Living Goddess Kumari

The Kumari, also known as the Living Goddess, is an incarnation of the goddess Taleju Bhawani. She is a young girl chosen from the Shakya caste of the Newar people, who are indigenous to the Kathmandu Valley.

The Kumari is an influential and revered figure in Nepal, and her presence is considered auspicious. Living Goddess Kumari brings you good luck and prosperity.

Formation of Living Goddess Kumari

Malla kings were the devotees of Taleju Bhawani. Goddess Bhawani often visited the Malla Kings and played cards with them. Goddess Taleju was upset with King Jayaprakash Malla and disappeared. King arranged pujas and prayers for the goddess who appeared in the dream of the king and asked for a young girl so they could able to worship her. Hence, a young girl from a Buddhist family of Shakya can only be a living goddess. 

Selection Process of Living Goddess Kumari.

The selection process for the Living Goddess Kumari is quite strict and involves several rounds of testing and evaluation. Amongst the group of young Newari girls, a potential candidate for the role can be anyone. Each girl should appear on a series of physical exams and assessments of her demeanor and behavior. These tests are designed to ensure that the girl is physically and mentally fit to assume the role of the Kumari.

The selection process also includes a number of cultural and spiritual tests. For example, the girl may be required to demonstrate her knowledge of Hindu scriptures and rituals and her ability to recite mantras and perform other religious duties. In addition, the girl is evaluated for her poise, grace, and overall demeanor, as these are all considered important qualities for the Kumari to possess. Moreover, Kumari should have Battis Lakshanas or thirty-two perfections.

Ultimately, the final selection of the Kumari is made by a panel of priests and other religious officials, who consider all of the above factors in making their decision. Once selected, the Kumari is consecrated and begins her duties as the Living Goddess.

Once selected, the Kumari is placed in a temple in the Durbar Square area of Kathmandu, where she resides until she reaches puberty and is no longer considered divine. During this time, Kumari is not allowed to leave the temple and must observe strict rules and rituals. She is only allowed to interact with the public during special ceremonies and festivals when she is carried through the streets in a palanquin.

Related: A Brief Guide to Festivals in Nepal

Royal Kumari

King and his family worship the royal kumari at the square. In addition to it, King and his family receive tika, a blessing every year at the auspicious Tika Sahit in Dashain festive. Royal Kumari temple is located right across the historical Gaddi Baithak Hall at Basantapur in Kathmandu whereas the Kumari house is in the southern part of Kathmandu Durbar Square. Moreover, King Jaya Prakash Malla built the Kumari Ghar, or house in 1757.

Interesting Facts about Living Goddess Kumari

  • Kumari simply means Virgin but the Sanskrit meaning is the princess
  • During Indra Jatra, one of the important ceremonies, Living Goddess Kumari publicly appears in her golden palanquin across the city
  • Every area like Patan, Bhaktapur, and Bungamati has there own kumari 
  • During Kumari’s public appearance, her actions such as crying or weeping/ rubbing her eyes, trembling, and clapping of hands are considered a bad omen
  • Nowadays, Kumaris have access to  their studies in Kumari Ghar

Read more at 

List of Kumaris

Royal Kumaris – City: Kathmandu

NameHometownDates as KumariCity
Hira Maiya ShakyaWotu1922–1923Kathmandu
Chini Shova Shakya*Lagan1923–1931Kathmandu
Chandra Devi Shakya*Asonchuka1931–1933Kathmandu
Dil Kumari ShakyaLagan1933–1942Kathmandu
Nani Shova ShakyaOmbahal1942–1949Kathmandu
Kayo Mayju Shakya*Kwahiti1949–1955Kathmandu
Harsha Lakshmi ShakyaNaghal1955–1961Kathmandu
Nani Mayju ShakyaNaghal1961–1969Kathmandu
Sunina ShakyaOmbahal1969–1978Kathmandu
Anita ShakyaSikamoobahal1978–1984Kathmandu
Rashmila ShakyaKwahiti1984–1991Kathmandu
Amita ShakyaAsanbahal1991–2001Kathmandu
Preeti ShakyaItumbahal2001–2008Kathmandu
Matina ShakyaItumbahal2008–2017Kathmandu
Trishna ShakyaOmbahal2017–Kathmandu
Royal Kumaris – City: Kathmandu

Kumaris – City: Patan

NameHometownDates as KumariCity
Sumika BajracharyaPatan1994-2001Patan
Chanira BajracharyaPatan2001–2010Patan
Samita BajracharyaPatan2010–2014Patan
Yumika BajracharyaPatan2014–2018Patan
Nihira BajracharyaPatan2018–Patan
Kumaris – City: Patan

Kumaris – Place: Bungamati

NameHometownDates as KumariCity
Ganga BajracharyaBungamati1996–1997Bungamati
Jamuna BajracharyaBungamati1997–1998Bungamati
Rashmi BajracharyaBungamati1998–2001Bungamati
Sophiya BajracharyaBungamati2007–2011Bungamati
Diya BajracharyaBungamati2011–2014Bungamati
Smrity BajracharyaBungamati2014–2015Bungamati
Kinjal BajracharyaBungamati2015–2018Bungamati
Kripa BajracharyaBungamati2018–2022Bungamati
Yubika BajracharyaBungamati2022–Bungamati
Kumaris – Place: Bungamati

The source of Kumaris List is Wiki Kumari_(goddess)

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