South India's 75 Apostles of Bhakti

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Tamil Nadu's 75 Apostles of Bhakti usually refer to the twelve Alvars (also, Aazhvaars, Aazhwaars) and sixty-three Nayanmars (also Nayanars, Naayanars, Naayanmaars). They are regarded as the greatest exponents of the bhakti tradition of Hinduism in the Tamil Nadu region. The last of them lived in the 9th century.

There have been other numerous apostles of Bhakti such as Ramanuja, Adi Shankara, Basaveshwara, Madhvacharya and etc. in various other regions of South India who had a great impact in respective regions, but only limited to Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra regions. However the list provided below is limited to promoters of Bhakti movement in the Tamil Nadu region only.

Icons of temple worship[edit]

While north India produced Saints who wrote poetry and sang devotional music like Mirabai, Kabir and Surdas, they were not immortalised in art to be worshipped in temples. Saints of the western world are frequently portrayed in art, but their presence in churches and cathedrals does not seem to be universal. By contrast, icons of these 12 Vaishnava and 63 Saivate saints are iconised at various Vishnu and Shiva Temples in Tamil Nadu respectively.

Names of 63 Nayanmars:


  1. Thirunilakanda nayanar
  2. Iyarpakai nayanar
  3. Ilaiyankudi maara nayanar
  4. Meypporul nayanar
  5. Viranminda nayanar
  6. Amarnidhi nayanar
  7. Eripaththa nayanar
  8. Enathi natha nayanar
  9. Kannappa nayanar
  10. Kunkiliyak kalaya nayanar
  11. Manak kanychara nayanar
  12. Arivattaya nayanar
  13. Anaya nayanar
  14. Murththi nayanar
  15. Muruga nayanar
  16. Uruththira pachupathi nayanar
  17. Thirunalaip povar nayanar
  18. Thirukkuripputh thondar
  19. Chandicha nayanar
  20. Thirunavukkarachaar (Appar)
  21. Kulachchirai nayanar
  22. Perumizalaik kurumba nayanar
  23. Karaikkal ammaiyar
  24. AppuUdhi adikalar
  25. Thiru nilanakka nayanar
  26. Naminandhi nayanar
  27. Thiru Gnanasampandhar
  28. Eyarkon kalikamar
  29. Thirumula nayanar
  30. DhandiyadikaL
  31. Murgga nayanar
  32. Chomachi mara nayanar
  33. Chakkiya nayanar
  34. Chirappuli nayanar
  35. Chiruththonda nayanar
  36. Kazarirru arivar nayanar/Cheraman perumal nayanar
  37. Gana nadha nayanar
  38. Kurruva nayanar
  39. Pukazch choza nayanar
  40. Narachinka munaiyaraiya nayanar
  41. Adhipaththa nayanar
  42. Kalikkamba nayanar
  43. Kaliya nayanar
  44. Chaththi nayanar
  45. AiyadikaL kadavar kon nayanar
  46. Kanampulla nayanar
  47. Kari nayanar
  48. Ninra chir nedumara nayanar
  49. Vayilar nayanar
  50. MunaiyaduyAr nayanar
  51. Kazarchinka nayanar
  52. Idankazi nayanar
  53. Cheruththunai nayanar
  54. Pukazth thunai nayanar
  55. Kotpuli nayanar
  56. Puchalar nayanar
  57. Mankayarkkarachiyar nayanar
  58. Necha nayanar
  59. Kochchenkat choza nayanar machi
  60. Thirunilakanda yazppana nayanar
  61. Chadaiya nayanar
  62. Ichainyaniyar
  63. Sundhara murthi nayanar

Because his immense service to Saivisim, giving discourses about saivite works of Nayanmars and greatness of Lord Subrahmnya (Murugan) in India and abroad, Sri Krupananda Variar Swamigal (1906-1993), is considered as the 64th Nayanmar.