Devadasi is originally described a Hindu religious practice in which girls were "married" and dedicated to a deity (deva or devi). In addition to taking care of the temple and performing rituals, they learned and practiced Bharatanatyam and other classical Indian arts traditions and enjoyed a high social status. Following the demise of the great Hindu kingdoms the practice degenerated. Adherents of this movement considered devadasis immoral since they engaged in sex outside of the traditional concept of marriage, and described them as prostitutes. As a result of these social changes, devadasis were left without their traditional means of support and patronage. Colonial views on devadasis are hotly disputed by several groups and organizations in India and by western academics.
The high regard with which they were previously held has deteriorated in recent years due to their association with prostitution, and the practice has started to disappear. In modern India the tradition has becom