It was King Prithvi Narayan Shah who first in using the two-triangular flag when he succeeded in unifying all kingdoms in Nepal on 1768. Yes, two triangles on the Nepalese national flag represent two great dynasties which once existed in the Land of a Thousand Gods, namely the Shah Dynasty and the Rana Dynasty.
“Please, come!….Please, come!” a man told me to entering a shiny red brick building. European tourists and their tour guides who seem to know the reason why they come to this place seem to flock to entering the gate. I who haven’t saved any information, just rely on that man’s humble smile. A moment later I was inside.
Another man inside greeted me, “Welcome to Kumari Ghar…The house of Kumari”. Kumari is a living goddess in Hindu and even Buddhist mythology. Kumari itself is a Sanskrit term which means “Princess”. Kumari is chosen by the head of Pandita and is considered the reincarnation of Goddess Taleju, the Goddess of Guardians of the City.
I kept eavesdropping on tour guide’s explanation to European travelers. It was said that the last king Malla often met in secret with Goddess Taleju who was asked to protect the kingdom. His wife who was suspicious, on a night followed the King when he was about to meet the Goddess. Suddenly the Goddess was angry because her whereabouts was revealed. But the Goddess was still kind enough to remain willing to protect the kingdom, but with one requirement, i.e by providing a girl as a reincarnation of her. Well, this girl was what I was going to see this time.
All eyes were on three black windows on top floor of Kumari Ghar. From there, Kumari will be displayed in a flash. The burly men seemed to be starting to spread out in all corners and their eyes were unblinking at us. Their faces swept across to all tourists in courtyard, they were careful to not to let any video highlights or camera captures pointed towards Kumari when it was shown later.
The time came, everyone was silent as the window slowly opened. Kumari hadn’t come out yet, I didn’t blink for fearing of losing her appearance. Burly men below loudly shouted to other above, I didn’t know what they was reporting. Perhap condition were ready for Kumari to appeared in the window.
Two women rechecked condition below from above. A moment later, they gave a code to inside. An instant later, a beautiful girl who dressed in all red, crowned with gold sheets with a third eye on her forehead appeared in the window opening. Just a moment, less than half a minute.
“Wooouwww“, a word which came out from all visitors and then they were busy whispering to their friends in their language. While I was still looking at the window which had been closed since earlier with a smile. It was crazy to be able to meet a goddess who was actually alive.
Following the belief, Kumari will finish being the reincarnation of Goddess Taleju when she is menstruating and will be replaced by a new Kumari. Kumari will be selected from three years old with very strict requirements such as no scars, no fear from masked men who dancing on the blood of slaughtered buffalo, she willn’t step on the ground as long as become Kumari and only come out just once a year, i.e in Bhoto Jatra ceremony, the festival to celebrating rainy season as well as harvest season.
This Nepali culture is magical….It’s amazing.