Living Goddess Kumari of Nepal

living goddess Kumari

Goddess Kumari, also known as the Living Goddess, is a revered and unique cultural and religious figure in Nepal. She is considered the living incarnation of the goddess Taleju, a form of the Hindu goddess Durga.  Kumari of Kathmandu is the most popular one among different Kumari of Kathamndu Valley. Tradition of worshipping living Goddess Kumari has a cultural and historical significance.

The Kumari is a symbol of purity and divine power in Nepalese culture. Her presence is considered auspicious, and her role is deeply rooted in both Hindu and Buddhist traditions. Pilgrims and tourists alike visit Kathmandu with the hope of catching a glimpse of the Living Goddess.

The selection of the Kumari is a meticulous and elaborate process. Traditionally, a young prepubescent girl from a Buddhist family of Newar community, the indigenous inhabitants of the Kathmandu Valley, is chosen based on strict criteria taking into consideration the thirty-two attributes. This includes specific physical attributes, astrological signs, and personal qualities.

Once selected, the Kumari resides in the Kumari Temple, a historic temple built specially for the Goddeess by the King of Kathmandu, in the heart of Kathmandu Durbar Square. This temple serves as her official residence during her tenure as the Living Goddess.

The Kumari is adorned in traditional red attire, which includes a red velvet gown, rich jewelry, and a special headpiece. Her forehead and eyes are decorated.

The Kumari rarely makes public appearances, but when she does, it is during religious and cultural festivals, processions, or special events. During these appearances, she is carried in a palanquin, maintaining a serene and composed demeanor.

Devotees and visitors often seek the blessings of Goddess Kumari during her brief public appearances. It is believed that the Kumari’s glance and blessings bring good fortune.

The Kumari goddess goes back home as a normal girl once she has her first period or blood comes out of the body due to any injury or sickness. The retirement of a Kumari is a significant event, and she is accorded a special status in society.

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