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Nandanar is the only Shaivite sant of dalit origin. He was born probably some time between the 7th- and 9th-centuries CE in Thanjavur district, South India, to a family of the untouchable Paraiyar or Pulaya caste. The earliest details of his life appear in the 12th-century work known as the Periyapuranam that documents the lives of all the 63 Shaivite sants. His influence was and remains limited primarily to the area in which he was born.
- Basu, Raj Sekhar (2011). Nandanar's Children: The Paraiyans' Tryst with Destiny, Tamil Nadu 1850 - 1956. SAGE. ISBN 9788132105145.