Kumaris of Nepal

If you envision goddesses to be divine celestial beings that inhabit the spiritual realm then you may have to adjust your imagination because in Nepal you will be able to worship and be blessed by a living goddess, the Kumari.

Kumaris are considered to be reincarnation of goddess Durga. When Kumaris are chosen a top priority is placed on choosing a girl who need 32 criterias stipulated by the temple.This has been a tradition in Nepal since centuries  where young pre- pubescent girls between the age of 3 to 11 are chosen as living goddess who reside in a special palace to bless everyone. The chosen girl child must meet certain physical criterias like having unblemished skin,tighs like a deer , chest like a lion and  a voice like a deer. She has to pass through several tests like walk among the heads of slaughtered animals without fear while frightening mask dancers try to terrify her.

Kumaris are usually chosen from Newar community of Newars specifically belong to Sakya and Bajracharaya clan. The Royal Kumari lives in Kathmandu in a special palace called Kumari Ghar.

Kumaris have a very restricted life where they are expected to stay indoors. They are only allowed to come out during special festivals to bless the devotees. A Kumari  is always carried in a palanquin because her feet must never touch the ground.

As a Kumari she is always clad in red and her eyes are fearless. She blesses the devotees by offering them tika. In public she is not allowed to show any emotions. She is highly revered by both Hindus and Buddhist of Nepal.

This fascinating culture of being a child goddess doesn’t last for a Kumari. When she reaches puberty, she has to step down and return to living a normal life. Although life may be challenging for Kumaris post resigning as a goddess, this culture of being a Kumari is highly revered in Nepal.


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