The Living Goddess of Nepal : Kumari

Kumari - Living Goddess

Kumari – Living Goddess

In Nepal Kumari is given high respect and dignity especially during social and religious functions. There are several Kumaris including Kumaris in Kathmandu, Patan, Bhaktapur and Bungamati within the Kathmandu Valley. However, among all of them, the Kumari of Kathmandu housed in the Kumari Bihar situated at the vicinity of Hanuman Dhoka Palace at Basantapur is regarded as the most important one and is also known as the Royal Kumari. There are several verses in the Vedas which eloquently glorify the position of Kumaris and their role in various spheres of life. As a female deity, she possesses Shakti (Power). Both benevolent and fearful she is worshipped as Kali, Durga and Taleju, etc. However, Kumari as a female deity is worshipped as the living virgin goddess, the defender of the living beings. Why is a little girl from the Shakya family chosen as a living goddess? The whole concept of Kumari as a living goddess originated when Tantricism, was at its height in the Kathmandu Valley. The Bajracharya and Shakya clans played a crucial role and so the tradition of requiring the Kumari to come from the Shakya clan was established.

Kumari bahal

Kumari bahal

There is an ancient story based on mythology. The Malla Kings of the Valley in ancient times had wide knowledge of practising Tantricism. They used to play dice and other games with the goddess Taleju with their tantric powers. King Jaya Prakash Malla, the last Malla ruler of Kathmandu used to play dice with Goddess Taleju. He became fascinated by the charming beauty of the goddess. He lost control and caught her by the hands. The goddess perceived his erotic thoughts and was enraged by his immoral attitude, sheimmediately vanished from the king’s sight. That night the king again saw Goddess Taleju in his dream. In his dream she strictly warned him that he shall no longer be

blessed by her. His dynasty was going to end. The king would only be able to get darshan in the new form of pre-menstrual girl belonging to the Shakya caste in whom the goddess herself is said to dwell as goddess Kumari. Since then, the Kumari is worshipped as the living virgin goddess. The Kumari bahal was built in 1767 during the reign of King Jaya Prakash Malla. He also instituted the festival of drawing the chariot of Kumari, the living goddess followed by other two living gods- Ganesh and Bhairav.

Chariot of Kumari

Chariot of Kumari

On 25th September 1768 AD Prithvi Narayan Shah, the king of Gorkha attacked Kathmandu when Indra Jatra (festival) was being observed in full swing. Jaya Prakash’s troops were all intoxicated in the chariot pulling festival. The Gorkha King easily captured Kathmandu and received blessings from the Kumari.

The Kumari is given high dignity and is regarded as a personification of the Goddess Taleju. She is considered as an incarnation of Durga, the symbol of power, the divine universal-mother goddess. The devotees consider looking at her as a mascot will bring them good luck.

The four or five year old little Shakya girl is chosen every ten years. The girl who is to be made Royal Kumari must possess several qualities. She must be free from any disfigurement. She must be a virgin with an unblemished body. She must have prominent black eyes or gorgeous expressive eyes, white teeth without any gaps. She must have a sonorous voice, long slender arms, delicate and soft hands and feet and straight hair curled towards the right side. Above all, she should possess 32 noble virtues. She must have a sense of courage and should not fear a masked man or an animal sacrifice. Her horoscope must match that of the king.

The selection of the Kumari ceremony which is usually held on the eighth day of Dashain festival is called Kal-ratri. During the day many buffaloes are sacrificed and bloody buffalo heads are placed in candlelight in the courtyard of the Taleju temple inside Hanuman Dhoka. At midnight the Kumari is taken out to walk clockwise around the grotesque heads. A dancer wearing a grostesque mask dances near her. If the child remains quite and fearless during this test she is recognized as a real Kumari.Then after, the secret tantric ritual is held to remove all her past memories from her body and purify her as a pure vessel for the Taleju goddess to enter. It takes a whole night and in the morning she walks across a white cloth in front of a huge crowd as the new Kumari.

After becoming Kumari, the child is taken into a house called Kumari Bahal in Basantapur. She has to live in isolation from her family and relatives in Kumari Bahal. She is always dressed in red and her forehead is painted in red. The third eye is put in her forehead. She sits on her throne with her attendants.

Non-Hindus are allowed to enter the courtyard but may not go up. She usually

Nepal's Living Goddess Kumari

Nepal’s Living Goddess Kumari in her throne

acknowledges greetings from her balcony windows. For all the sacrifice a girl child makes in order to become a Kumari, she gets very little in compensation. When she comes to the end of her career as the Kumari when she reaches puberty she has to walk out with virtually nothing. The month’s stipend she is paid is a mere pittance and not enough for anything. If the Kumari tradition is to vanish from our culture it will indeed be a great pity. Not only will our culture be so much the poorer but there will be less to show to the numerous foreign tourists who come to Nepal attracted by our rich cultural traditions.

 

 

10 important things to do in Nepal

  1. Try Everest before you die!

    Climbing Mount Everest

    Climbing Mount Everest

Climb the world’s highest mountain on Earth or any other 11 highest peaks all located inNepal. Climbing Everest costs around US $ 50,000 but the view of the Everest and other Himalayas are free. You can also just visit Nepal to just enjoy the great views of Himalayas including the Everest. But summiting them would be better idea. Come to Nepal.

  1. Nagarkot and Sunrise.

nagarkot-sunrise

Nagarkot-sunrise

Wake up early morning and head towards Nagarkot, the quiet town 30KM away from Kathmandu. But better stay in the resort the other night. Watch sunrise from there which will take your breath away. One can also enjoy magnificent view of Himalayas. Nagarkot is located on the rim of Kathmandu Valley at an elevation of 7200 ft. You can have glorifying Himalayan view that extends from Dhaulagiri in the west to beyond Mt. Everest in the east.

  1. Taste Nepali Tea.

    ilam nepal tea

    Ilam Nepali tea

Nepali organic tea is recognized worldwide for its outstanding aroma, brisk, texture and flavor. The cool breezes from the refreshing Himalayan range and young tea bushes contribute to the quality of Nepali Tea. You will be lured by the amazing taste you ever had.

  1. Go trekking.

nepal-trekking

Nepal-trekking

Do a backpack or teahouse trek or self arranged trekking in Solukhumbu, Jugal Himal, Gosaikunda, Helambu, Langtang, Baglung, Jomsom, Tatopani, Ghandruk, Annapurna, Lamudada, Jiri, Gokyo, Everest Base Camp, Namche Bazzar or just about any peaks or trekking trails in Nepal. Whatever be your destination, the fact is you will find Nepal perfect and adventurous.

  1. Nepali cuisine.
Nepali Cuisine

Nepali Cuisine

You should try authentic Nepali food once while you are3 in the country. You will be loving the delicacy and the carving taste of having it. Every hotel, b ig or small can offer you the chance to taste the Nepali cuisine.

 

  1. Speak Nepali Tongue.

    Speak Nepali

    Speak Nepali

Spend just 4 weeks and you could be speaking this awesome Nepali Language in No time. Learn Nepali language, it is fun and exciting. It is simple to understand and easy to speak.

 

  1. Shop in Thamel.
Shop in Thamel

Shop in Thamel

Tempting exquisite souvenirs such as Nepali handicrafts, outstanding Thankas, Nepali garments and mouth watering local and international cuisines virtually web the entireThamel streets. Every single shop thoroughly grabs your attention leaving you helpless and forced to buy them. Take an hour walking in Thamel without shopping a single thing, can you take a challenge?

 

  1. Bungee Jump.

    bunjee jump in Nepal

    bunjee jump in Nepal

Try the most spectacular jump in the world. A 160 m wide steel suspension bridge/ the longest suspension bridge of Nepal offers you a breathe taking 160 m depth, awesome jump of your life time. Try experiencing this jump giving you goose bumps that you won’t forget.

 

  1. Temple city.
Temple City

Temple City

Kathmandu valley is a 218 square miles of land situate above 4400 feet above the sea level with three historic, artistic and cultural towns namely Kathmandu, Bhaktapur and Lalitpur. The city of Temples is the another name of Kathmandu Valley. Walk for five minutes in any direction in Kathmandu, you will definitely find a temple in left and right. There are more than 5 temples per square miles in Kathmandu.

 

  1. River Rafting Adventures.

    Rafting in nepal

    Rafting in Nepal

Nepal has some of the best rivers in the world offering you excellent opportunities for river adventures. Intense rapids, gorgeous wilderness areas and lush green valley will multiply your fun. Go for white water river rafting adventures.

Relief & Rehabilitation Efforts – Please donate so we can help them to stand again

x2fmm2ozxk42blhxvsxkMytrip2nepal.com in association with a Local NGO ,have initiated a relief operation in Gundu Village.Around 50 Houses have been totally destroyed in this Village and hundreds of people have been forced to live outside with shortage of food, water , medicine ,cloths and tents.The lack of manpower has been another problem to get necessary things out of the buried inside the houses.we have gather a volunteer of around 25 people from different organisation to help in the relief operation.

Please click the link below to donate.

https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/earthquake-relief-fund-gundu-village-bhaktapur/x/10701429

Nepal Travel Experience With Mytrip2nepal

Trekking 2

The trip itself we have booked on the Internet at mytrip2nepal and we must say, it was all perfectly organized and everything worked well. The hotels were – taking into account the country – always good and we were always well looked after. Approximately every other day we were called and asked us how this and that have so far and if everything goes as desired on the phone. The SIM card of the phone, we were also made available from there, so that, other than times recharge credit for the Internet, had to do anything.

The entire time we were greeted by Hari, our driver, accompanied who had a safe driving style and has always brought us good from A to B.

Read more about his travel experience in Nepal on his own blog.

Click the link below:

http://urlaub.vogt-clan.de/?p=2468

The Living Legend Dhan Bahadur Gole “JUNGEE BUDA”

Some of our colleagues from Mytrip2nepal recently travelled to the place called “Chitlan” from where the first car was brought down to Kathmandu back in 40’s. There they met a legendary person named DHAN BAHADUR GOLE, 91 years old, nick name “Jungge Buda” one and only known surviving car porter among 64 other car carrier. In the year 1940’s and 1950’s before Tribhuvan Highway was made and linked kathamandu to Indian Border, car porters used to carry car. There was only two ways to get down to capital city Kathmandu either by foot or by air.

this-is-hitler-s-gift-mercedes-to-nepal-king-the-first-car-in-the-county_2At that time Shahs and Ranas were the only one who used to bring cars to Nepal from Calcutta by ship and these cars were drove upto Bhimphedi, and then porters used to carry from Bhimphedi all the way down to city via Chitlan Gaun. Dhan Bahadur Gole was 17 years old when he first served as porter among 64 others. People from different places of villages such as Bhimphedi, Markoo, Kulekhani, Chitlan and many more served as car porters at that time.

13066_1038442099502954_1360138193198599434_nAs a labor allowances they used to get 1 rupee day. “Motor bokera din ko 1 rupeeya pauthiyo k garnu pugdaina thiyo, tesaile aama le gheeu liyara bazaar gai bech bhannu hunthiyo, tyo bela manako aak rupeeya parthiyo”, says Dhan Bahadur Gole.  Translated as below : He says carrying car was not enough and he has to sell dairy product which his mother used to give him and at the time was cost of pure butter was 1 rupee per bucket.

While our conversation was taking its pace, “He Says , I didn’t even know or recognized the model of a car ,we used to name them with 32, 64, 96 as of number of porters carried motor”, reflected by Dhan Bahadur Gole (Jungge Buda).

IMG_3650Dhan Bahadur Gole says, he carried about 30 cars over twenty year’s period of time. All three porters including a leader form his village Chitlan is dead. In his life he had married three girls of which he have two sons and he lives with his granddaughter and his family in Chitlan.

“HOLIKA” In Short Holi

holi1Holi festival long ago started as a  celebration after the death of mythical demon named Holika, in short Holi. The Mythical Story of Holi goes as follows: There was a demon named Hiranyakasyapu, father of Praladh, who started to think himself as a Lord of Universe and wanted everyone to worship him . His son Praladh, was very much devoted to Lord Vishnu, which was not acceptable to Hiranyakasyapu. Hiranyakasyapu tried to convince his son as many times but he failed and Praladh never stopped worshiping Lord Vishnu.

Frusted, Hiranyakasyapu then planned of killing his own five years old son Praladh. He ordered his blood (sister) Holika, who was blessed from Lord Bramha with resistance to fire (but not for missus ) to kill his son. Holika then took Praladh, carrying on her lap and sat on fire.  However, Praladh was very much devotee of Lord Vishnu, Holika burnt herself instead and Praladh was saved by the grace of God.

holyThus, Holi (Phagupune) is said to be celebrated to express joy on Holika’s termination and the traditional bonfires are supposed to memorialize her death. The Phugu stands for sacred red power and Pune denotes to full moon day, on which the festival ends. It is celebrated with colors, sweets, balloons filled with water and music. People throw and put color, water balloons to each other as a gesture of love and fun.

The Holi begins a week before the actual day of Holi in capital city. It is an annually celebrated Hindu festival that lies on full moon day of March. It is also rejoice as begin of spring season. In Terai region the Marwari class (Indian Community) who lived and settled down since long time ago in Nepal, they celebrate after the day of Kathmandu finishes the celebration.

Generally, colorful festival start with the ceremonial pole called, “CHIR” which is installed on first day on Basantapur and last for week. The pole named Chir is a long bamboo pole fringed with clothes which represents as a good luck charms. And by the end of the week or say festival the Chir is taken out and put on fire.

HOLI BASANTAPURThe story behind the Chir a bamboo pole installation in Basantapur, it begins with the Lord Krishna’s mischievous nature. Lord Krishna always loved to play and prank with ‘milkmidas’ (gopis). It said Krishna with his dashing look, he seduced all the gopis, danced with them, doused them in colored water and while milkmaids were bathing in a pond called “Yamuna” he stole all their clothes and hung them on a tree near Yamuna Nadi. Hence, the pole that instilled in Basantapur “Chir” symbolized the tree.

It is said that the Holi hearten the brotherhood feeling in society and turns enemy to friend. People of all religion and community forget everything from past and celebrates the festival of color and participates on the spiritual moment of nation.

“ADVENTURE” Another Name Of Nepal

adventure1Being at the top of the world and surrounded by Himalayas Nepal offers variety of adventurous and outdoor activities to those who takes their hobby as an adventure challenge. The diverse landscape has some of the best sites for these activities, extreme and powerful rivers, mountains ranges, clear blue sky, tough and challenging treks, breath taking lakes and rivers to raft and boat, and a wild topography to travel around.

The geographical and diverse culture with wild range of nature makes Nepal a perfect place for trekking and exploration. White water rafting in Seti, Trisuli and many more rivers, kayaking with rapid water flow and canoeing in waterfall, hills and highs makes travelling in Nepal more exciting. Bungee jumping from world 2nd largest height of 160 meter in Bhote Koshi and sky diving from 29,000 feet with eye catching scene of Mt. Everest and many other mountains are some of the features Nepal provides for adventure seekers.

adventure-sportsNepal is gifted by nature itself; there are lots of National Parks and jungles in which Chitwan and Bardiya is one of the most popular. Jungle safari is one of another kind of adventure and exciting tour. Likewise, Paragliding, Para hawking, Cycling, Biking, Trekking, Hiking, and many other handful of adventure is lying down in the lap of Nepal.

Rock climbing is another kind of sport that can be found in Nepal. It is challenging and adventurous sport for the adventure lovers. Rock climbing in Nepal nowadays has become one of the exciting and mind refreshing sport since, the country is gifted by nature with sloppy hills and rocks. The destinations which are most popular for climbing inside valley are Nagarjuna Forest, Shivapuri National Park and Hattiban whereas, Bandipur and Pokhara are famous for rock climbing and caving.