Kumari

Kumari, the living Goddess. Kumari lives a life that resembles life of Goddess Taleju (Durga). Kumari is worshiped by Hindu and Nepali Buddhist for her unparallel divine power that she possesses once Goddess Taleju enters her body. Kumari of Kathmandu Durbar Square is the most famous of all Kumaris of Nepal. The selection process of Kumari is very rigorous and only young pre-pubescent girls of pre selected cast of Kathmandu, Nepal can be Kumari. The test includes physical appearance, courage and sign of divine power. Kumari resides in Kumari Ghar (home) situated in Durbar Square.

A girl needs to have 32 perfections to be a Kumari, few of the qualities are:

  • A neck like a conch shell
  • A body like a banyan tree
  • Eyelashes like a cow
  • Thighs like a deer
  • Chest like a lion
  • Voice soft and clear as a duck’s

One of greatest test that Kumari Candidate must undergo is during biggest festival of Nepal, Dashain. During Dashain festival, she has to sit in a courtyard filled with 108 buffaloes and goats sacrificed to the goddess Kali. There will be severed heads of the animals illuminated by candlelight and masked men dancing around trying to frighten the little girl. If the candidate truly possesses the qualities of Taleju, she shows no fear during this experience.

Life of Royal Kumari

Once Kumari is selected, she is escorted to Kumari Ghar across the Durbar Square where she will live until she menstruates or gets serious illness or a major loss of blood. This walk to Kumari Ghar across the Durbar Square is the last time Kumari’s feet will touch the ground until the goddess leaves from her body. From now on, when Kumari visits outside of Kumari Ghar, she will be transported in her golden palanquin. Her feet, as all of her, are now sacred.

Kumari is believed to possess a very strong power such that even a glimpse of her is believed to bring good fortune and prosperity. Crowds of people in Durbar Square courtyard wait have a glance of Kumari as she passes by the latticed windows on the third floor every day. The atmosphere in the courtyard is charged with devotion and awe when Kumari appears.

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