This is the home of the prepubertal living goddess Kumari. To my
knowledge, Nepal is the only country with a living goddess.
The Kumari is not born a goddess nor does she remain one all her life. She
is usually chosen from a caste of Newar goldsmiths when she is about five
years old. It is essential that she has not been hurt or shed blood. After
careful screeming by a number of people, including an astrologer the
selected candidates, about ten in number are locked in a dark room where
fearful looking masks and freshly slaughtered buffalo heads are kept.
Frightening noises are made from outside and the girl who shows least fear
is selected. She is installed on a throne in a room she lives in, during
the Dashain festival. The spirit of the goddess is said to enter her body
after this ceremony. As soon as she reaches puberty, the Kumari becomes
human once more and a new goddess must be chosen.