By the end of the 10th century, the total number of devadasis in many temples was in direct proportion to the wealth and prestige of the temple.
They occupied a rank next only to priests and their number often reached high proportions.
These were usually young Japanese women and girls brought or captured from Japan as sexual slaves.
During the period of Company rule in India by the British East India Company in the late 18th and early 19th centuries and during the subsequent British Raj, the British military established and maintained brothels for its troops across India.
A tawaif was a highly sophisticated courtesan who catered to the nobility of India, particularly during the Mughal era.
The tawaifs excelled in and contributed to music, dance (mujra), theatre, and the Urdu literary tradition, and then emergence of modern Indian cinema.
They were licensed by military officials and were allowed to consort with soldiers only.Women and girls were recruited from poor rural Indian families and paid directly by the military.The red-light districts of cities such as Mumbai developed at this time.A devadasi had to satisfy her own soul while she danced unwatched and offered herself to the god, but the rajadasi's dance was meant to be an entertainment.The popularity of devadasis seems to have reached its pinnacle around 10th and 11th century CE.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 modified the technique and themes of the recitals.The rise and fall in the status of devadasis can be seen to be running parallel to the rise and fall of Hindu temples.The destruction of temples beginning of the second millennium CE by Muslim invaders from the northwestern borders of the country and spread through the whole of the country.In ancient India, there was a practice of the rich asking Nagarvadhu to sing and dance, noted in history as "brides of the town".Famous examples include Amrapali, state courtesan and Buddhist disciple, described in "Vaishali Ki Nagarvadhu" by Acharya Chatursen and Vasantasena, a character in the classic Sanskrit story of Mricchakatika, written in the 2nd century BC by Śūdraka.