Kumari : The Living Goddess

Seated royally on her throne, she’s possessed, chosen and worshipped, The Kumari. At a tender age, she holds responsibilities of granting the wishes of thousands praying to her, of protecting all those around her and trading her own childhood for the fulfilment of her duties, she is The Living Goddess.

The Kumari is believed to be the living incarnation of the Goddess Taleju, also know as the Durga. Among many stories of The Kumari’s existence today, the one most told as legend has it is that of the time during the rule of the late King Jayaprakash Mallla. It is believed that the Goddess Taleju would pay a visit to the King every night and would discuss the affairs of the country over a game of dice, Tripasa, under the condition that their meetings would remain a secret between the two.

Witnessing the King’s strange and constant errands every night was his wife whose curiosity drove her to finally follow him only to be noticed by the Goddess who was highly offended and angered by her presence.

After tremendous efforts of apologies made by the King, Goddess Taleju eventually decided to grant him forgiveness under the condition that he would have to search for her in a pre-pubescent girl among the Shakya community and worship her in order to make up for the offence he caused her and since then the tradition of worship carries on till today and holds an auspicious value which also adds to the rich culture of Nepal.

There are several rituals and procedures that are required to be fulfilled in order to recognise the Kumari, the Goddess is said to dwell in her body only as long as she does not suffer serious illness or a major loss from an injury,

Many Kumaris are chosen around the country but the one most worshipped and known is The Royal Kumari of Kathmandu. She lives in the Kumari Ghar, a palace in the center of the city. The Kumari Jatra is a festival dedicated to her where she appears before the public and blesses the crowd with her presence. She also publicly appears during sacred ceremonies and events. In the present time she appears almost everyday around 4:00pm at the Hanuman Dhoka for everyone to receive her blessing.

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