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Women and girls were recruited from poor rural Indian families and paid directly by the military.
Brothels are illegal de jure but in practice are restricted to certain areas of any given town.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.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.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.
The governments of many Indian princely states had regulated prostitution in India prior to the 1860s.
British Raj enacted Cantonment Act of 1864 to regulate Prostitution in colonial India as a matter of accepting a necessary evil.
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.
The Cantonment Acts regulated and structured prostitution in the British military bases which provided for about twelve to fifteen Indian women kept in brothels called chaklas for each regiment of thousand British soldiers.