Published On: December 18, 2020 02:00 PM NPT By: Sangita Shrestha

Kathmandu gets its new living gods Ganesh and Bhairab

Photo: Roman Manandhar/Republica


Nepal is the land of the living goddess, Kumari, but few of us know about the existence of living gods — Ganesh and Bhairab. The living forms of Ganesh and Bhairab are worshipped only in Kathmandu though other cities, including Patan, Bungamati and Bhaktapur, also have their Kumaris.

However, there is not any legendary story behind the existence of living Lords Ganesh and Bhairab, according to Udabh Karmacharya, head priest of Taleju, Kathmandu, where the system of having these gods was created during the regime of Jaya Prakash Malla. 

Nevertheless, the myth behind the establishment of living goddess Kumari has been found before Jayaparakash Malla’s period as per Karmacharya.

Similar to the selection of Goddess Kumari, these young boys should be from the Shakya clan and their parents must be originally from Kathmandu belonging to one of the 18 bahals. Then, their purity of the lineage is ensured and their natal charts are tallied, whether they are in harmony with that of the country and the people (and formerly with the ruling king’s chart too).

Due to various circumstances, the date of changing these living gods had to be postponed which is usually done during the time of Dashain. Moreover, on Friday the existing living god Ganesh Sambeg Shakya from Pako was replaced by 4 years old Rodin Shakya from Pachain Galli. Then, on Saturday the existing living god Bhairav will also be replaced.

Unlike Kumari, these boys do not have a fixed place to stay during their tenure as living gods. So, they are allowed to live at home with their parents, go to school and play with friends. Moreover, every year during the Indra Jatra festival, they are worshipped in conjunction with the living Goddess Kumari.

Leave A Comment