The Living Goddess (A Journey into The Heart of Kathmandu)

The Living Goddess (A Journey into The Heart of Kathmandu)

Item Code: NAG102
Author: Isabella Tree
Publisher: Penguin Books India Pvt. Ltd.
Language: English
Edition: 2014
ISBN: 9780670086634
Pages: 382
Cover: Hardcover
Other Details 9.0 inch x 6.0 inch
Weight 400 gm
About The Book

In a small medieval palace on Kathamandu’s Durba Square lives Nepal’s famous Living Goddess- a child chosen from the Buddhist caste of goldsmiths whose role is to watch over the country and protect its people. Once she attains puberty, another girl takes her place. To Nepalis she is the embodiment of Devi and for centuries the kings of Nepal have sought her blessing to rule. Legends swirl about her. But the facts remain shrouded in secrecy and closely guarded by the Living Goddess’s priests and caretakers. Why are Buddhist girls worshipped by Hindu monarchs? Are the initiation rituals as macabre as they are rumoured to be? And what happens to Living Goddesses once they attain puberty? Using myth, religion, history and her unprecedented access to the priests, caretakers and former Living Goddesses, Isabella Tree takes us deep into this hidden world. Through it she draws a vivid portrait of the girl-goddess, the beliefs and practices of traditional Nepal, and ht uneasy journey it now makes towards modernity. Deeply felt and written over many years of travel and research, The Living Goddess is a profound, compelling and extremely moving book.

About The Author

Isabella Tree is a writer and journalist based in the UK. She is the author of three other non-fiction books and writes frequently for publications such as Conde Nast Traveler, the Sunday Times and the Observer. She has been travelling regularly to Nepal since the 1980s.


Part One
A Living Goddess3
The jewel of beginnings16
The newars24
Supreme Goddess35
The Glorious Ninth42
The Goddess's Yantra55
Taleju Temple62
Taleju's Flight from India69
Rashmila, ex-kumari76
Part Two
A kingdom in Mourning95
Gorakhnath's prophecy103
The way of the diamond thunderbolt107
The Royal Astrologer125
The Royal Kumari of Patan137
A King offends the Goddess154
The Royal kumari of Bhaktapur159
Part Three
An empty throne183
Living Goddesses under siege200
The living Goddess in the Supreme Court212
Sati's Yoni Falls to earth231
The Hidden Goddess239
The Circle of Bliss263
The Fall of the Shah Dynasty277
A House for the Living Goddess297
A New Era314
Notes on sources for the Mythical chapters367
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