Kumari is derived from the Sanskrit word Kaumarya, which means princess. Generally, A Kumari is a prepubescent girl selected by a council from the Newari community people for one day and worshipped accordingly on certain festivals like Navaratri or Durga Puja. From the 17th century where two of the world’s oldest religions Hinduism and Buddhism where interlink and they become a part of this “worshiping a girl as a goddess” tradition. Kumari is worshipped by Nepali Hindus and Buddhists, who believe she’s the reincarnation of the Hindu goddess Durga. The Kumari is considered the embodiment of the Hindu goddess Taleju. Kumari are chosen as toddlers and, once they are named as the goddess, she is carried because her feet are not allowed to touch the ground.
The Kumari has to be chosen very carefully, the Kumari has got resemblance to the Tibetan style (Tibetan lamas) of selecting the reincarnations of their predecessors. She is chosen from girls aged three to five in the Buddhist Shakya clan. Her skin must be blemish-free, her hair and eyes, very black. Her body has to be sturdy as a Banyan tree, thighs like those of a deer, neck like a conch-shell and tongue, small and moist. The voice will be crystal clear, hands and feet dainty and sexual organs small and well-recessed. Strangely, for a child, she should also have a set of 40 teeth. The girls are then tested for 32 physical attributes which has minute details and she is also put through a secret test to check the signs of fearlessness The goddess must not get frightened and therefore the selected girls are placed in an odiferous room with freshly severed 108 decapitated buffalos laid out in a sea of blood or dancing men wearing demon masks.who walks clockwise through this scene of carnage. If she cries out, faints or shows any sign of hysteria, she is immediately disqualified and the next candidate is brought forward for consideration.
Kumari can only speak to their families and she will live in a temple palace (Kumari Ghar), away from her family, until she is 13. When Kumari gets her first period she is dismissed and a new one replaces her. Kumari is only allowed to leave the palace 13 times a year during festivals. A living goddess can wear only red color, because we believe that this creative energy.Late August or early September in Nepal celebrate most vibrant and the biggest festival called “Indra Jatra”. Where the Kumari, is paraded across the city, in her golden palanquin. It is quite a sight to behold, as hundreds of masked men and devotees dance to traditional Newari music and pull on the chariots of the Lord Indra and Kumari.
Kumari Ghar built in 1757 by King Jaya Prakash Malla, which is right beside Kathmandu’s Durbar Square. It is enclosed by magnificently carved wooden balconies and windows and two white lion guardian statues stand outside the entrance to Kumari Ghar. It is a wonderful old building with traditional and intricately decorated inner courtyard. Collusive Newari architecture. it is a religious place, where the Living Goddess performs her daily rituals. Her (Kumari) needs and those of her caretakers are paid in full by the Nepalese government and she spends most of her time studying and performing religious rituals. Generally Buddhist and Hindus (Only Nepalese citizens) are allowed to meet the Kumari but other are not allowed to photograph her inside the Kumari Ghar.