--> Skip to main content

Ganika In Ancient India - Meaning

Ganika in ancient India was a maiden who made 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. She was not from a particular caste. 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.