The Kumari tradition is a distinctive aspect of Nepal’s culture, where the virgin goddess is worshipped. The Kathmandu valley and surrounding areas have various virgin goddesses, with three in Kathmandu, Patan, and Bhaktapur, holding state honor.
Chanira Bajracharya was a Royal Kumari for ten years from 2057 to 2067 BS (i.e 2000 to 2010). And the first to receive formal education and pass the SLC exam, the School Leaving Certificate.
As the protector of the country, Kumari’s emotions and behavior patterns can influence the fate of Nepal and its citizens. During Bajracharya’s reign, she cried uncontrollably for four days, with her family’s efforts to comfort her being futile. On the night of 1 Jestha 2058 BS ( June 19, 2001) the nation lost its beloved King Birendra, and Bajracharya suddenly stopped crying, later saying that her work was done. The reason for her tears and laugh remains a mystery still. Chanira mentioned that she felt some strange power from within that day.
Bajracharya continues to study and promote the Kumari tradition. She now lives a simple life and works as a Senior Credit Analyst while researching, writing, and advocating for the preservation and promotion of the Kumari tradition.
All photos from Chanira Bajracharya’s collection.