Guthi, indeed, a dynamic system of Nepalese Society is guided by moral, ritual and traditional managerial system.Guthi practice was developed as an earlier concept of the cooperative system as a community organization. This has been at work, which has been going on for centuries in Nepal. Guthi system has various managerial outlooks, and our ancestors introduced it in our society, experienced at the time of king Mandev I, according to Changu Narayan temple script of Bhaktapur. In those days and onward many people, Landlord, King and ruler donated their fixed & liquid assets for the sake of society welfare and preserving ritual and cultural value in Guthi in the society. The Guthi system was so effective in social, religious and cultural work in the past that it set guidelines for the service to the humanity and society. Guthis were the custodians of religious and cultural sites, activities and traditions and accordingly carried out their activities to preserve our rich culture and tradition. In fact, Guthi is a concept of welfare and preserving ritual and cultural value according to the Guthifounder’s interest.
It is of our great pride that our ancestors built religious temples and monuments, public parks, pilgrim’s rest houses, traveler’s guesthouses and many more such things under true religious and social spirit. To maintain our age-old rich heritage, our ancestors also established a perpetual source of revenue (mostly in terms of land and building). The functional owners of such properties (land and building) are named after a particular festival or ritual. They are called ‘Guthi’.
Guthi activities were administered by Guthi Bandowastaoffice before 2007 B.S. After 2007 coming of democracy, this organization goes under the Ministry of Finance. Guthis‘ central level work was administered by Guthi Bandobastaoffice at that time. Then after, it goes to Guthi Tahasil andGuthi Kharcha office under Department of Revenue. In addition to this Guthis‘ work was also administered by managerial office at Janakpur, Morang, Bara-Parsa. In those days, Guthi Janch (check) office, Guthi Lagat office,Amulye Ratna paddati & Guthi Rakami Kitab Darta office, administered Guthi in central level. Guthi Lagat Tatha Tahasil office managed all this type of different organization.
The government set up the Guthi Sansthan (corporation) to manage and coordinate the Guthis throughout the country, as per the constitutional provision of separating government revenue and Guthi revenue, considering the importance and role of Guthis.
Guthi Sansthan was established in 2nd November 1964 (17 Kartik, 2021 B.S.) as an independent (self-run) institution entrusted to take care of and conduct religious, cultural and social heritage of the country. It does not receive any subsidy from government nor is the revenue of Guthi Sansthan deposited in government revenue. Its property is called “Dewaswa” meaning divine property. Guthi revenue generated from Guthi property is spent for the sake of religious, cultural and social activities and for management and administrative overheads. It is completely a non-profit making organization concern with all type of Raj Guthi(Public Guthi) management.
Basically, there are two types of Guthi, namely Raj Guthi(Public Guthi) and Niji Guthi (private Guthi) Raj Guthis(literally meaning Guthi belonging to the government) are managed and operated by the GUTHI SANSTHAN and Niji Guthi is managing by a person or community who mostly are the successor of the Guthi establisher. This type of land management is administration by land tax office everywhere only the record is called in Guthi Sansthan. There is no detail record is collected yet. The main objectives of Guthi Sansthan are to maintain and preserve religious and social establishments, property management, preserve source documents and records, conduct and support religious festivals and rituals. There is a total number of 2082 recorded Raj (Public) Guthis in the country, which are meant for maintaining religious, cultural and social establishments, supporting various festivals and rituals and also supporting other social and religious activities.