Michael A. Stecker

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Kathmandu (Nepal) Photos 2
Other Nepal Pages:
Nepal Photo Index   Kathmandu 1, 2, 3   Pokhara Photos

Greeting at the Hotel Sherpa in Kathmandu


Kumari Bahal
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.




In Kathmandu a large chariot (right) is being prepared for the living goddess. She will be dressed in jewels and blood-red silk and placed in the chariot. Her chariot procession takes place during Indra Jatra.



A nearby orange garland statue



Decorative entry on Durbar Square, Kathmandu