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The Living Goddess at the Durbar Square

No living goddess photo here… sorry!

@ the Kumari House entrance, Durbar Square

You get my highly pixelized phone camera photo, instead! Lol!

Seriously though, we cannot take photos of the living goddess. We can’t even be assured if we can take a glimpse of her. She’s a living goddess, protected and worshiped. She is believed to be a reincarnation of the Hindu goddess Taleju and for Newar Buddhists, she is the embodiment of the supreme female deity Vajradevi. She is a rare breed, so to speak. For more about the living goddesses, check out this BBC documentary: BBC Documentary on Nepal’s Kumari and National Geographic’s Meet Nepal’s Living Goddesses.

Our guide, Shree of Kathmandu Adventures, ask the caretaker of the Kumari if we can have a glimpse of her. Luckily, he obliged. On one condition: cover my camera and hide away our phones. And we did! We had a glimpse of her… 30 secs, even less. A girl with big eyes and a face devoid of expression.

It was enough for my boys to see and realize that there’s a different world in there… different existence. “Normal” is relative to every culture and locale. They might not have fully understood it (they can’t even begin to realize that some practices are and can be questioned) but LeRuof did say at the end of that day his best experience was “seeing the living goddess”. That experience will be in their memory banks for future reference.

I knew from readings that Durbar Square was heavily damaged from 2015’s earthquake so I didn’t expect to see much. The sight of the living goddess was enough for me. Seeing the extent of the devastation of this UNESCO World Heritage Site was disheartening. But you can also see people moving on… rebuilding, however slow the pace is. Rebuilding is very slow because everything is manual.

This scene caught my attention as we were going out of the area. The man (up on those poles) was waiting for the woman in red who was picking up some materials to pull up through those ropes. It was a very manual and painstakingly slow process. At the rate they are going, it is no wonder why the structures look like the damage just happened a few months back, instead of 2 years.

manual labor

Even back at the Soaltee Crowne Plaza, the progress of the renovation seemed unhurried. Probably because of the lack of sound of machines?

One thing amazing about the structures is the wood works. Amazing! All meticulously done!

meticulous woodworks

This temple houses the statue of Shiva and Parvati looking out of the window. Our guide told this story: A long time ago children would be playing on the grounds in front of the temple but they would go home very sick. The people decided to put the god Shiva and goddess Parvati in the window overlooking the grounds where the children play to protect them. The children were not sickly from then on.

Shiva-Parvati Temple

Interesting bit of story from our guide!

These pigeons do know they look good in photos…

boys waiting for pigeons to fly

and smell so bad when they start flapping their wings!

There is a display of photos of the kings of Nepal until 2007:

inside a courtyard

This lovely shade of green stands out beautifully. This is inside a courtyard where the king used to observe his people from one of the upper windows of this palace. That practice is now a distant past for the Nepalis.

For tourists…

Durbar Square, Kathmandu

We will just have to take in whatever’s left… and enjoy every bit of it during the few days that we go around the country.


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