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Video Life of a Kumari Goddess: The Young Girls Whose Feet Never Touch Ground
07:52   |   today at 11:54


  • The Kumari goddess is a very honored deity in Nepal.
  • Kumari is manifested in a young girl’s body.
  • Since the Malla Dynasty the three cities [of Katmandu Valley]
  • have each had their own Kumari.
  • It is a tradition that has been going on for a long time.
  • During the monarchy system, the queen would make the selection.
  • But now the head priest takes [the children] and selects one.
  • From what we had heard, they keep them in a dark room
  • and perform prayers rituals, which they don’t show us.
  • They look for the signs, and look at the qualities and make their selection.
  • It is called Battis Lakshanas (32 physical perfections).
  • It is called Battis Lakshanas (32 physical perfections).
  • It is called Battis Lakshanas (32 physical perfections).
  • My daughter became the Kumari goddess at age five.
  • Now it's been two years.
  • Nepal’s goddess is fluid and all encompassing. She manifests herself in Kumari.
  • For centuries, Kumari have watched over Kathmandu. Many of the country’s leaders still seek their blessing to legitimize their rule.
  • To maintain her purity, Kumari’s feet must never touch the ground, and she may only speak to her immediate family.
  • She is dismissed when she gets her period, and a new Kumari must be selected.
  • I used to work as a craftman. Now I have to watch over things here.
  • I did not have any desire to keep my daughter as Kumari.
  • It was destined for us.
  • The challenge is that she cannot go anywhere.
  • She sits there if people come visit and worship.
  • She is only allowed to talk to her family.
  • She often talks to us. She is happy.
  • My name is Bipsa Bajracharya
  • and I am Kumari’s elder sister.
  • I help her with her homework
  • while she is inside she cannot have contact with others,
  • so I help her to have contact with others.
  • She was very interest in eyeliner;
  • she was interested in flowers;
  • she was very interested in listening to the stories of goddess
  • from a young age.
  • She sometimes read the story books. It's about the princess....
  • Cinderella, Snow White and that one.
  • She also likes to play the violin.
  • Kumari only leaves her temple to watch over religious festivals in Kathmandu.
  • One of the most important is Bhoto Jatra,
  • the culmination of a month long festival for rain and compassion.
  • When Napalis have festivals,
  • everyone comes with their children to bow.
  • I'm Sumika Boyrachasya;
  • I am the former Kumari of Patan.
  • Maybe around 11-years-old I had my first periods,
  • all the world turning upside down for me.
  • It was a bit sad moment for the whole family and for me as well.
  • So after that like, like I used to continue, so no more poojas,
  • no more visitors, no more like going on out to festivals
  • and life just went in a slow pace.
  • I was the first Kumari who got education.
  • I work in a communications organization.
  • I'm doing my masters study as well.
  • So, I'm balancing both my work and my studies too.
  • Since I know I was a Kumari every moment was precious,
  • so it was never difficult for me.
  • I don’t expect people to respect me.
  • I don’t like go around and say I'm Kumari and you have to respect me.
  • I don’t do that. It's the feeling of the people,
  • if they feel they can, if they don’t I don’t mind.
  • The tradition has changed a lot from past till me being Kumari.
  • So, I don’t have big dreams, but let’s hope.
  • I have big hopes,
  • so like the field I'm working then I do have big hopes in that field too.
  • After becoming a goddess, there aren’t any challenges in itself.
  • That’s the thing.
  • You’d call that her power.
  • I made my daughter Kumari for the sake of honor
  • out of respect to this age old tradition.
  • It will be difficult to make the transition back into society,
  • but we are already working towards that.
  • I have time to set everything up.
  • She is already studying so that,
  • eventually when she goes to school, it will not be that hard.

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Broadly heads to Nepal to witness the centuries-old tradition of worshipping Kumari, a living goddess manifested in the body of a young girl, to see how life is for the sacred children spending their lives in a temple—and what happens when they grow.

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