KATHMANDU: When the devastating 7.9 magnitude earthquake rocked Nepal last week, the ancient temples and statues in Kathmandu’s Darbar Square were collapsed and the quake left Nepal in ruins with the death toll nearly 7,000, but the home of 9-year-old Kumai , a living goddess, remained unharmed with just a few cracks. 

The caretaker of the Kumari house, Durga Shakya said, “She protected us. There is a little crack on the other side but nothing has happened. Everything is fine inside as well and nothing has fallen down.”

The Nepal’s living child goddess is the best known of the girls who are worshiped as the symbol of the Hindu Goddess Durga. Every morning Newar priests from Taleju Temple arrive at Kumari’s home with flowers, dhup and Newari Prasad and Kumari is worshiped as Taleju, a form of Goddess Durga.

“Kumari home stood unharmed with the deadly earthquake. She appeared unafraid when the earthquake hit,” said Kamal Tara Shakya who takes care of the living goddess in her palace.

“I was in kitchen when the quake hit. I ran towards her as the house was shaking badly. Taking her on my lap, all of us gathered and prayed, but she didn’t seem scared,” 48-year-old Shakya added. 

Kumari, a pre-pubescent girl, lives in isolation in her small palace and emerges only on feast days when she is paraded in ceremonial dress.

(With Agency Inputs)

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