Kumari Puja: When a Girl becomes a Goddess

On the Ashtami or the eighth day of Navratri, Kumari Puja takes place in honor of Durga. The Kumari Puja has different forms. Generally speaking, the chosen girl sits on the throne reserved for the deity. She dresses in a red Chunri.

The Feast of Veneralia was a celebration of the ancient Romans. The feast took place in honor of the goddess Venus, the so-called. This ritual symbolized the request of women to seek help for their love life. The women of the upper social classes honored Venus. The ritual bath consisted of bathing the goddess, followed by a collective bath. The participants of the rite washed in the shadow of a myrtle, a sacred plant of the goddess Venus.

Women of the lower social classes performed rituals in honor of Fortuna Virilis. The women took the jewelry from the statue of Fortuna Virilis. They washed it, and then presented it to the statue and decorated it with flowers. The cleansing of the statue was, as it were, a purification of last year's sins. The women also drank a drink of milk, honey and poppy in memory of the marriage of Venus.

In India, there are traces of a cult of the virgin worship since medieval ages. The Kumari Puja takes place for a day, which usually lasts a couple of hours. One of the most notable and famous Kumari Puja is at Belur Math near Kolkata.


On the morning of the Ashtami or sometimes on a ninth day of Durga Puja, the girl wash in the river. She dresses in a red Banarasi saree. She is then adorned with flowers, jewels and a red bindi on the forehead. The Kumari fasts throughout the day until the ceremony is over. She sits on a decorated chair in front of the goddess with a flower in her hands.

With the sound of dhak filling the air, the priest then begins to recite his prayers. Throughout the ceremony, people consider that Durga comes and resides in the Kumari. People consider it propitious to gift gold, silver, and clothing to the Kumari. After the ceremony, the Kumari drinks sweet water with which she breaks fast.

After the age of sixteen, a girl can no longer access the rituals. Kumari is the Sanskrit form of virgin adolescents. For the ceremony, the chosen Kumari must have the perfect hair, eyes, teeth, and skin with no scars. The child must meet very specific characteristics and must have the 32 perfections.



The criteria for selection are difficult to interpret. In fact, it requires that she has no physical defects, she is beautiful, she has no blood loss, and has no injury or scars. But the most important tests of character type, in fact, is that the Kumari should not cry. She should not show herself disinterested or restless, nor must move during the rites.

To assess the strength of character there is one last ordeal. The young candidates have to sleep in a dark room among the heads of goats and buffaloes. Masked men as demons that try to scare them. The child who resists is definitely the Goddess. The priests proceed with a series of secret rituals to cleanse her body and her spirit.

She enters the temples to her new home, where she will stay for the whole period till Dashain or Dussehra.

The celebration brings together believers from around the country. They pay homage and get infused with positive energy and good luck from the virgin girl. The Kumari Puja takes place during the Durga Puja in Bengal. It also takes place in Hanuman Dhoka Durbar Square in Kathmandu.

The Kumari Puja is also a ceremony which also includes the deflowering of chosen few virgins. The ceremony takes place at Kanya Kumari in a temple of Cape Comorin in southern India. The expression Veshya Kumarika means virgin prostitutes. It is a title given to women who take part in the Kula ritual.

Among these are the women who undress and joins at first with the priest. She celebrates the rite and receives the male seed of a worshiper who kisses her yoni and her forehead.