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Ganika in Hindu Religion

Ganika in Hindu religion is a maiden who makes her living by means of her personal beauty, her skills in the fine arts and capacity to provide pleasure. Some scholars equate her with harlot or courtesan. The term is also used to refer to a woman who makes a living by her beauty. (ganika rupajiva).

In some ancient kingdoms, the most beautiful woman was appointed as a ganika and it was a respectable post.

As per Arthashastra, Ganika was inducted to the profession only if she so desires.

Patronage and maintenance of a Ganika was seen as a status symbol in ancient times.

They were also associated with dance and temple arts.