Kumari are young girls in Nepal worshipped as deities by both Hindu’s and Buddhists. Sometimes chosen as young as two years old, the children, who are always from a Buddhist family, are said to be the reincarnation of the Hindu goddess Durga.
There are 11 Kumari in the Kathmandu Valley with the most important being the Royal Kathmandu Kumari, followed by Patan Kumari. These Kumari leave their homes only during religious festivals and live much more restricted lives than the other Kumari who are able to lead relatively normal lives, attending public school and playing outdoors with friends.
It is said Durga leaves the Kumari’s body when they reach puberty and the young girls are returned to normal life.