In most communities around the world, goddesses are symbolic of a spiritual world. But in Nepal, these sacred females live and breathe.

Handpicked from birth, these pre-pubescent girls are known as Kumaris, which means virgin in Nepalese, and are believed to be incarnations of the Hindu Goddess of Power, Kali.

They are forced to leave their homes and are hidden away in temples as a living deity, only able to leave when they are required at festivals and processions as the subject of worship.

These Kumaris are even considered too special to walk, instead being carried in chariots, thrones and other people's arms - sometimes meaning they do not learn to walk until they retire.

And the girls are banned from going to school or taking part in day-to-day society, only appearing outside their temples up to 13 times a year.

But once they reach puberty, everything changes for these Kumaris. After menstruation starts, the girls are put through a 12-day 'Gufa' ritual, after which their life as a Kumari ends - and they return to an ordinary life that they have never known.