Anahita was very popular and is one of the forms of the 'Great Goddess' which appears in many ancient eastern religions (such as the Syrian/Phoenician goddess Anath). She is associated with rivers and lakes, as the waters of birth. Anahita is sometimes regarded as the consort of Mithra
When Persia conquered Babylonia (in the 6th century BCE), Anahita began to show some similarities with the goddess Ishtar. Since then her cult included also the practice of temple prostitution. During the reign of king Artaxerxes (436-358 BCE) many temples were erected in her honor; in Soesa, Ecbatana, and in Babylon.