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Kumari Bahal, Kathmandu, Nepal

 Kumari Bahal

Kumari Bahal, Kathmandu, Nepal


Kumari Bahal, also known as the Kumari Ghar, is the residence of the Living Goddess Kumari in Kathmandu, Nepal. Located in the Kathmandu Durbar Square, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Kumari Bahal is a majestic three-story building built in 1757 by King Jaya Prakash Malla. The structure is renowned for its beautiful Newari architecture, intricate wood carvings, and cultural significance. The Living Goddess Kumari is a young pre-pubescent girl believed to be the incarnation of the Hindu goddess Taleju and the Buddhist goddess Vajradevi.

Attractions and Activities

  • Living Goddess: The primary attraction is the Living Goddess Kumari herself. Visitors can sometimes catch a glimpse of her when she appears at the window of her residence. Public appearances are usually during specific times of the day and during religious ceremonies.
  • Architecture: Admire the exquisite Newari architecture of Kumari Bahal, characterized by its ornate wooden windows, balconies, and intricate carvings depicting various deities and mythological scenes.
  • Cultural Insight: Learn about the unique tradition of the Living Goddess and the selection process. The Kumari is chosen from the Shakya caste of the Newar community and undergoes rigorous rituals before being enthroned.
  • Durbar Square: Explore the surrounding Kathmandu Durbar Square, which houses numerous other temples, courtyards, and historical buildings. Notable nearby attractions include the Hanuman Dhoka Palace, Taleju Temple, and the Kasthamandap.
  • Festivals: Experience the vibrant festivals and religious ceremonies where the Kumari plays a central role. The most famous is the Indra Jatra festival, during which the Kumari is paraded through the streets of Kathmandu in a chariot.

Best Time to Visit

The best time to visit Kumari Bahal and Kathmandu, in general, is during the cooler and drier months, from September to November and from March to May.

  • September to November: These months offer clear skies, mild temperatures, and the post-monsoon greenery. It is an ideal time for sightseeing and enjoying outdoor activities. The weather ranges from 15°C to 25°C (59°F to 77°F).
  • March to May: The pre-monsoon season also offers pleasant weather with temperatures ranging from 16°C to 28°C (61°F to 82°F). The blooming flowers during this time add to the beauty of the city.

Off-Peak Times

  • December to February: The winter months can be cold, with temperatures ranging from 2°C to 18°C (36°F to 64°F). However, this period sees fewer tourists, allowing for a quieter experience.
  • June to August: The monsoon season brings heavy rainfall, which can make sightseeing less enjoyable. However, the area is less crowded during this time.

Tips for Visiting

  • Respectful Behavior: Show respect for the Kumari and the traditions associated with her. Photography of the Kumari is usually not allowed, and visitors should maintain a respectful demeanor.
  • Dress Modestly: Wear modest clothing suitable for visiting a place of religious and cultural significance.
  • Local Currency: Have some local currency (Nepalese Rupees) on hand for entrance fees, donations, and purchases.
  • Entrance Fee: Be prepared to pay an entrance fee to access Kathmandu Durbar Square, which includes Kumari Bahal and other attractions.
  • Guided Tours: Consider hiring a local guide to gain deeper insights into the history, significance, and traditions associated with the Kumari and Durbar Square.
  • Photography: Photography of the Kumari is restricted, but you can take photos of the building and the surrounding Durbar Square. Always ask for permission if you're unsure.
  • Timing: Visit during the morning or late afternoon for a chance to see the Kumari when she typically makes her appearance at the window.
  • Hydration: Carry water to stay hydrated, especially if you plan to spend a significant amount of time walking around Durbar Square.

Kumari Bahal offers a unique cultural and spiritual experience, making it a must-visit destination for anyone traveling to Kathmandu. The combination of its architectural beauty, cultural significance, and the living tradition of the Kumari provides a fascinating and enriching visit

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