Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Deva dasis

Just finished reading an extract from Castes and Tribes of South India by Edgar Thurston and K. Rangachari. It's about the deva dasi system in South India, wherin young women are "married" to the temple idols and thereafter serve the general public as sex slaves.

The authors claim that in the whole Madras Presidency, the system survived in only one temple -- the shrine of Sri Kurmam temple in Vizagapatam.

The temple is actually located in Srikakulam around a hundred kilometers away from Vizag and is said to be the only temple in India dedicated to Lord Vishnu's second avatar -- that of the turtle or kurmam.