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Tirumaṅkai Āḻvār


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(c.8th–9th century ce)

The most prolific of the South Indian Āḻvār poet-saints. He seems to have been a local ruler in Maṅkai (Tiruvālināṭu). His hagiographies are sensational: one story tells how he raised money to build shrines at Śrīraṅgam by robbery, including the theft of a golden Buddha statue. This accounts for his iconographic depiction as an armed dacoit. Tirumaṅkai's voluminous output demonstrates mastery of Tamil prosody, as well as considerable learning, and takes up the whole ‘Second Thousand’ (plus some of the ‘Third’) of the Nālāyirappirapantam.

Subjects: Hinduism.


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