New Kumari in Bhaktapur

BHAKTAPUR: A new Ekanta Kumari, worshipped in the historic city of Bhaktapur as a living goddess, was selected on Sunday.

Jibika Bajracharya was selected to replace the former living goddess, Junisha Shakya, who retired after a two-year term on March 26. Bajracharya was appointed in the vacant position, said Taleju's Chief Leader, Narendra Prasad Joshi.

The five-year-old Jibika from Kwache neighbourhood of Bhaktapur Municipality-11 is the daughter of Jiva Chandra Bajracharya (43) and Bimala Bajracharya (41).

On Sunday, she was recommended for the revered position to the Guthi Sansthan, Bhaktapur.

The living goddess is selected from among girls aged between two and eight from the Shakya and Bajracharya families. The girls are selected as per their auspicious birth signs and other abilities and in guardians' consent.

As per the tradition, Bhaktapur's Ekanta Kumari is taken to the Basantapur's Kumari Ghar on the day of Gathasthapana of Bada Dashain festival and she stays there throughout the festival.

The Ekanta Kumari is allowed to go to school, her maternal uncle's house and visit all the three districts within Kathmandu Valley. She receives a monthly allowance of Rs 3,150.