In Nepal, there is a tradition of worshipping young pre-pubescent girls as manifestation of a Hindu goddess, Taleju. The living goddess is known as Kumari Devi. The girl is selected from the Shakya caste of the Nepalese Newari community. There are several Kumari Devis throughout Nepal, but the most important one is the Royal Kumari of Kathmandu, who is housed in the Kumari palace in the center of the city. When the Kumari experiences her first menstruation of a major loss of blood, the Goddess Taleju immediately vacates her body; and she is turned back from immortal status to an ordinary human being.

Kathmandu, Nepal, 2005

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