Three-year-old takes reign as new 'living goddess' in Nepal
KATHMANDU – A three-year-old girl has been named the new Kumari of Nepal's capital Kathmandu after her predecessor retired when she reached puberty, continuing an ancient tradition that sees young girls worshipped as "living goddesses".
Trishna Shakya was anointed as the new Kumari in a ceremony yesterday, when she will be taken from her family home to live in a palace in Kathmandu's ancient Durbar Square where she will be cared for by specially appointed caretakers. She was selected from among four candidates, Uddhav Man Karmacharya, a Hindu priest who attends to the Kumari, told AFP on Tuesday.
"She will take her place on the Kumari's throne after we perform prayers and tantric rituals," Karmacharya said.
Once she is anointed a living goddess, Shakya, who, like her predecessors, belongs to the Newar community indigenous to the Kathmandu valley, will only be allowed to leave her new home 13 times a year on special feast days.
She will be paraded through Kathmandu in ceremonial dress and elaborate makeup to be worshipped. AFP