged usurious interest rates amounting to 4 mānā (equivalent to about 2.28 litres) of food grains every month for 20 rupees. Kālu apparently had some cash with him and he decided to lend it to the locals at half the prevailing interest rate (2 mānās or about 1.14 litres per 20 rupees). As a result many locals stopped borrowing from the moneylenders of Arghātosh, and switched to borrowing from Kālu. Understandably, the merchants of Arghātosh were angry and jealous of Kālu, and threatened him. But Kālu was able to withstand their threats as he had become quite popular with the local residents.

Pretty soon, Kālu acquired the reputation of being a respected, resourceful and compassionate person. Knowing this, many locals wanted to cultivate good relations with him. One such person was a very clever man from the local Regmi family who offered his daughter to marry Kālu. According to the prevailing custom of the times, matrimonial arrangements in those days were made on a reciprocal basis – i.e. in exchange for the bride or groom from a certain family or clan to a particular person, arrangements would be made for someone from that person’s family or clan to be offered for marriage to someone from the new in-law’s extended family. Since Kālu had migrated from Galkot to Arkhalé, he was in no position to make any reciprocal arrangement, and had remained unmarried. So, when the offer to marry the daughter of a Regmi came along, Kālu reluctantly agreed to the proposal although in the Hindu caste system that particular Regmi family was apparently of a slightly lower status as Jaishi bāhun, whereas Kālu was a Upādhyāya bāhun. This is apparently the reason why all descendants of Kālu Pādhye became Jaishi brāhmans.

From Arkhalé to Amarpur

Kālu Pādhye became a well-established, well-to-do, and respected gentleman of Arkhalé, and so did his son Nārad, and grand-son Lokmani.

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Lokmani’s son Jayamangal became even more prosperous, and succeeded in acquiring more land and property in the nearby settlements of Raindi and Seuwā. Later he even expanded his influence further west to the villages of Dhurkot, Ismā, Arjai, Chhāpa and Amarpur where he acquired some land and property, and was known as a generous money- lender.

Apparently, a Khawās family from Chhāpa-hilé was unable to repay its loan to Jayamangal and offered some of its wet-land (khet) in Nawali and dry-land (bāri) in Jamalpokharā. Similarly, Jayamangal also acquired some land in Sattimlā from a borrower, Siddhimān Khanāl, in lieu of repayment of his loan. Eventually, Jayamangal also acquired some land in Amarpur.

Jayamangal and his five sons were all well established and fairly prosperous in the Arkhalé, Raindi and Seuwā area which was considered fairly well-settled agricultural land of “Magarāt”. By contrast, the property they had acquired in Chhāpa, Sattimlā and Amarpur were quite far and remote and considered pastoral land of “Parbat”, better suited for animal husbandry. Like all well-to-do people in those days, Jayamangal owned many cows and buffaloes. To tend to these cattle he had a sizeable cowshed and barn (goth) in the Parbat area of Nawali and Jamalpokharā in Arjai-Chhāpa. Jayamangal used to spend part of the year tending to his cattle in this area.

There are several versions about when, why and how some of the Gautams actually decided to permanently move away from Arkhalé and settle down in Sattimlā and Amarpur. In those days, prior to the unification of modern Nepal, there were many small kingdoms and principalities (bāisé-chaubisé rājya). The kings and chieftains of those principalities exercised absolute power and cared more for their own well-being, security and enrichment through oppressive and exploitative means than about providing basic services and ensuring the well-being of their subjects. Apparently, Jayamangal’s sons did not like this oppressive and extortionist behaviour of the local rulers and sometimes rebelled against them.

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According to one version of an anecdote that is popularly cited in the Gautam clan, around the year 1848 AD (1905 BS), one day some officers and soldiers of the King of Dhaireni in Gulmi came to Arkhalé to collect taxes. Apparently, the fourth son of Jayamangal, Rāmchandra tried to organize local villagers to defy the tax collectors, saying he saw no justification for paying any taxes, since they got no service from the kingdom in return. Angered by this rebellious behaviour, the officers of the King ordered their soldiers to arrest him on charges of provoking people not to pay taxes. When a soldier tried to arrest him, Rāmchandra resisted defiantly and even slapped the soldier. In the scuffle, the soldier’s hat studded with silver insignia fell on the ground. This was a serious, treasonous offence against the King. Instead of picking up the hat and wearing it, the soldier picked the fallen and soiled hat with his walking stick and carried it back to the King as evidence of Rāmchandra’s treasonous act which deserved serious punishment.

Back in Arkhalé, the news of Rāmchandra’s aggressive defiance of the royal tax collectors caused much pandemonium and worry about serious retaliation by the King of Dhaireni. Fearful of such retaliation, Ramchandra fled the village overnight and went to his father’s barn in Chhāpa – Nawali. Jayamangal was startled to see his son arrive at dawn in the morning. He asked Rāmchandra if he had committed something nasty or if something wrong had happened in Arkhalé requiring him to suddenly rush to the faraway barn. When Rāmchandra explained what had happened, Jayamangal advised him not to return to Arkhalé for fear of severe punishment by the King of Dhaireni, but to remain in Chhāpa- Nawali and eventually settle down in the neighbouring village of Amarpur.

Obeying his father’s instruction, Rāmchandra settled down in Amarpur permanently, and also purchased some rice-fields of nearby Gahirā. But he started feeling a bit lonely and isolated as all his brothers and their families remained in Arkhalé, Raindi and Seuwā. So, he requested his oldest brother Lachhuman (Laxman) to join him in this “Parbat” area. Lachhuman obliged and relocated himself to the nearby hamlet of Sattimlā in the year 1852 AD (1909 BS).

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There is another version of the anecdote according to which one day when Jayamangal’s five sons were already adults and ready to establish their own separate family households, there was a family discussion about which son would get what part of their father’s property in Arkhalé and Seuwā (the Magarāt) area, and who would get the property in Arjai-Chhāpa and Amarpur (the Parbat) area. The patriarch Jayamangal initially proposed that his eldest son, Lachhuman, should settle down in “Parbat” while all others would remain in “Magarāt”. However, Lachhuman’s wife refused to move to Parbat arguing that when she died, nobody would take her body to be cremated on the banks of the holy river Kāli Gandaki in faraway Ridi. Hearing this reservation by his sister-in-law, Jayamangal’s fourth son Rāmchandra volunteered to move to Parbat.

It is said that when the five brothers separated amicably, besides the various parcels of land, they each inherited one pāthi (equivalent to about a 4.5 litre jar) full of cash coins from their father. On an auspicious day when Rāmchandra was to proceed towards Amarpur, apparently the whole family had a joyous farewell party for him at which a goat was slaughtered for a feast, a good luck tikā was offered to him, and he left with a jar of yogurt (dahiko theki), and a bundle of green leafy vegetables (sāgko mutho) – both symbolizing good omen for prosperity – with a musical band playing farewell music.

According to this version of the anecdote, it is said that one day, a soldier of the King of Dhaireni came on a patrol duty to the barn of Lachhuman in Seuwā, and demanded that he be given some yogurt to quench his hunger and thirst. Apparently, Lachhuman was reluctant to serve the yogurt to the visitor from his storage jar (theki), as it was not customary or timely to do so during the day time. But the arrogant soldier refused take “no” for an answer, and forcefully helped himself pouring the yogurt from the jar. This led to a scuffle during which Lachhuman got angry and beat up the soldier.

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Fearing that the King of Dhaireni was likely to reprimand and retaliate against Lachhuman, Jayamangal ordered him to run away to Amarpur and stay with his younger brother Rāmchandra. Once Lachhuman arrived in Amarpur, brother Rāmchandra arranged for him to settle down permanently in the nearby hamlet of Sattimlā.

However, even after Lachhuman settled down in Sattimlā, his wife refused to join him there for nearly three years. In the end, her parents- in-law convinced her to move to Sattimlā by offering her the sum of 50 rupees to ensure that after her death her body would indeed be transported to Ridi for cremation. Even after arriving in Sattimlā the lady was reluctant to move into her husband’s house and insisted that a small pond be dug up (near today’s Rātipokhari) and some special prayers offered there before she moved into her new house.

Establishment of the Gautam family shrine in Amarpur

Until about 1934 AD (1990 BS) the common Gautam family shrine (kul devatāko sthān) was on a steep slope of Dhānda in their ancestral village of Arkhalé/Raindi. Besides performing the normal semi-annual puja (argha diné), every three years, the Gautams used to gather there for a special dewali puja at this shrine (also called gaura mandir). The dewali puja involved sacrificing male goats (bokā ko bali diné) to please the family deity. Normally, the Gautam kul-puja is performed on the full- moon day of December-January (Mangsir shukla purnimā) and April- May (Jestha shukla purnimā), with the major dewali performance being during December-January.

Even after settling down in Sattimlā and Amarpur, and the expansion of the Gautam clan to nearby hamlets of Kāligaundi, Dāndākharka, Khariyabāri, Kolamuni, Simpāni, Lātigādé, Basnautā-Kumālgāun, etc the Gautams of this area regularly travelled to the ancestral shrine in Dhānda-Arkhalé for their semi-annual kul-puja. But as the distance was quite far, and they had to cross dense forest and the rivers Chhaldi and Panāghāt along the way, many residents of this area found this long and

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arduous trek increasingly inconvenient. Moreover, it was said that when they carried along carcasses of sacrificed goats in the dark at night through the jungle and river-crossings, some folks felt that ghosts (masān) tried to snatch away the carcasses from them, or otherwise frightened them with possible harm.

With all these concerns, the Gautams of Sattimlā and Amarpur decided to break off the kul mandir from Arkhalé and establish their own small shrine in Amarpur. And so it was that around the year 1934 AD (1990 BS) the first Gautam family shrine was erected in a small piece of land in Kaāligaundi owned by Kalādhar (son of Bhakunta and grand-son of Rāmchandra). Shortly afterwards, the shrine was shifted to an adjacent piece of land owned by Kalaādhar’s brother Pumānanda. However, the shrine had to be moved again as Pumānanda complained that he had no sons, perhaps because the shrine was located in his property, and requested that it be relocated elsewhere.

Old Gautam Shrine at Amarpur 8

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Finally, the shrine was relocated in a piece of land belonging to Om Prasad Gautam (eldest son of Kapilmani and grandson of Ramchandra). The shrine remains in this same place in Kāligaundi, ward no. 8 of Amarpur even to this day.

It should be noted that since time immemorial, human beings have established the tradition of worshipping their ancestral deities in specially built shrines with the hope of promoting the well-being of their clan; acquiring name and fame; warding off evil spirits that might cause harm to themselves, their animals and other possessions; and to safeguard themselves from natural calamities and epidemic diseases. Following this tradition, the Gautam descendants of Atri gotra worship a special deity called Mashta. Among a thousand names of Lord Shiva (Shiva Sahashranām), it is said that 12 of them present themselves with the name of Mahoshtha, representing the 12 Mashta brothers. Some of these Mashta are also considered incarnation of Lord Vishnu in the form of Barāha (a wild boar), whereas others are generally known to be manifestations of Shiva (in the form of Mahoshtha or Mashta).

The Mashta that is worshipped with offering of milk is called Dudhé Mashta; one that is worshipped with animal sacrifice is called Dāhré Mashta; one that lives both inside and outside the body of a living being and is known as the source of life or wind-god (bāyudev) is known as Lātā mashtadev. Similarly, there are Rumāl mashta, Seem mashta, Budhā mashta, etc. Among the Gautams who moved initially from Galkot to Arkhalé and then on to Amarpur, their principal familial deity or mashta is “Kāli Barāha” or the black wild boar, although many other deities such as Vishnu, Shiva, Surya, Indra, Laxmi, Kāli, Durgā, and Megha or Bāyu are also worshipped and revered.

Currently (in 2015 AD) there are approximately 40 households in Amarpur and Sattimlā who regularly worship at the Gautam family deity shrine in Kāligaundi in Amarpur. Altogether, there are between 250 to 300 members of the extended Gautam clan of Amarpur-Sattimlā who now live and work in Tamghās, Butwal, Kapilbastu, Dāng, Chitwan, Kathmandu and as far away as the UK and America.

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It is worth noting that several efforts were made to renovate and reconstruct the small Gautam family shrine in Amarpur. Back in the year 2001 AD (2058 BS) some modest renovation work was carried out under the auspices of a reconstruction committee chaired by Moti Prasad Gautam, with Shiva Lāl Gautam as Vice Chair, Sheshkānta Gautam as Secretary, Ram Bahadur Gautam as Treasurer and Dujman Gautam, Dharma Prasad Gautam, and Gopal Gautam as members.

But it was in 2012 AD (2069 BS) that a serious effort was made to renovate and reconstruct the Gautam kul-mandir complex under the initiative and patronage of Kul Chandra Gautam (son of Om Prasad and grand-son of Kapilmani). Renovation carried out included sprucing up the main shrine, building a fence around it, a small hut where the puja offering (prasād) is cooked, and a sanitary toilet. Moreover, several marble slab (shilālekhs) containing name charts of the genealogy of various branches of the Gautam clan of Amarpur-Sattimlā were plastered on the walls of the kul-mandir shrine. The first version of this genealogy of the Gautams of Amarpur and Sattimlā in Nepali was also published in 2069 BS (2010 AD).

The committee that oversaw this reconstruction effort comprised: Gopāl Gautam (the incumbent family priest or kul-pujari as Chairman; Khumānanda Gautam as Treasurer; Jit Bahadur Gautam as Secretary; Tikaram, Shivalal (of Latigadé) and Indra Bahadur Gautam as members; Sivalal (of Khoriyabari), Ram Bahadur, Sheshkanta, Dharma Prasad and Upendra Prasad Gautam as advisors; and Kul Chandra Gautam as Patron and major funding supporter. To their credit, all Gautams of Amarpur and Sattimlā actively participated in this collective reconstruction and renovation effort.

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From Gotāmé to Gautam

There are some fascinating stories about how the descendants of the sage Atri rishi of ancient times originally known as Gotāmé came to be known as Gautam in recent times. The most common version relates to the great Sanskrit scholar Kul Chandra Gautam, the eighth son of Badrināth Gotāmé of Jivanpur in Dhāding district of central Nepal. During his childhood, Kul Chandra had gone to Benaras (Varanasi), a centre of learning in India to pursue his studies. His teacher, Tailanga Gangādhar Shāstri apparently advised Kul Chandra to change his family name from Gotāmé to Gautam, saying Gotāmé sounded too rustic. Kul Chandra complied with the instruction of his teacher, and ever since most other Gatāmés gradually changed their family name to Gautam.

In the case of the Gotāmés of Amarpur, it is said that it was only in 1960 AD (2015 BS) that Om Prasad and Ram Bahadur first changed their surname to Gautam after they had a chance to meet with Kāshināth Gautam of Arghākhānchi who was a prominent leader of the Nepali Congress party and a minister in the cabinet of the first democratically elected Prime Minister of Nepal, BP Koirala.

The Gautams of Amarpur had managed to establish good neighbourly relations with the largely Chhetri residents and original settlers of their village. In due course, the Gautams of Amarpur established themselves as respected and influential members of the local community, whose good reputation spread far and wide.

Legacy of Kapilmani Gautam

Of all the Gautams of Amarpur, perhaps Kapilmani Gautam (1935-2026 BS), the youngest son of Rāmchandra, rose to the greatest prominence during his lifetime in the last century. Like everybody else in the village, he too was a subsistence farmer. But he had enough land to produce not only what his family needed but a little surplus that he could sell for cash or barter for other commodities.

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Kapilmani was a hard-working, frugal, and kind man. Through honest and hard work, he became quite prosperous by the standards of his village. He also acquired a good reputation of being a generous and pious man, and was fondly known as “Kapuré Sāhu” or a fragrant petty money-lender.

While most well-to-do money-lenders in those days were known to be greedy and exploitative, charging usurious interest rates and demanding all kinds of favours from their borrowers, Kapilmani had the reputation of being very fair, flexible, and easy to please. An occasional gift of some vegetables and fruits or a little ghee or kurauni (clarified butter or sweet condensed milk) by his borrowers would melt his heart. So he was always the first person in the village that small borrowers turned to when they needed help.

Kapilmani had a rather large family – with four wives, ten daughters and two sons. The reason for him to marry several wives was because of desperation to produce a son as he had half a dozen daughters before a son was born. His two sons were born when he was rather old and after much prayers and religious rites. As part of his thanks-giving for the good fortune he had, in 2008 BS (1951 AD), Kapilmani performed an unusual and exceptionally sacred religious rite called Dhanyanchal yagya (also known as Dhanya-parbat puja) in his rice-field on the bank of the Nāg-kholā river in Amarpur. The ritual of Dhanya-parbat involves pouring unhusked rice over a tall wooden pole (moulo) until the pole is covered with rice and becomes invisible. All that rice is later given away to priests and other special guests.

Kapilmani had invited quite a large number of local residents and guests from neighbouring villages for the Dhanya-parbat puja. So many guests turned up for the puja, that it was unmanageable to feed them all out of one kitchen. So, multiple kitchens and food stalls had to be set up to feed and entertain all the guests by dividing them into groups from various localities. Kapilmani’s Dhayaparbat-puja became renowned as a truly memorable occasion about which many people in Amarpur and surrounding villages paid glowing tribute even decades after the event.

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When Kapilmani organized the Dhanya-parbat puja, he was 73 years old and almost blind. One visitor who came to the puja uninvited and unexpectedly, was an itinerant sādhu or jogi (a wandering hermit or Hindu yogi who had renounced normal family life).

During discussion at night when the jogi learned that Kapilmani had lost both his eye-sight, he offered to help. He picked up a small sinko (a tooth-pick), and gently poked on Kapilmani’s eyes and removed his ānkhākojāli (epiretinal membrane).

When Kapilmani woke up in the morning, he was pleasantly surprised that the eye-sight of one of his eyes had been restored. But the jogi had already left early in the morning unannounced. Many people surmised that the sudden arrival and departure of the jogi, and his help in in restoring Kapilmani’s eye-sight was the immediate consequence of the divine blessings Kapilmani had received as a result of his good deeds, including the grand Dhanya-parbat puja.

Mathi ko old house

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Mathi ko ghar

Kaligaundi ko ghar

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Om Prasad with two wives

Moti Prashad with two wives

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Several descendants of Kapilmani have been among the most illustrious of the Gautams of Amarpur with a record of notable personal and professional achievements and contribution to society at large. Kapilmani’s eldest son, Om Prasad Gautam was the first elected Chief (Pradhān Panch) of Arjai-Amarpur Village Panchayat, and Chairman of the Amarpur Village Development Committee. Along with his younger brother Moti Prasad and several other social workers of the village, Om Prasad was the founder of the first primary school of Amarpur, and was a long time chair of the school management committee.

Om Prasad’s first wife Himā Gautam was also a much respected, religious and kind woman. Although she was herself illiterate, she believed strongly that girls should go to school, women must become literate, that society should help the poor and needy, especially women and children, the widows and elderly, and the sick and infirm. She was personally very charitable and generous in helping the needy.

Educating children, especially girls, was very rare and unusual in those days. Kapilmani’s grand-children – both boys and girls – were among the first to get some formal education in Amarpur. Among them, Kul Chandra Gautam (the eldest son of Om Prasad and Himā Gautam) stood out for his outstanding achievements. He was the very first among residents of Amarpur – and in the Gautam clan – to graduate from high school, college and university. He was the first to go abroad for higher education in America. In due course, Kul Gautam joined the United Nations, progressed rapidly in his career, and rose to the high position of Assistant Secretary-General of the UN and Deputy Executive Director of UNICEF. As the highest ranking Nepali in the UN system, and as the key senior official involved in orchestrating several world summits that UNICEF organized during his tenure, he played an influential role in promoting the rights and well-being of women and children, and contributed to shaping the global development agenda, such as the Millennium Development Goals.

Upon his retirement from the UN and return to Nepal, Kul Gautam supported several charitable activities in Amarpur and surrounding communities, including under the auspices of the“Himā Gautam

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Memorial Trust” which he, and his siblings helped establish in memory of their mother. This Trust provides help for such community development activities as maternal and child health, basic education, especially for girls, women’s empowerment, and emergency relief assistance for the needy. In memory and honour of their illustrious great- great-grand father, who first brought the Gautam clan to Amarpur, an auditorium named “Jayamangal Sabhā Hall” has been constructed as part of the Himā Memorial Bhawan in Amarpur. A Kapilmani Gautam Udyān (public garden) has also been established in the same premises. In the same compound of Himā Kosh and Kapilmani Udyān, Kul Gautam donated his private land for the construction of a public health post.

TBA

All the children of Om Prasad Gautam joined together to provide substantial support for Amarpur’s only higher secondary school, which has been renamed in honour of Om Prasad Gautam.

Led by Kul Gautam, the descendants of Kapilmani Gautam have also made generous contribution for the preservation of the cultural heritage of Amarpur, including renovation of an ancient temple at the hilltop of Amarpur kot, and construction of an access road and staircase leading up to the temple.

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Sher Bahadur Kunwar KC (a grandson of Kapilmani and son of his daughter Himā) has been another high achiever of the Kapilmani clan who has contributed significantly to Amarpur’s development, including in the rehabilitation of the temple complex at Amarpur kot.

The following are some of the other descendants of Kapilmani Gautam whose personal and professional achievements are notable: Professor Durgamani Gautam (son of Moti Prasad Gautam) who became the first in the Gautam clan to acquire a PhD degree; his brother Gokarna (Hari) Gautam, who became the top student in animal husbandry in Nepal, received a royal gold medal for this and went on to Japan to earn a PhD. Bishnu Prasad Gautam (the youngest son of Moti Prasad) became the top student in engineering in all of Nepal and received a gold medal from the President of the Republic. As listed on page xx many other descendants of Kapilmani have gone on to become medical doctors, nurses, scientists, artists, entrepreneurs, lawyers, teachers and professors, and distinguished civil servants. Among them, Sudip Gautam (aka Dario Lopez), son of Dinesh Gautam and grandson of Om Prasad, has distinguished himself as a highly successful entrepreneur at a tender young age in London, UK.

New Temple at Amarpur

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Illustrious personalities of the Gautam clan of Sattimlā and Amarpur

Besides the Kapilmani clan, there have also been other illustrious Gautams from Sattimlā and Amarpur. Prominent among these are: Chudamani Gautam of Sattimlā who served as a government tax collector (jimmuwāl), was also the designated priest of the Gautam shrine for a long time. Along with his younger brothers Mādhav and Jagat Prasad, and cousin Shiva Lal Gautam of Khoriyabari, Chudamani led a group of spiritually inclined Gautams who performed devotional music (bhajan) on many religious and festive occasions, and helped promote and preserve the clan’s cultural heritage.

Tulsi Ram Gautam of Kumālgāun was renowned as “Bedāhā”, a learned man who recited the sacred Vedic scriptures, and was one of the first teachers when a primary school was established in Amarpur. His son Ram Bahadur Gautam was another local leader and social worker who was also one of the founders of Amarpur’s first school. Sheshkanta Gautam of Sattimla (son of Jagat Prasad and grand-son of Liladhar) has been a district-level political leader and an innovator in introduction of modern agriculture practices, locally and nationally as well. A list of several other prominent members of the Gautam clan of Amarpur is found in the next page.

As we look to the future, we see a new generation of Gautams of Amarpur excelling in academia and various professions all over Nepal and gradually, across the world. They are destined to surpass the achievements of their ancestors and carry forward their proud heritage and legacy. It is hoped that this genealogy will be a source of inspiration for the younger generation as they scale new heights of achievement and make the Gautam clan proud.

1. First VDC Chairman: Om Prasad Gautam

2. First teacher: Tulsiram Gautam

3. First SLC and University graduate: Kul Chandra Gautam

4. First VDC Secretary: Ram Bahadur Gautam

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5. First Private industrialist: Suresh Chandra Gautam

6. First PHD holder: Durgamani Gautam

7. First Nurse: Sabitra Gautam

8. First High School Teacher: Ram Chandra Gautam

9. First Master’s degree holder in Science: Sushil Chandra Gautam

10. First female Master’s degree holder: Meera Gautam

11. First government Officer: Ishwori Prasad Gautam

12. First High School Headmaster: Dharma Prasad Gautam

13. First JTA: Jit Bahadur Gautam

14. First retired pension holder from Indian Police: Narayan Gautam

15. First LLM degree holder: Upendra Prasad Gautam

16. First LDO: Rajesh Gautam

17. First Master’s degree holder in English: Pooja Gautam

18. First School Superintendent: Mitra Prasad Gautam

19. First Female government Officer: Laxmi Gautam

20. First Master’s degree holder in Mathematics: Govinda Gautam

21. First PHD holder on Animal Science: Gokarna (Hari) Gautam

22. First Civil Engineer: Bishnu Gautam

23. First Medical doctor: Samir Chandra Gautam

24. First Female PHD holder: Pragyan Gautam

25. First Female Medical doctor: Pratigyan Gautam

26. First Chartered Accountant (CGT): Dipesh Gautam

27. First Master’s degree holder in Sanskrit: Dilraj Gautam

28. First 100 year survivor: Kuwari Gautam (Kolamuni-103 years)

29. First Model: Pradip Gautam

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Om Prashad and Moti Prashad

Om Prashad and Moti Prashad family

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Childrens of Om Prasad and Moti Prasad Gautam

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Sons and daughters of Om Prashad Gautam

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Moti Prashad Gautam & Family

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Ganga Dhar

Tikaram Balibhadra Dharmagat Kumalgaun)

Laxman Sattimla

Harisharm Hari Sharma

Ganapati Balibhadra Lilu Liladhar Sattimla

Narad 38

Lokmani 39 Jayamangal 40

Maheshwar 41

Ramchandra Bhuwananda Amarpur

Kalu Padhye Gotame

Migrated from Galkot, Baglung to Arkhale, Gulmi; 37th in the Gautam Bamshawali

Hemanta

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Parashwar

Bhakunta Tularam Kaladhar Fumananda

Kapilmani Ghanashyam

Om Moti Prasad Prasad

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18 Gautam Brothers and their wives with parents 40

Kul with grand parents

Wagla ki FUPU & Dhurkot ki FUPU

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Other photos: Gautam Bandhus

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Dandakhark Kanchhi aama

Kumalgaun: Tulsi Ram & Ballava Kumal gaun (Danda Moti ko Aama)

Kumal gaun- 3 bros (Ram Bdr, Sainla and Jit Bdr)

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Photo: Kapilmani wife, sons and daughters – Poster Sabitra didi

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Arkhale village

Amarpur village

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