Kumari (A living Goddess)

Kumari Jatra

Kumari Regarded as a Living Goddess, a young Newar girl with no blemishes represents the Goddess Kumari. To local people she is the Goddess Kumari and is worshipped accordingly with great reverence.

There are several legends telling how the current tradition of the Kumari began. Most of the legends, however, involve the tale of King Jayaprakash Malla, the last Nepalese king of the Malla Dynasty (12th–17th century CE). According to the most popular legend, a king and his friend, the goddess Taleju, approached his chambers late one night as he played tripasa, a dice game. The goddess came along every night to play the game with the condition that the king refrains from telling anyone about their meetings.

One night, the king’s wife followed him to his chamber in order to find out who the king was meeting so often. The king’s wife saw Taleju, and the goddess was angered. She told the king that if he wanted to see her again or have her protect his country, he would have to search for her among the Newari (Shakya) community of Ratnawali, as she would be incarnated as a little girl among them. Hoping to make amends with his patroness, King Jayaprakash Malla left the palace in search of the young girl who was possessed by Taleju’s spirit. It is believed that from that time Living goddess is worshiped .

The candidates must go through an extremely strict selection process before one of them is chosen to represent the Goddess. Visit the Kumari Ghar (House of the Kumari) across Durbar Square, at Basantapur, where she resides and catch a glimpse of this Goddess.

Living Goddess KUMARI, Hindu, Nepal
Living Goddess KUMARI

If you are visiting in late August or early September, you may get the opportunity to observe the fascinating  festival known as Indra Jatra, when the Kumari leaves her residence and is pulled in a chariot through the narrow roads of old Kathmandu for three days. It is quite a sight to behold, as masked dancers come out on the streets and the chariots of  Lord Indra and Kumari are pulled by exuberant devotees in a lively procession.at that time there are thousands of devotees to worship kumari and get blessings .

The god-house Kumari Ghar is a store-house of magnificent intricate carvings where the Living Goddess performs her daily rituals. During her tenure in the god-house, Guthi Sansthan, the government trust fund bears her entire expenses including that of her caretakers. Under normal circumstances, her days in the god-house come to an end with her first menstruation, but if she turns out to be unlucky, as they say, even a minor scratch on her body that bleeds can make her invalid for worship. She then changes back to the status of normal mortal and the search of a new Kumari begins. It is said to be unlucky to marry an ex-Kumari.


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