Kumari Dance And The Myth Behind the Living Goddess

The Kumari dance is one of the most ancient classical dances of the great Himalayan country Nepal. During the famous “Indra Jatra: festive in Kathmandu, the living goddess Kumari decorated with splendid ornaments and been taken around the old Kathmandu in a chariot. And thousands of devotees pay homage to her.

Living Goddess Kumari
Living Goddess Kumari

According to chronological evidence, King Gunakama Dev established Kantipur i.e. Kathmandu City nearly one thousand year ago. During the reign of King Amar Malla, a religious dance-drama of “Swetakali Nritya” was performed every twelve years in different localities of the Kathmandu Valley. The story of the ballet is based on the dance-drama of Swetakali, the white robed goddess of Naradevi tole of Kathmandu while its music is derived from varios classical and popular folk songs of Nepal. In ancient time when matriarchy was prevalent in Kathmandu, the city was protected seven mother goddesses called Swetakali, Raktakali, Bhadrakali, Kankeswari, etc. The temples of these goddesses where located along the border of city and they are represented as kahadga or sacred sword.

Once during that time, when the demons suddenly attacked the city and destroyed the lives and properties of the peoples. The goddesses, unable to fight them off, had to flee and hide themselves. The ballet begins here while searching for the goddesses, the king of demons Chandrasur also known as Mayurasur comes to a garden where he finds the daughter of Swetakali was busy decorating herself. They exchanged glances and falls in love with each other. When the mother goddesses know about their love and relationship, they become furious and reprimand the daughter. After discussions, they made a plan to use the daughter to kill Chandrasur. They show the daughter the pain and havoc caused by Chandrasur; she decides to follow her mother’s advice. Finally stabs her lover to death while he is dancing with her in ecstasy.

The entire country rejoices at the victory. Then the daughter of Swetakali makes her love immortal by deciding to remain unmarried for life and thus becomes the goddess “Kumari”. It is the myth behind the tradition of Kumari, the living Goddess of Kathmandu.

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