The alwar or azhwars were 12 Tamil poet-saints of south India who espoused ‘emotional devotion’ or bhakti to Visnu-Krishna in their songs of longing, ecstasy and service.

The alwar or azhwars were 12 Tamil poet-saints of south India who espoused ‘emotional devotion’ or bhakti to Visnu-Krishna in their songs of longing, ecstasy and service. The Alwars are crucially important figures in the development of Vaishnavism; it is the principles and beliefs embodied in the Alwars' poems that ultimately gave rise to the Sri Vaishnava sect.

They are twelve* in number. They are:

  • Poigai Alwar

  • Bhoothathalwar

  • Peyalwar

  • Thirumalisai Alwar

  • Nammalwar

  • Madhurakavi Alwar

  • Kulashekhara Alwar

  • Periyalwar

  • Periyalwar

  • Thondaradippodi Alwar

  • Thiruppaan Alwar

  • Thirumangai Alwar

* Vadakalai sect of Sri Vaishnavas considers only 10 alwars excluding Madhurakavi Alwar and Andal. They are worshipped and revered but not included in this list of Alwars.

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