YELLAMA-Devdasi Festival - Thomas L. Kelly
A terrified child, about  to be dedicated to the Goddess. Each year, an estimated 3,000 young girls are brought  to the festival of Yellama to be dedicated as Devadasis, or `handmaidens  of the Goddess. Saundatti, Karnataka, India.
The Devadasi inhabit the border of two of India’s most progressive states: Maharastra and Karnataka. Despite the legal banning of dedication every year over 5,000 girls continue to be dedicated tot he goddess Yellamma. On the night of the full moon in January, thousands of young girls join in a religious procession to the temple for goddess Yellamma in a remote village of Karnataka. After being dedicated, they are auctioned to the highest bidder and enter the world of prostitution.

A terrified child, about to be dedicated to the Goddess. Each year, an estimated 3,000 young girls are brought to the festival of Yellama to be dedicated as Devadasis, or `handmaidens of the Goddess. Saundatti, Karnataka, India.
The Devadasi inhabit the border of two of India’s most progressive states: Maharastra and Karnataka. Despite the legal banning of dedication every year over 5,000 girls continue to be dedicated tot he goddess Yellamma. On the night of the full moon in January, thousands of young girls join in a religious procession to the temple for goddess Yellamma in a remote village of Karnataka. After being dedicated, they are auctioned to the highest bidder and enter the world of prostitution.

YellammadevdasifestivaldeitydevoteegoddessHinduismreligionritualtempleSaundattiKarnatakaIndia.