The Holy Temple of
the Living Goddess
Kathmandu: The Living Goddess.
a little girl called Kumari Ghar living isolated in a beautiful old
Hindu Temple Palace at the famous Hanuman Dhoka in Kathmandu. All the
people worship her. Even the king and the prime minister in Nepal do
so. This because she's the holy, living Goddess.
you even try to take a photo of her it means arrest and you'll be
thrown out of the country without your camera. It's however possible to
buy a photo of her with all her cosmetics and best ceremony clothes on
in the souvenir shop near by her temple palace.
5 years old
is chosen to be Goddess only 5 years old. Selected from the upper class
daughters in Nepal and it's a status to have a daughter in the family
chosen for this position in the temple. She's chosen in a hard
competition - with many hard tests - together with other children at
the same age.
stays in the position as living goddess until she's sexually mature.
Then she retires and her life will change dramatically. She's thrown
out on the street without any support from the temple or her family.
And a new living Goddess will be chosen in her place.
Retired living Goddess
What happens to a retired living Goddess I asked the local town guide chosen to show me around inside the Palace.
We better talk about that outside afterwards, he says looking up on the
Living Goddess studying me carefully a floor above. Like a kid studying
a foreign animal in the zoo. The little kid locked inside this Palace
couldn't go out and play like other kids. A few kids were there to play
with her. But she didn't care about them. She was focused on me and my
camera ecvipment. May be she dreamed about going away to distant
Outside the guide continues:
- None wants to marry a retired living Goddess.
- But why - she looks like a very nice girl? I asked.
Because she's a very spoiled girl after the years of temple life.
Everybody serving her all the time you see? And she hasn't learnt
anything except been served: She can't do housework or anything needed
for the family life. Even her family don't want her back. So most of
the retired living Goddess thrown out on the street earlier work as
prostitutes in India.