For the city in Rajasthan, see Alwar. For the village in Iran, see Alvars, Iran. Hindu Supreme god Vishnu or his avatar Krishna in their songs of longing, ecstasy and divya prabandham in tamil pdf. They are venerated especially in Vaishnavism, which regards Vishnu or Krishna as the Supreme Being.
Many modern academics place the Alvars date between 5th century to 10th century CE. Orthodoxy posits the number of alvars as ten, though there are other references that include Andal and Madhurakavi Alvar, making the number twelve. Andal is the only female saint-poet in the 12 Alvars.
Together with the contemporary sixty three Shaiva Nayanars, they are among the most important saints from Tamil Nadu. The devotional outpourings of Alvars, composed during the early medieval period of Tamil history, helped revive the bhakti movement, through their hymns of worship to Vishnu and his avatars. The poetry of the Alvars echoes bhakti to God through love, and in the ecstasy of such devotions they sang hundreds of songs which embodied both depth of feeling and felicity of expressions. The collection of their hymns is known as Divya Prabandha.