kumari

Young girls yet to attain puberty are dressed up as living goddesses before being worshipped as 'kumari' or virgin during the Bengali Hindu festival of Basanti Durga puja performed in the spring in Kolkata, India, Friday, April 15, 2016. Worshipping kumaris or virgins on the ninth day or navami of the festival is an important ritual when they are worshipped as the base power of all creation. The more popular form of Durga festival is performed in autumn when the Hindu mythical figure Rama is said to have called upon goddess Durga to seek her blessings to defeat the evil character Ravana. (AP Photo/ Bikas Das)

Bikas Das/AP

Young girls yet to attain puberty are dressed up as living goddesses before being worshipped as ‘kumari’ or virgin during the Bengali Hindu festival of Basanti Durga puja in Kolkata, India

Hindu girls dressed up as Kumari wait for rituals to start during Ramnavmi festival on outskirts of Kolkata

Reuters

Hindu girls dressed up as Kumari (an unmarried girl) wait for rituals to start during Ramnavmi festival at the Adyapeath Ashram on the outskirts of Kolkata on Tuesday

Young Indian Hindu's are worshipped as 'Kumari', a young  unmarried  girl, at the Adyapeath Ashram on the outskirts of  Kolkata on April 19, 2013. Kumari Puja, a  tradition of worshipping young girls as manifestations of the divine female energy, is a part of the  annual Hindu festival Ram Navami.

Dibyangshu Sarkar/AFP

Young Indian Hindus are worshipped as ‘Kumari’, young unmarried girls, at the Adyapeath Ashram on the outskirts of Calcutta on Friday. Kumari Puja, a tradition of worshipping young girls as manifestations of the divine female energy, is a part of the annual Hindu festival Ram Navami.