Touched by a Goddess

Kathmandu and Patan, Nepal

February 24 – 25, 2013

Today I saw the highest point on earth and met a living goddess. Just your regular day in Nepal.

So went my Facebook status. Nepal occupied not only a sliver of land high above the rest of the earth, but also the earthbound dwellings of deities. Mysticism pervaded the rarefied air in this Himalayan kingdom, where ancient idols at street corners had been smoothed by centuries of veneration, enduring and unchanging through time that seemed to have stalled.

Namaste! Sporting the tika applied by no less than the Living Goddess of Patan

Bhuwan, our guide, had acquainted us with Hindu gods in frozen stances. For a change, he led us weaving through the Hanuman Dhoka Palace Complex in Kathmandu to behold a flesh-and-blood deity called the Kumari Devi, or simply the Kumari, Nepali for the Living Goddess. She was the incarnation of Taleju (aka Durga), the goddess wife of Shiva, who embodied the victory of good over evil, in a vessel of purity – a pre-menstrual virgin.

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