Julie McCarthy

Last month's earthquake brought much of Kathmandu's historic Durbar Square, a World Heritage Site, tumbling to the ground. Nepal's showcase temples and palaces were reduced to ruins. But save for a few cracks, the home of the city's Living Goddess remained intact.

Largely unknown to the outside world, Nepal's centuries-old institution of the child deity, the Kumari Devi, is deeply embedded in the culture of Kathmandu Valley. Young, beautiful and decorous, even a glimpse of her is believed to bring good fortune.

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Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Driving east out of Kathmandu, the road turns north and coils toward the Chinese border, up past the treeline, with breathtaking views of the indelible, snow-capped peaks of the Langtang Mountain Range. The valley fans out below, carpeted with ancient terraces.

It's a singular Nepali panorama. But alongside it another more sobering scene unfolds on the landscape.

Blue-uniformed police do the heavy lifting in Dubar square in the city of Patan, one of Nepal's oldest. Moving wooden beams and stacking broken bricks, they sift through ruined monuments, some of which date back four centuries and more.

He carried his 70-year-old mother on his back for five hours.

Then he traveled with her by bus for 12 more.

She suffered a severe head injury when the earthquake rumbled through her village of Thumi. He was trying to get her to a hospital in the Gorkha district in northern-central Nepal.

The apparent suicide of a farmer at a rally in central Delhi has turned into a political mud-slinging contest.

Gajendra Singh, reportedly in his 40s, was found hanging from a tree during a rally in New Delhi earlier this week. His death has quickly become a powerful symbol for disaffected and destitute farmers who oppose a government push to loosen restrictions on industrial acquisition of farmland.

"I have no one. I've lost everything. My children are gone, my parents are gone. My husband's family doesn't ask about me. They don't even look for me, they don't even know if I eat," says Manu Ghosh, 85.

That's her above, seen before and after the Hindu festival of Holi at her ashram in northern India.

The chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Rajendra K. Pachauri, stepped down Tuesday amid allegations of sexual misconduct that have engulfed the celebrated Indian economist and engineer.

Pachauri is one of the world's top climate change officials. His departure from the IPCC is a huge embarrassment for the group, which was awarded the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize along with former U.S. Vice President Al Gore for their role in galvanizing international action against climate change.

India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi is noted for making bold statements — both in policy and fashion. When Modi sported a suit with pinstripes that spelled out his name in tiny gold lettering, his critics called it the height of vanity.

But the controversial suit raised more than eyebrows: It sold at auction today for nearly $695,000.

The "selfie" suit was debuted when Modi wore it to a bilateral meeting with President Obama during his visit to India last month.

Not even the most starry-eyed optimists of India's upstart Aam Aadmi [Common Man] Party dared predict they would pierce the armor of Prime Minister Narendra's Modi political invincibility as convincingly as they did today.

The party won a 95 percent landslide, capturing 67 out of 70 seats in the local assembly election in Delhi to decide who will govern the Indian capital.

The subject of religious intolerance is emerging as an irritant in U.S.-India relations.

Senior Indian government officials pounced on remarks by President Barack Obama at the National Prayer Breakfast in Washington on Thursday. Referencing India, he evoked religious discrimination.

He said: "In past years, religious faiths of all types have, on occasion, been targeted by other peoples of faith, simply due to their heritage and their beliefs— acts that would have shocked Gandhi-ji," meaning Mahatma Gandhi.

Pope Francis gave majority Buddhist Sri Lanka its first Catholic saint today during a seaside ceremony before thousands of people who packed the oceanfront of the capital, Colombo.

Francis is in Asia on a six-day tour intended to build the Roman Catholic Church's following on a continent that holds 60 percent of the world's population but only 12 percent of Catholics.

As church bells rang, the pope canonized Joseph Vaz, a priest who worked against the persecution of Catholics by the island's 17th-century Protestant Dutch rulers.

Heart surgery is a spectacle to behold. Even more so to see it on a mass scale, which is what happens at the Narayana Health, a state-of-the-art medical center in the southern Indian city of Bangalore.

I am invited to scrub up and witness renowned surgeon Dr. Devi Shetty at work. The operating room is a symphony of all things medical: monitors beeping out a metronome-like rhythm, forceps and scissors clanging onto metal tables, a heart-lung machine gurgling as it does the work of the patient's stopped heart, and, curiously, pop music drifting though the room.

In India, the law has caught up with one of the country's most powerful political figures. A court has sentenced the popular J. Jayalalithaa, chief minister of the Indian state of Tamil Nadu, to four years in prison and a record $1.5 million fine.

Her crime: accumulating vast wealth for which the 66-year-old veteran politician could not account.

It is India's highest-profile corruption case addressing illegally amassed wealth; the ruling has stunned an Indian political class that is widely seen as permeated with graft.

Saying his country is prepared to resume peace talks with Pakistan, India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi told the U.N. General Assembly Saturday that the discussion must take place "without the shadow of terrorism."

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