Nepali honorary citizen Smith aka ‘Putali Bajey’ passes away at 87

Kathmandu, November 5

British Nepali lepidopterist Colin Philip Smith who was also widely known as “Putali Bajey” or “Butterfly Grandad” passed away at the age of 87. He took his last breath at Hariyokharka Hospital, Pokhara on November 4, 2023.

Smith had been undergoing treatment for gastrointestinal stromal tumor since 2 years. He was admitted to Pokhara based Hariyokharka Hospital after observing some serious complications in his health.

Chairperson of Annapurna Butterfly Museum Mr. Surendra Pariyar informed that Smith’s funeral will be performed on Monday, November 6.

Smith has first come to Nepal in 1966 as a teacher under a United Mission to Nepal program. At the start of his career, Smith also taught some of the most towering Nepali personalities such as Baburam Bhattrai and Upendra Devkota.

Smith made an extensive study of approximately 640 species of butterflies found in Nepal. The butterflies he collected are housed in the Annapurna Museum, located within the Prithvi Narayan campus. Interestingly, this museum is more  famously known as the ‘Putali Museum’ than by its official name.

Having authored over 30 books related to butterflies, his works are results of rigorous study and dedicated research in the field. His first book titled  ‘Butterflies of Nepal in Central Himalayas’ was published in 1994.

In 2019, Smith was granted with the honorary citizenship of Nepal by the Nepal government for his achievements, contribution as well as international reputation. With that, he remains the third person to receive the honorary citizenship provided by Nepal government after Sir Edmund Hillary  and Toni Hagen.