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The name given to the groups of men responsible for enacting, through chanting, gesture, and simple religious drama, the poetry of the Āḻvārs contained in the Nālāyirappirapantam anthology. In the chronicle of the Śrīraṅgam temple, the Kōyil Oḻuku, which describes the Araiyars' duties, they are also called Viṇṇapañ-ceyvār (‘supplicants’). Araiyar hereditary lineages have been continuous since at least the 11th century ce, and male descendants perform today in the Śrīraṅgam, Śrīvilliputtūr, and Āḻvār-tirunagari temples in Tamil Nadu, as well as in the Melkote temple in Karnataka.

Subjects: Hinduism.

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