Saturday, August 17, 2013

Famous Shaharwali people and family: Shrimal family

Famous Shaharwali people and family:

Shrimal family is one of the most renowned family in Azimganj. They belonged to Tank clan (Gotra) but always known as Shrimal. The family built Sri Padmaprabhu temple near Fatak at Azimganj.

Sri Gambhir Singh Shrimal of the family built best looking house of Azimganj known as marble house. This residential house was entirely made of marble.  Sri Mansingh Shrimal of this family was known as great meditator. Jalim Singh Shrimal was renowned jute broker in Kolkata. Hari Singh Shrimal of this family was known as Jain scholar.

Neptune Shrimal is presently working as a professor in an American university. Though I know many of the family members, I do not have proper information about the family. I asked several for information but nothing received so far. I urge to provide the same so that I can include it in my coming book about Shaharwali.

(Vardhaman Gems, Jaipur represents Centuries Old Tradition of Excellence in Gems and Jewelry)
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  1. Thank you for your article on Srimal family.

    The history of Srimal Family goes back to Sri Mangniramji Srimal who migrated from Rajaldesar, a village in Churu district of Rajasthan. A branch of the family is still residing there. Sri Mangniramji had four daughters and two sons namely - Sri Kaluramji Srimal & Sri Kirat Chandji Srimal. Sri Mangniramji's four daughters were married to prominent families - Paran Bibi was married to Raja Dhanpat Singhji Dugar, Ratan Bibi was married to Sri Nehal Chandji Singhi (Sri Bahadur Singh Singhi's grandfather), Patto Bibi was married to Sri Jhal Babu Sethia and Kesar Bibi was married to Sri Inder Chandji Bafna. Sri Kirat Chandji Srimal was renowned as a man who had never lied.

    Sri Kaluramji had two sons Sri Pratap Singhji Srimal and Sri Hiralalji Srimal. Sri Jugal Kishore Srimal famous as founder director of Nehru Childern's Museum in Calcutta was the son of Sri Pratap Singhji Srimal. Sri Hiralalji passed away without any issue.

    Sri Kirat Chandji Srimal had three sons from his first marriage - Sri Jalim Singhji, Sri Man Singhji & Sri Gambhir Singhji and had 2 sons and 2 daughters namely - Sri Jagat Singhji, Sri Bhupat Singhji, Kamal Kumari & Raj Kumari.

    Sri Jalim Singh Srimal was a renowned jute broker and was based in Calcutta. Sri Man Singhji had shifted to Ranchi (Kanke). Sri Gambhir Singhji had left his father's home at an early age due to a difference in opinion. He was a self made man, having inherited only a ring present to him by his father.

    It was during a game of cards that Gambhir Singhji had lost to Raja Bijay Singhji Dudhoria and not having ample on him had promised to pay later. Raja Bijay Singhji ridiculed Gambhir Singhji that he didn't have a place of his own to stay and was promising to pay him money lost on gamble. To this Gambhir Singhji replied "One day I will build a bigger house than yours." This incident the stubborn man focus on his income. He learned jute business and in a short span of time established himself as an underbroker of M/s Landale & Morgan, M/s The Frindon Trading Co. etc. He built a house made of Italian Carrarra marble - Marble House in 1930 and built a small terrace atop the terrace just to dwarf the Rajbari. He bought a chunk of land opposite the house at Rs.10,000/-, at that time valued at Rs.500/- from Sri Maharaj Bahadur Singhji Dugar who was reluctant to sell, crushing his prestige. In business, he earned not only money but respect of the British officers. He was referred to as "Father" by Mr. A. J. Elder of M/s Landale Morgan not only verbally but in official correspondences as well. He was a man of his words and feared by all.

    Sri Gambhir Singh Srimal went to Rajaldesar and rebuilt ties with the branch of family there by bringing along Sri Jugrajji Srimal to teach him jute business. After spending a few months when Jugrajji went back to Rajaldesar, he insisted starching and creasing his dhoti and kurta - his newfound Saherwali lifestyle. His family members wrote a letter to Gambhir Singhji that "you have spoilt my son. We had sent him to learn trade but you have taught him aristocracy."

    Gambhir Singhji was a man of taste. From the quality of material used for building Marble House to it's architecture to his collection of antiques and jewellery. He loathed many established Zamindars that his aristocracy was his own not inherited unlike theirs. He worked hard to earn but also enjoyed his money in his own lifetime and leaving ample for his sons - Sri Ajay Singji, Sri Kishore Singji, Sri Hem Singhji & Sri Moti Singji. The entire community was awestruck by the dowry he gave to his daughter Kamalabati and immediately started getting recommendations for his younger daughter Padmabati.

    Smt. Kamalabati was married to Sri Chanchal Singhji Kothari and Smt. Padmabati was married to Sri Harak Chandji Suchanti.

    Sri Manoj Kothari, Billiards world champion and Dr. Saroj Kothari are sons of Smt. Kamlabati Kothari.

    - Dipak Srimal
    Grandson of Sri Moti Singji Srimal

  2. Dipak, that was a superb history telling! You got to expand it more