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New Kumari in Lalitpur

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LALITPOUR — Lalitpur has selected a new Kumari replacing Yunika Bajracharya on Monday.

A Kumari selection committee in Hakhabahal of Lalitpur has selected a five-year-old Nihira Bajracharya of Lalitpur as the new Kumari, according to Lalitpur Taleju priest Niran Rajopadhya. Kumari is regarded as the living goddess in Nepal.

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Currently Yunika Bajracharya is the Kumari of Lalitpur. And young girls from Bajracharya and Shakya clan of Newar ethnicity are selected as living goddess.

According to Kumari tradition, a young girl is held Kumari until she reaches her puberty. The current Kumari was selected four years ago.

The new Kumari will be officially instituted to the revered position on 17 February.

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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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