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Nepal: Trishna Shakya, three year old girl, new "Kumari" of Kathmandu

Sarah Griffiths By Sarah Griffiths | October 07, 2017 | Nepal

At the intersection of Durbar and Basantapur Sqs, there is this three-story red brick building that is home to Kumari, the girl who is chosen as the living god of the city until she reaches puberty and then returns to being a normal mortal .

Twelve-year-old Matine Shakya, previous Kumari of Kathmandu, had to leave the temple on a side door and came back to live with her family.

Trishna Shakya, 3 years old and beautiful, was crowned new "Kumari" of Kathmandu.

Venerated by Nepalese Hindus as a living god, the Incarnation of the goddess Taleju Bhawani (also venerated by the Buddhists) is considered. It is solely chosen among the Newar Shakya family caste girls at the Kathmandu valley. His choice takes place in the tenderest age ranging from weaning to puberty and must meet a variety of requirements including beauty, exclusion of any physical defect or scar, and lack of blood loss.   Moreover, the child should not cry, be restless or move during ceremonies, as any of his gestures may be a source of misfortune for the entire country.

The goddess is considered as a living symbol of devi - the Hindu concept of female spiritual energy.

Inside the beautiful building that is home to Kumari, there is Kumari Chowk, a three-story courtyard. It is enclosed by beautiful wooden balconies and wooden windows, making it probably the most beautiful courtyard in Nepal.

Kumari generally shows his face between 9am and 11am in the morning. It is forbidden to photograph the goddess, but you can take pictures of the courtyard when the goddess is not present.

The building, in the style of the Buddhist temple (monastic dwellings) of the valley, was built in 1757 by Jaya Prakash Malla. The courtyard contains a miniature stupa that carries the symbols of Saraswati, the goddess of learning. The non-Hindus can  not go beyond the courtyard.

The big yellow gate to the right of Kumari Bahal hides the huge wagon carrying the Kumari around the city during the annual Indra Jatra festival. Look for the huge wooden runners in front of the Kumari Bahal that are used to carry the wagon. Wood is painted at the tips and is considered sacred.


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