The Nayanars (or Nayanmars; Tamil: நாயன்மார், romanized: Nāyaṉmār, lit. ‘hounds of Siva’, and later ’teachers of Siva’) were a group of 63 poet-saints living in Tamil Nadu during the 3rd to 8th centuries CE who were devoted to the Hindu god Shiva. Along with the Alwars, their contemporaries who were devoted to Vishnu, they influenced the Bhakti movement in early medieval South India.
The names of the Nayanars were first compiled by Sundarar. The list was expanded by Nambiyandar Nambi during his compilation of material by the poets for the Tirumurai collection, and would include Sundarar himself and Sundarar’s parents.