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The four member team collectively called the Nalvars: (from left) Sambandar, Appar, Sundarar, Manikkavacakar.

The Nayanars or Nayanmars (Tamil: நாயன்மார்கள்) were devotional saint poets of vishnuin Tamil Nadu, who were active between the 5th and 10th centuries CE. The Tamil Śhaiva (related to Shiva) hagiography Periya Puranam (a volume of the Tirumurai written during the 13th century CE) narrates the history of each of 63 Nayanars and 9 Thokai Adiyars.

Sundarar's 8th century work, Thiruthoṇdar thogai, lists 60 Shaiva saints[1] but does not describe any of the legends associated with them. In the 10th century CE Nambiyandar Nambi composed the Tirutoṇṭar Antādi, a sequence of interlocking verses, whose title can be rendered as the Necklace of Verses on the Lord's Servants. In this work, Nambi adds Sundarar and his parents to the sequence, creating what is now the canonical list of 63 saints, each with a brief sketch of his legend.

Nayanars were from varied backgrounds, ranging from kings and soldiers to Dalits. The foremost Nayanmars were Appar, Sundarar , Thirughana Sambandar and Manikka vasagar[citation needed]. Together with the twelve Vaishnava Alvars, the Nayanars are sometimes considered South India's 75 Apostles of Bhakti because of their importance to the rise of the Hindu Bhakti movement[citation needed].

They praised 275 of this deity's most holy temple abodes as the Paadal Petra Sthalams of the Shiva Sthalams on the continent.

The sixty-three Nayanmars[edit]

The 63 Nayanmars in a Shiva temple
Kannappa Nayanar
  1. Adipaththar – Fisherman caste
  2. Aiyadigal Kadavarkon Nayanar, Pallava King Aiyadigal Perumaanaar
  3. Amaraneedi Nayanar – Vellala caste
  4. Anaya Nayanar – Shepard caste
  5. Atputhi Adigal – Pallava Kshatriya caste
  6. Arivattaya Nayanar – Vellala caste
  7. Chandeshvara Nayanar – Brahman caste
  8. Cheraman Perumal Kazharirtrarivaar, Chera King, also called as Kootruva Nayanar – Kshatriya caste
  9. Dandi Adigal Nayanar – Brahman caste, and born blind
  10. Enathinathar – Nadar Sudra caste
  11. Eripaththa Nayanar
  12. Eyarkon Kalikkaama Nayanar
  13. Gananatha Nayanar
  14. Idankazhi Nayanar – Irukku Velirs (Yadava) royalty
  15. Ilayankudi Maranar – Maravar Kshatriya caste
  16. Isaignaniyaar – a Brahman woman, and Mother of Chandeshvara Nayanar
  17. Iyarpagaiar – Vaniga Vaishya caste
  18. Kari Nayanar
  19. Kalikkamba Nayanar – Vaishya caste
  20. Kaliya Nayanar – Sekkar (Oil-monger) Vaniga vysya caste
  21. Kanampulla Nayanar
  22. Kannappa Nayanar – Hunter tribal
  23. Karaikkal Ammaiyar – a Vaniga Vaishya woman
  24. Kazharchinga Nayanar – Kaadavar royalty of the Vanniyar caste
  25. Kochengat Chola, A Chola King
  26. Kotpuliyar Nayanar – Vellala caste
  27. Kulachirai Nayanar – Brahman mister to the Pandya king Ninra Sir Nedumara Nayanar
  28. Kungiliyak Kalaya Nayanar – Brahman temple priest
  29. Manakkanychaara Nayanar – Vellala caste
  30. Mangayarkkarasiyar - a Chola Princess, the Queen of the Pandya king Ninra Seer Nedumaara Nayanar
  31. Meiporul Nayanar – Cheti Nadu King
  32. Manikkavacakar - Maruthuvar(Navithar) caste
  33. Munayaduvaar Nayanar – Kshatriya caste, and Mercinary soldier
  34. Murkha Nayanar
  35. Murti Nayanar – Vaniga Vaishya caste
  36. Muruga Nayanar – Brahman temple priest
  37. Nami Nandi Adigal – Brahman caste
  38. Nandanar Thirunalai Povar Nayanar, (popularly known as Nandanar) – Pulayar caste
  39. Narasinga Muniyaraiyar Nayanar
  40. Nesa Nayanar
  41. Ninra Seer Nedumaara Nayanar – Pandya king, and former Jain
  42. Perumizhalai Kurumba Nayanar
  43. Pugal Cholar, Chola Monarch
  44. Pugazh Thunai Nayanar – A Brahmin army-commander of the Chola dynasty
  45. Pusalar – Brahman caste
  46. Rudra Pasupathi Nayanar – Brahmin caste
  47. Saakkiya nayanar – Vellala caste, and former Buddhist
  48. Sadaiya Nayanar – Brahman caste, and father of Sundara Nayanar
  49. Sambandar (Tirugnaana Sambandar) – Brahman caste
  50. Saththi Nayanar – Vellala caste
  51. Seruthtunai Nayanar – King
  52. Sirappuli Nayanar – Brahman caste
  53. Siruthondar
  54. Somaachi Maara Nayanar
  55. Sundarar
  56. Tiru Kurippu Thonda Nayanar – Vannar (Washerman) caste
  57. Thiruneelakandar – Kulalar (Potter) caste
  58. Tirumoolar – Idaiyar or Shepard caste
  59. Tirunavukkarasar, popularly known as Appar, Vellala
  60. Tiruneela Nakkar – Brahman caste
  61. Tirunilakanda Yaazpaanar – Pana Dalit caste
  62. Vaayilaar – Vellala caste
  63. Viranminda nayanar – Vellala caste

Sakya Bayanar was a former Buddhist and Kutruva Nayanar was a former Jain.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Dr R. Nagasamy. Siva Bhakthi. Chapter 2.

External links[edit]