CONTENTS:- 1. Social Status; Temple: Socio-cultural Institutions; 2. Temple: An Economic Institution; 3. Devadasis and their Rule; 4. Royal Patronage; 5. Rituals and Practices; 6. In South India; 7. Duties and Rewards.
The female dancers and singers attached to temples are generally referred to by the term 'Devadasis', which literally means female slaves of the deity'. They are not allowed to marry any mortal man and their dedication to temple is prevailing all over India in different forms and names, such as Maharis in Kerala, Natis in Assam, Muralis in Maharashtra, Bogams in Andhra Pradesh and Jogatis or Basavis in Karnataka State, Theravardiyar in Tamil Nadu. These servants of deities were said to be expert in music and dance in medieval period. As centuries pssed, their services shifted from gods to earthly gods and lords. The women so dedicated to the deity as devadasis, usually lead a life of prostituted with a religious sanction.