Hutheesing family

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Hutheesing family (Gujarati: હઠીસિંહ ) is an old Jain family from Ahmedabad, Gujarat. The Hutheesing Jain Temple was planned by Seth Hutheesing Kesarisingh was built by his widow Sethani Harkunvar [1] during 1848-1850AD. The family name is based on the given name of Seth Hutheesing, who initiated the building of the temple, the old spelling of the name has been retained.


The family traces its lineage to 250 years ago, when they first moved from Osia in Rajasthan to Khambat in Gujarat, where it started overseas trade.[2] Despite their cordial relations with the Mughal rulers, their ships were confiscated because of some intrigues. The family migrated to Ahmedabad, where they became prosperous traders.

Seth Hutheesing Kesarisingh was married three times. After his first two wives had died, he was married to Harkunwar from Ghogha. They adopted two boys, Jaisinghbhai and Maganbhai before Harkunwar gave birth to Umabhai. After the death of Seth Hutheesing, his wife, now referred to as Sethani Harkunwar, not only handled his business, but she also supervised the construction of 52-Jinalaya Hutheesing Jain Temple in the compound known as Hutheesing ni vadi.[3] The pratishtha was conducted by Shantisagar Suri. The festivities were attended by 400,000 individuals. The temple contains 238 stone images, 83 metal images and 21 yantras.[4]

Harkunvar also built Dharmanath Derasar in Nisha Pol, Sambhavnath and Chintamani Parshvanath temples at Zaveriwad. She organized pilgrimages to Samet Sikhar and other tirthas. She also built a school for girls[5] Maganlal Karamchand Girl's School in Ahmedabad, when general public was still not in favor of female education. Harkunvar also donated funds to support the establishment of Ahmedabad Civil Hospital[6]

The family trade included wooden furniture in association with Lockwood de Forest,[7] which was a rage in the US then, and kundan jewellery to Tiffany's in the US.

Armchair Designer: Lockwood de Forest, Maker: Ahmedabad Wood Carving Company, Teak, Made: Ahmedabad, India ca. 1895, Brooklyn Museum

Ahmedabad Wood Carving Company was set up in 1881 by an American interior decorator, Lockwood de Forest, in association with Maganbhai Hutheesing to export wooden furniture, carved doors, cabinets, picture frames etc.[8]

The family became known for its marital alliances. They are related to the Kasturbhai Lalbhai family as well as Jawaharlal Nehru.[9] Krishna Nehru Hutheesing was married to Gunottam P. Hutheesing, (nicknamed Raja).[10]

Ahmedabad's main art venue, Leila & Purushottam Hutheesing Visual Art Centre, as well as the Purshottambhai Maganbhai & Leila P Hutheesing Public Charitable Trust is named after Maganbhai's son Purshottambhai.[11][12] He was married to Leila (Dahiben), the daughter of Lalbhai Dalpatbhai, and the sister of Kasturbhai Lalbhai. Purushottam Hutheesing's son Gunottam was married to Jawaharlal Nehru's sister Krishna Nehru Hutheesing.

Gunottam's sister Shrimati was married to Saumendranath Tagore, a nephew of Rabindranath Tagore.[13] Shrimati had studied at Shantiniketan and had remained associated with it. Saumendranath Tagore became one of the founders of the Communist movement in India.

Rajiv Gandhi, later a prime minister of India, was born in Mumbai at the home of his uncle and aunt, Gunottam (Raja) and Krishna Hutheesing, while his parents were guests at their home located at 20 Carmichael Road in Bombay.[14]

Ajit Hutheesing, a son of Gunottam, also lived in the home and spent many years living with Nehru in his home in Delhi. He later migrated to USA in 1965 and became one of the first Indians on Wall Street when he started his investment banking career. He has three sons, Nikhil Hutheesing, Vivek Hutheesing and Ravi Hutheesing and three grandchildren, Kirin Hutheesing, Remy Hutheesing and Mirai Hutheesing.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Ahmedabad in Sidi Sayyed ni Jali
  2. ^ Art connoisseur in the Hutheesing mould, Sunday, 8 July 2001,
  3. ^ Mangilal Bhutoria, Itihas ki Amar Bel- Oswal, Priyadarshi Prakashan, Calcutta, 1988, p. 372-373
  4. ^ અમદાવાદના પ્રસિદ્ધ હઠીસિંહના દેરાં, આચાર્ય શ્રી ‘વાત્સલ્યદીપ’ સૂરિજી
  5. ^ Ahmedabad in Sidi Sayyed ni Jali
  7. ^ Lockwood De Forest: Furnishing the Gilded Age With a Passion for India, Roberta A. Mayer, Lockwood De Forest, Associated University Presse, 2008 p. 64
  8. ^ An Eastern Fantasia, Asleep for a Century, By MITCHELL OWENS, 24 August 2000,
  9. ^ The politics of textiles: the Indian cotton-mill industry and the legacy of Swadeshi, 1900-1985, Simon Robert Brough Leadbeater, Sage Publications, 1993
  10. ^ With No Regrets - An Autobiography, Krishna Nehru Hutheesing, Jackson Press, 2007
  11. ^ Art lovers treated to Raza's masterpieces TNN 22 April 2010,
  12. ^ Trade Marks Journal No: 1507 24/10/2011
  13. ^
  14. ^ Mahatma Gandhi, Collected Works/Volume 88/Letter To Gunottam Hutheesing (5 October 1945)

External links[edit]