Courtesan like women who were basically entertainers were often looked down as those of low virtue. The Indian term ganika is loosely translated as courtesans. Ganikas had a special relevance in India as they had prestige both in the royal court and the society, and they were patronized by the king. It was a cultural institution. The author traces initially the rise, development and fall of this institution. Later he elaborates the foreign ganikas. The next six chapters are devoted to salient features of the life of the ganikas, their training, their beauty accessories, their appearance in Indian literature etc. The latter half of the text has thirteen stories related to ganikas.