• Research/Scholar Paper name – Devadasi System – A social evil
  • Author: Shalini Budimata
  • Institution: ISBR Law College, Bangalore, Karnataka State Law University
  • Affiliation: Centre for Study of Contemporary Legal Issues
  • Date of Publication: 11/07/2021


In the 6th century AD, a traditional system was started called devadasis in India, devadasi means Temple slave. The Devadasi system is followed by a certain group of people in India. This practice has been a part of some Hindu societies for centuries. The ancient tradition of dedicating young girls to the God or deity  Yallamma. In the state of Karnataka these rituals happen in the Yallamma Temple in Saudatti village, certain people who believe this system from all over the state and also from neighbouring states visit and practice at this temple. There are many people which follow this medieval traditional system. There are also other names for Devadasis: Basavi in North Karnataka, in areas like Bijapur, Kalburgi, Bagalkote, Bellary and Koppala. Also in places such as Matangi in Maharashtra, Kalavantin in Goa,  Kalavatinin in Kerala, and in few other countries Devadasis are called Parameshwaray in Nepal, They are also known as Jogini in some other states. Now in today’s time through the devadasi system is banned by law it is still in practice illegally. This creates huge problems in society especially for young female children who have been exploited in the name of tradition, they end up sacrificing their lives right from childhood, they also lose their health by being exposed to severe diseases such as AIDS, STDs, and mental illnesses.

Devadasi System – A social evil

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