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Bhaktapur gets new Kumari

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BHAKTAPUR — A new Ekanta Kumari, worshipped in the historic city of Bhaktapur as a living goddess, was selected on Sunday.

Jibika Bajracharya was selected to replace the former living goddess, Junisha Shakya, who retired after a two-year term on March 26. Bajracharya was appointed in the vacant position, said Taleju’s Chief Leader, Narendra Prasad Joshi.

The five-year-old Jibika from Kwache neighbourhood of Bhaktapur Municipality-11 is the daughter of Jiva Chandra Bajracharya (43) and Bimala Bajracharya (41).

On Sunday, she was recommended for the revered position to the Guthi Sansthan, Bhaktapur.

The living goddess is selected from among girls aged between two and eight from the Shakya and Bajracharya families. The girls are selected as per their auspicious birth signs and other abilities and in guardians’ consent.

As per the tradition, Bhaktapur’s Ekanta Kumari is taken to the Basantapur’s Kumari Ghar on the day of Gathasthapana of Bada Dashain festival and she stays there throughout the festival.

The Ekanta Kumari is allowed to go to school, her maternal uncle’s house and visit all the three districts within Kathmandu Valley. She receives a monthly allowance of Rs 3,150.

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Devotees throng Pashupatinath on Maha Shivaratri

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KATHMANDU — Devotees from various places of the country and neighboring India have thronged Pathupatinath Temple since early Tuesday morning to offer prayers on Maha Shivaratri.

All four doors of the temple were open at 3:15 for the devotees to pay homage to Lord Shiva, said director of the Pashupati Area Development Trust (PADT) Bhola Sitaula.

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Arrangements have been made for the devotees to enter the main temple from three doors (a door in the south of Pingalasthan, another in the west of Jayabageshwori-Bhuvaneshwori, and the third from Mitrapark-Umakunda-Basuki), he said.

The devotees are supposed to exit from the same door they have entered, said another PADT official. Approximately 1.3 million devotees are estimated on the festival this year, he said.

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