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For the 1999 Malayalam lm, see Devadasi (lm).

erless. As a result, devadasis were left without their traIn South India, a devadasi (Sanskrit: servant of deva ditional means of support and patronage. During colonial times, reformists worked towards outlawing the devadasi tradition on grounds that it supported prostitution.
Colonial views on devadasis are hotly disputed by several groups and organizations in India and by western
academics as the inability of the British to distinguish
them from the girls who danced in the streets for the reasons other than spiritual devotion to the deity as in socioeconomic deprivation and perusal of folk arts.[1][2][3][4]
Recently the devadasi system has started to disappear,
having been outlawed in all of India in 1988.[5]
Devadasis are also known by various other local terms,
such as jogini. Furthermore, the devadasi practice is
known as basivi in Karnataka and matangi in Maharashtra. It is also known as venkatasani, nailis, muralis and
theradiyan.There were Devadasis from iyer communities as they performed Bharatanatiyam.[6] Devadasi are
sometimes referred to as a caste; however, some question the accuracy of this usage. According to the devadasis themselves there exists a devadasi 'way of life' or
'professional ethic' (vritti, murai) but not a devadasi jti
(sub-caste). Later, the oce of devadasi became hereditary but it did not confer the right to work without adequate qualication (Amrit Srinivasan, 1985). In Europe
the term bayadere (from French: bayadre, ascending to
Portuguese: balhadeira, literally dancer) was occasionally used.[7]
A 1920s photograph of two Devadasis in Tamil Nadu, South India

1 History

(god) or devi (goddess) ) is a girl dedicated to worship and service of a deity or a temple for the rest of
her life. The dedication takes place in a Pottukattu ceremony which is similar in some ways to marriage. Originally, in addition to taking care of the temple and performing rituals, these women learned and practiced Sadir
(Bharatanatya), Odissi and other classical Indian artistic
traditions and enjoyed a high social status as dance and
music were essential part of temple worship.

According to rules concerning temple worship (Agamas),

dance and music are necessary ingredients of daily puja
of deities in temples.

1.1 Ancient and medieval history

The rst reference to dancing girls in temples is found
in Kalidasa's Meghadhoot. It is said that dancing girls
were present at the time of worship in the Mahakal Temple of Ujjain. Some scholars are of the opinion that
probably the custom of dedicating girls to temples became quite common in the 6th century CE, as most of
the Puranas containing reference to it have been written during this period. Several Puranas recommended
that arrangements should be made to enlist the services
of singing girls for worship at temples.

Traditionally devadasis had a high status in society. After

marrying wealthy patrons, they spent their time honing
their skills instead of becoming a housewife. They had
children from their husbands who were also taught their
skills of music or dance. Often their patrons had another
wife who served them as housewife.
During British rule in the Indian subcontinent, kings who
were the patrons of temples and temple arts became pow1

By the end of 10th century, the total number of devadasis in many temples was in direct proportion to the wealth
and prestige of the temple. During the medieval period,
they were regarded as a part of the normal establishment
of temples; they occupied a rank next only to priests and
their number often reached high proportions. For example, there were 400 devadasis attached to the temples at
Tanjore and Travancore.
Local kings often invited temple dancers to dance in their
courts, the occurrence of which created a new category
of dancers, rajadasis, and modied the technique and
themes of the recitals. A devadasi had to satisfy her own
soul while she danced unwatched and oered herself to
the god, but the rajadasis dance was meant to be an entertainment.
The popularity of devadasis seems to have reached its pinnacle around 10th and 11th century CE. The rise and fall
in the status of devadasis can be seen to be running parallel to the rise and fall of Hindu temples. Invaders from
West Asia attained their rst victory in India at the beginning of the second millennium CE. The destruction of
temples by invaders started from the northwestern borders of the country and spread through the whole of the
country. Thereafter the status of the temples fell very
quickly in North India and slowly in South India. As
the temples became poorer and lost their patron kings,
and in some cases were destroyed, the devadasis were
forced into a life of poverty, misery, and, in many cases,
Many scholars maintain that the devadasi system is not
described in the holy scriptures of Hinduism as the scriptures do not refer to any form of sacred prostitution or
temple girls.[8] Whether the devadasi girls engaged in sexual services is debated, however, as temple visitors touching or speaking to the girls was considered an oence.[8]


Chola princess Kuntavai a thousand years ago.[9]

As the Chola empire expanded in wealth and size, they
built more temples throughout their country. Soon other
emperors started imitating the Chola empire and developed the system.

1.2 Natavalollu
Natavalollu A community of Karnataka living in Andhra
Pradesh, the Natavalollu are also known as Nattuvaru,
Banajiga Natavollu, Bogam, Bhogam, Bogam Balija or
Balijas at the census, 1901, were:
Jakkulas, among whom it was, at Tenali in the Kistna district, formerly customary for each family to give up one
girl for prostitution. Under the inuence of social reform,
a written agreement was a few years ago entered into to
give up the practice.
dappa. Female attendants on the ladies of the families
of Zamindars, who, as they are not allowed to marry, lead
a life of prostitution. Their sons call themselves Balijas.
In some places, e.g., the Kistna and Godvari districts,
this class is known as Khasa or Khasavandlu.[11]
Sri Raja Venugopala Krishna Yachendralu Garu, unmarried, but had issue, two illegitimate sons by
Saraswathamma, a dasi of the Balija community (#4). He
died spl 20 June 1920[12]
Natavalollu /Kalawant A community of Andhra Pradesh,
they are also referred to as Devadasi, Bogamvallu,
Ganikulu and Sani and are distributed throughout the
state. Kalavantulu means one who is engaged in art[13]
1.2.1 Mahari Devadasi of Odisha

Devadasis in South India and the Chola em- Unlike in other parts of India, in the eastern state of
Odisha the devadasis, also known colloquially as Mapire (Devar Adigalar)
hari(s)of the Jagannath temple complex, have never pracThe Chola empire encouraged the devadasi system, In ticed prostitution, and have been expected to remain celiTamil they are known as Devar Adigalar, (Deva being bate from the time they became devadasis. However,they
Sanskrit for God and Adigalar Servants, i.e. Gods did have relationships and children, so this practice was
Servant). Both male and female Devadasi were dedi- obviously not strictly adhered to. It is said that the daughcated to the service of a temple and its god. They de- ters of the Maharis of the Jagannath temple took to
veloped the system of music and dance employed during other professions such as nursing in the mid 20th century,because of the stigma attached to their inherent protemple festivals.
fession, which does suggest prostitution. Devadasi is a
Inscriptions reveal that 400 dancers, along with their name given to a group of women who danced in the temgurus and orchestras, were maintained by the Bri- ple premises. The word devadasi or mahari means those
hadeesvarar temple, Thanjavur, with municent grants, great women who can control natural human impulses,
including the daily disbursement of oil, turmeric, betel their ve senses and can submit themselves completely
leaves and nuts.[9]
to God (Vachaspati). Mahari means Mohan Nari that
Nattuvanars were the male accompanists of the devadasi is, the woman belonging to God. Sri Chaitanayadev had
during her performance. They conducted the music or- dened devadasis as 'Sebaets who served God through
chestra while the devadasi performed her service. In- dance and music. Pankaj Charan Das, the oldest Guru of
scriptions reveal that nattuvanars were used to teach the Odissi classical dance, who comes from a Mahari family,


Colonial era

explains Mahari as Maha Ripu -Ari (one who conquers an appeal was made to the viceroy and governor general
the ve main ripus - enemies ).[14]
of India and to the governor of Madras. This appeal also
The Orissa Gazette of 1956 lists nine devadasis and denes the position of the anti-nautch movement (Jogan
eleven temple musicians. By 1980, only four devada- Shankar, 1990).
sis were left Harapriya, Kokilprabha, Parashmani and
Shashimani. By 1998, Only Shashimani and Parashmani
were alive. The daily ritualistic dance had stopped long
ago. This twosome served in a few of the yearly temple
rituals like Nabakalebar, Nanda Utsav and Duar Paka
during Bahuda Jatra.[14]

For the reform lobbyists Hindu reformists, doctors,

journalists, administrators and social workers it was
precisely these features of the devadasi institution which
were reprehensible in the utmost. The portrayal of the
devadasi system as prostitution sought to advertise the
grotesqueness of the subject population for political ends,
The last devadasis, Shasshimani, died on 19 March 2015, while the British colonial authorities ocially maintained
most brothels in India. For those who supported imperiat the age of 92.[15]
alism on the grounds of its civilizing function, programs
of reform had ideological rewards.
1.2.2 Yellamma cult of Karnataka in South India
Due to the devadasi being equated to prostitutes, they also
became associated with the spreading of venereal disease
In the state of Karnataka in the region of South India the in India. During the British Colonial period, many British
devadasi system was followed for over 10 centuries. Chief soldiers were exposed to venereal disease in the various
among them was the Yellamma cult.[16]
brothels being operated at that time. As such, devadaThere are many stories about the origin of the Yellamma sis were understood to be responsible for this. In eorts
cult. The most prevalent one says that Renuka was the to control the spread of venereal disease, the British Govdaughter of a Brahmin, married to sage Jamadagni and ernment mandated that all prostitutes register themselves,
was the mother of ve sons. She used to bring water from with devadasis being forced to do this as well, as they
the river Malaprabha for the sages worship and rituals. were thought to be prostitutes by the British Government.
One day while she was at the river, she saw a group of In addition to obligatory registration, the British Governyouths engaged themselves in water sports and forgot to ment also established institutions known as Lock Hospireturn home in time which made Jamadagni to suspect tals, where women were brought in order to be treated for
her chastity. He ordered his sons one by one to punish venereal diseases. However, many of the women admittheir mother but four of them refused on one pretext or ted to these hospitals, including many devadasi women,
the other. The sage cursed them to become eunuchs and were identied through the registry and then brought to
got her beheaded by his fth son, Parashuram. To ev- the hospitals against their will, with a number of these
erybodys astonishment, Renukas head multiplied by tens women never seen again by their families.
and hundreds and moved to dierent regions. This mira- Some journals and newspapers like The Indian Social Recle made her four eunuch sons and others to become her former and Lahore Purity Servant supported the reformist
followers, and worship her head.[17]
or abolitionist movement. The movement initially concentrated on building public opinion and enlisting members to refuse to attend Nautch parties as well as to refuse
1.3 Colonial era
to invite devadasis to festivities at their homes. Around
1899, the anti-Nautch and puritan movement turned its
Toward the end of the 19th century, there was a spurt attention to stopping dedications. The anti-Nautch moveof social movements in India. Nationalism and search ment paved the way for anti-dedication movement.
for national identity led to social movements relating to
devadasis. These movements can be classied into two The social reform movements, spearheaded by Ram Mohan Roy, Periyar, Muthulakshmi Reddy, S. Muthiah Mucategories: Reformists/Abolitionists and Revivalists.
daliar, Sir C. P. Ramaswami Iyer, M. Krishnan Nair, C.
N. Annadurai, Karunanidhi, Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar,
1.3.1 Reformists and abolitionists
Govind Ranade, Dhondo Keshav Karve, and other prominent social thinkers, questioned the practice of devadasi
Reformists and abolitionists face the devadasi as a social system and pleaded for its abolition.
evil, Devadasi to be prostitutes. The rst anti-Nautch and
anti-dedication movement was launched in 1882. Their
main aim was to do away with this system. Reform lob- 1.3.2 Revivalists
byists were drawn mainly from Social reformers, doctors,
journalists and social workers. They urged the abolition The Hindu revival movement consciously stepped outof all ceremonies and procedures by which girls dedicated side the requirements of state electoral politics and westthemselves as Devadasis of Hindu shrines. They orga- ern scientic traditions. The movement received strong
nized seminars and conferences to create a public opin- support from the Theosophical Society of India, whose
ion against the Devadasi system. In the later part of 1892 anti-ocial stance and strong interest in Indian home rule


bound them with the revival of dance and music.

Pioneers like Madam H.P. Blavatsky and Colonel H.S.
Olcott, the founders of the Theosophical movement, had
undertaken an extensive tour of South India and propagated the revival of devadasi institutions and the associated art of sadir. They gained support from some sections of the native elite by their public denouncement of
western Christian morality and materialism. In 1882, the
Theosophical Society of India had set up its headquarters
in Adyar, Chennai with the set goal of working towards
the restoration of Indias ancient glory in art, science, and
The support later given to a revival of sadir as Bharatnatyam by the Theosophical Society was largely due
to the eorts of Rukmini Devi Arundale, an eminent
theosophist, and E. Krishna Iyer. Arundale, trained in
ballet, sought to reappropriate the devadasi dance traditions and bring them into a context which could be perceived as respectable. She did this by changing the dance
repertoire to exclude pieces perceived as erotic in their
description of a deity. She also systematized the dance
in a way that incorporated the extension and use of space
associated with dance traditions such as ballet. The product of this transformation was Bharatnatyam, which she
then began to teach professionally at a school she established in Madras called Kalakshetra. Bharatnatyam
is commonly propagated as a very ancient dance tradition associated with the Natyasastra. However, in reality,
Bharatnatyam as it is performed and known today is a
product of Arundales endeavour to remove the devadasi
dance tradition from the perceived immoral context of
the devadasi community and bring it into the upper caste
performance milieu.[19]

This act pertained to the Bombay province as it existed

in the British Raj. The Bombay Devadasi Protection Act
made dedication of women illegal, whether consensual
or not. According to this act, marriage by a devadasi was
to be considered lawful and valid, and the children from
such wedlock were to be treated as legitimate. The Act
also laid down grounds for punitive action that could be
taken against any person or persons found to be involved
in dedications, except the woman who was being dedicated. Those found guilty of such acts could face a years
imprisonment, a ne, or both. The 1934 Act also provided rules, which were aimed at protecting the interests
of the devadasis. Whenever there was a dispute over ownership of land involving a devadasi, the local Collector
was expected to intervene.
In 1947, the year of independence, the Madras Devadasi
(Prevention of Dedication) Act outlawed dedication in the
southern Madras Presidency.
The devadasi system was outlawed in all of India in 1988,
yet some devadasis still practice illegally.[6]

2 Devadasi practices
The devadasi practices have changed considerably over
the last centuries.

2.1 Dedication process

From the late medieval period until 1910, the Pottukattu
or tali-tying dedication ceremony, was a widely advertised community event requiring the full cooperation of
the local religious authorities. It initiates a young girl into
the devadasi profession and is performed in the temple
by the priest. In the Brahminical tradition marriage is
viewed as the only religious initiation (diksha) permissible to women. Thus the dedication is a symbolic marriage of the pubescent girl to the temples deity.

The Theosophical Society Adyar provided the necessary

funds and organization to back Arundale as the champion for Indias renaissance in the arts, especially Bharatnatyam. The revivalists tried to present the idealistic view
of the institution of devadasi. According to their view,
it was the model of the ancient temple dancer as pure,
sacred, and chaste women, as they were originally.
In the sadanku or puberty ceremonies, the devadasiThey stressed that the dance of devadasi was a form of initiate begins her marriage with an emblem of the god
"natya yoga" to enhance an individuals spiritual plane. borrowed from the temple as a stand-in 'bridegroom'.
The revivalists wanted to preserve the traditional form From then onward, the devadasi is considered a nitya
of sadir dance by purifying it. As a consequence of pu- sumangali: a woman eternally free from the adversity of
rication, some modications were introduced into the widowhood.
content of the dance, which was strongly criticized by
dancer Balasaraswati and other prominent representatives
of the traditional devadasi culture. The revivalists mostly
belonged to Brahmin dominated Theosophical circles.
Many Brahmin girls started to learn the dance from devadasis.

She would then perform her ritual and artistic duties in

the temple. The puberty ceremonies were an occasion not
only for temple honor, but also for community feasting
and celebration in which the local elites also participated.
The music and dance and public display of the girl also
helped to attract patrons.


2.2 Odisha

Legislative initiatives

The rst legal initiative to outlaw the devadasi system The Orissa Gazette of 1956 mentions some occasions
dates back to the 1934 Bombay Devadasi Protection Act. where the devadasis danced. They had two daily rituals.

The Bahar Gaaunis would dance at the Sakaala Dhupa.
Lord Jagannath, after breakfast, would give Darshan to
the bhaktas (the devotees). In the Main hall, a devadasi
accompanied by musicians and the Rajguru, the court
guru, would dance, standing near the Garuda sthambha
(pillar). This dance could be watched by the audience.
They would perform only pure dance here. The Bhitar
Gaunis would sing at the Badashringhar, the main ceremony for ornamenting and dressing the God. Lord Jagannath, at bedtime, would be rst served by male Sebaetsthey would fan Him and decorate Him with owers. After they would leave, a Bhitar Gaauni would then enter
the room, stand near the door (Jaya Vijay) and sing Gita
Govinda songs, and perhaps perform a ritualistic dance.
After a while, she would come out and announce that the
Lord has gone to sleep and then the guard would close the
main gate.


Kerala, who performed similar duties, for example, have

enjoyed good social status.
Furthermore, a devadasi was believed to be immune
from widowhood and was called akhanda saubhagyavati
(woman never separated from good fortune). Since she
was wedded to a divine deity, she was supposed to be one
of the especially welcome guests at weddings and was regarded as a bearer of good fortune. At weddings, people
would receive a string of the tali (wedding lock) prepared
by her, threaded with a few beads from her own necklace.
The presence of a devadasi on any religious occasion in
the house of an upper caste member was regarded as sacred and she was treated with due respect and was presented with gifts.

4 Contemporary statistical data

In Karnataka

Indias National Commission for Women, which is mandated to protect and promote the welfare of women, has
collected information on the prevalence of devadasis in
2.3.1 Life after dedication
various states. The government of Odisha has stated that
A devadasis life after dedication was obviously very dif- the devadasi system is not prevalent in the state. There is
only one Devadasi in Odisha, in a Puri temple. Similarly
ferent centuries ago. Nowadays
the government of Tamil Nadu wrote that this system has
been eradicated and there are now no devadasis in the
After dedication of a girl to the temple, she
state. Andhra Pradesh has identied 16,624 devadasis
has to take bath every day early in the morning
within its state and Karnataka has identied 22,941. The
and should present herself at the temple durgovernment of Maharashtra did not provide the informaing morning worship of Yellamma. She is not
tion as sought by the Commission. However, the state
allowed to enter the sanctum sanctorum. But
government provided statistical data regarding the survey
she will bow to the deity from outside. Thereconducted by them to sanction a Devadasi Maintenance
after she sweeps compound of the temple. EvAllowance. A total of 8,793 applications were received
ery Tuesday and Friday she goes for yoga along
and after conducting a survey 6,314 were rejected and
with senior jogatis (yoga teachers). During this
2,479 devadasis were declared eligible for the allowance.
period she learns innumerable songs in praise
At the time of sending the information, 1,432 Devadasis
of Yellamma and her son Parashurama. If
were receiving this allowance.
she shows some aptitude to learn playing inAccording to a study by the Joint Womens Programme
struments she will be given training by her elof the Bangalore for National Commission for Women,
der jogatis. In Yellampura and other villages
girls who have to accept becoming a devadasi, few reaDevadasis do not dance but this is performed
sons were provided, which included dumbness, deafness,
by eunuch companions. The main functions
poverty, and others.[8] The life expectancy of devadasi
of Devadasis would be singing and playing
girls is low compared to the average of the country, it is
stringed musical instruments and Jagate. They
rare to nd devadasis older than fty.[8]
form a small group and go for joga, from house
to house on every Tuesday and Friday (Jogan
Shankar, 1990).

5 In Popular Culture

Social status

In 1984, TS Ranga made a Hindi lm, Giddh based on

the theme of exploitation of young girls in the name of
Traditionally, no stigma was attached to the devadasi or to the Devadasi tradition with the lms story set in a village
It starred
her children, and other members of their caste received on the border of Maharashtra and Karnataka.
them on terms of equality. The children of a devadasi
were considered legitimate and devadasis themselves In 1987, another Hindi movie Mahananda produced and
were outwardly indistinguishable from married women of directed by Mohan Kavia, portrays life of a Devadasi in
their own community. Chakyar-s and Nangyaramma-s of a coastal village in Maharashtra.[21]


See also
Sacred prostitution
Child prostitution

[15] Barry, Ellen (March 23, 2015). Sashimani Devi, Last of

Indias Jagannath Temple Dancers, Dies at 92. The New
York Times. The New York Times. Retrieved April 9,


[16] Yellamma Cult


[17] Yellamma Slaves

Shamakhi dancers
Gomantak Maratha Samaj
Chakyar-s and Nangyaramma-s of Kerala
Kanjirottu Yakshi

[14] Mahari of Odisha


[1] Crooke, W., Prostitution?, Encyclopaedia of Religion and

Ethics, Vol. X, Eds., James Hastings and Clark Edinburg,
Second Impression, 1930.
[2] Iyer, L.A.K, Devadasis in South India: Their Traditional
Origin And Development, Man in India, Vol.7, No. 47,
[3] V.Jayaram. Hinduism and prostitution. Retrieved 2013-04-28.
[4] Donors, Devotees, and Daughters of God: Temple
Women in Medieval Tamil Nadu Leslie C. Orre
[5] Devadasi.(2007). In Encyclopdia Britannica. Retrieved
4 July 2007, from Encyclopdia Britannica
[6] devadasi, at The Skeptics Dictionary
[7] Bayadre. Oxford English Dictionary. Retrieved 1 February 2008 from Oxford English Dictionary.
[9] Archived 13 October 2007 at the Wayback Machine.

[18] Soneji, Davesh (2012). Unnished Gestures: Devadasis,

Memory and Modernity in South India. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. p. 112. ISBN 978-0-226-76809-0.
[19] Soneji, Davesh (2010). Bharatnatyam: A reader. India:
Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-808377-1.
[20] Giddh - The Vultures. Alternate Movies. Retrieved 11
July 2015.

8 Further reading
Altekar, A.S., The Position of Women in Hindu Civilization, Benaras: Motilal Banarasi Das, 1956.
Amrit Srinivasan, Reform and Revival: The Devadasi and Her Dance, Economic and Political
Weekly, Vol. XX, No. 44, 2 November 1985, pp.
Artal R.O., Basavis in Peninsular India, Journal of
Anthropological Society of Bombay, Vol. IX, No. 2,
Asha Ramesh, Impact of Legislative Prohibition of
the Devadasi Practice in Karnataka: A Study, (Carried out under nancial assistance from NORAD),
May 1993.
Banerjee, G.R., Sex Delinquent Women and Their
Rehabilitation, Bombay: Tata Institute of Social Sciences, 1953.
Basham, A.L., The Wonder That Was India, New
York: Grove Press, 1954.

Chakrabothy, K. (2000). Women as Devadasis: Ori=jHQMAQAAMAAJ&q=NATAVALOLLU&
gin and Growth of the Devadasi Profession. Delhi,
0ahUKEwig5r-DuMbLAhWD7D4KHWdaAMIQ6wEIDzAA Deep & Deep Publications.

Chakrapani, C, Jogin System: A Study in Religion

and Society, Man in Asia, Vol. IV, No. II, 1991.


Crooke Williams, The Popular Religion and Folklore

of Northern India, (Third Reprint), Delhi: Munshiram Manoharlal, 1968.

Crooke, W., Prostitution, Encyclopaedia of Relig9MVAQAAMAAJ&q=Kalavanthulu&
gion and Ethics, Vol. X, Eds., James Hastings and
0ahUKEwjO6dSJo8fLAhUCQT4KHaIACcE4FBDrAQgQMAEClark Edinburg, Second Impression, 1930.

Desai Neera, Women in India, Bombay: Vora Publishers, 1957.
Dubois Abbe J.A and Beachampes H.K., Hindu
Manners, Customs and Ceremonies, Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1928
Dumont Louis, Religion, Politics and History in India, The Hague, Mouton and Co., 1970
Dumont Louis, Homo Hierarchius: The Caste System and Its Implications, Chicago: The University
of Chicago Press, 1972.

Jordan, K. (2003). From Sacred Servant to Profane

Prostitute; A history of the changing legal status of
the Devadasis in India 1857-1947. Delhi, Manohar.
Oxford, 1975.
Kadetotad, N.K., Religion and Society among the
Harijans of Yellammana Jogatiyaru Hagu Devadasi
Paddati (Jogati of Yellamma and Devadasi Custom), Dharwad, Karnatak University Press (Kannada), 1983.
Kala Rani, Role Conict in Working Women, New
Delhi: Chetna Publishers, 1976.

Durrani, K.S., Religion and Society, New Delhi: Uppal, 1983.

Karkhanis, G.G., Devadasi: A Burning Problem of

Karnataka, Bijapur: Radha Printing Works, 1959.

Fuller Marcus B., The Wrongs of Indian Womanhood, Edinburgh: Oliphant Anderson and Ferrier,

Levine, P. (2000). Orientalist Sociology and the

Creation of Colonial Sexualities. Feminist Review
65(17): Pages: 5 - 21.

Goswami, Kali Prasad., Devads: dancing damsel,

APH Publishing, 2000.

Marglin, F.A., Wives of The God-king: Rituals of

Devadasi of Puri, Delhi: Oxford University Press,

Gough Kathleen, Female Initiation Rites on the

Malabar Coast, Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute, No. 85, 1952.
Gupta Giri Raj, Religion in Modern India, New
Delhi: Vikas Publishing House, 1983.
Heggade Odeyar D., A Socio-economic strategy
for Rehabilitating Devadasis, Social Welfare, FebMar 1983.
Iyer, L.A.K, Devadasis in South India: Their Traditional Origin And Development, Man in India,
Vol.7, No. 47, 1927.
Jain Devki, Womens Quest for Power, New Delhi:
Vikas Publishing House, 1980.
Jogan Shankar, Devadasi Cult A Sociological Analysis (Second Revised Edition), New Delhi: Ashish
Publishing House, 1994.
JOINT WOMENS PROGRAMME, Regional Centre, Bangalore, An Exploratory Study on Devadasi Rehabilitation Programme Initiated by Karnataka State Womens Development Corporation
and SC/ST Corporation, Government of Karnataka
in Northern Districts of Karnataka, Report Submitted to National Commission for Women, New
Delhi, 2001-02 (year not mentioned in the report).
JONAKI (The Glow Worm), Devadasi System:
Prostitution with Religious Sanction, Indrani Sinha
(Chief Editor), Calcutta, Vol.2 No.1 1998.
Jordens, J.T.F., Hindu Religions and Social Reform
in British India, A Cultural History of India, Ed.
A.L. Basham, Clarendon Press,

Mies, M. (1980). Indian Women and Patriarchy.

Delhi, Concept Publishers.
Mies, M. (1986). Patriarchy and Accumulation on
a World Scale: Women in the International Division
of Labor. London, Zed Books Ltd.
Mukherjee, A.B., Female Participation in India:
Patterns & Associations, Tiydschrift: Voor Econ,
Geograe, 1972.
Ostor Akos, Culture and Power, New Delhi: Sage
Publications, 1971.
Patil, B.R., The Devadasis, in The Indian Journal
of Social Work, Vol. XXXV, No. 4, January 1975,
pp. 37789
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Tarachand K.C., Devadasi Custom Rural Social
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S. Chand & Co., 1974.
Vasant Rajas, Devadasi: Shodh Ani Bodh (Marathi),
Pune: Sugawa Prakashan, July 1997.
Vijaya Kumar, S & Chakrapani, c 1993, Joginism: A
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External links
Devadasis - Sinned or Sinned Against? by Anil
Given to Goddess - Article on the Yellama Cult of
India, 31, July, 2000
Slaves to the goddess of fertility by Damian Grammaticas - BBC News, 8 June 2007 in which its
claimed that devadasis are 'sanctied prostitutes.
Serving the Goddess, The dangerous life of a sacred
sex worker by William Dalrymple. The New Yorker,
4 August 2008
Devadasi video Mystery - Article about 1930 video
capture at Baroda
Devadasi System In India: How Religion Sanctions
This Tradition



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