The alwar (Tamil: ஆழ்வார்கள், ‘those immersed in god’) were Tamil poet saints of south India who lived between the sixth and ninth centuries A.D. and espoused ‘emotional devotion’ or bhakti to Visnu-Krishna in their songs of longing, ecstasy and service. Sri Vaishnava orthodoxy posits the number of alvars as ten, though there are other references that include Andal and madhurakavi, making the number twelve. 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. They praised 108 of this deity's holy abodes in their hymns, known as the Divya Desams.
Together with the contemporary sixty three Saiva Nayanars, they are accounted as South India's 75 Apostles of Bhakti because of their importance in the rise of the Bhakti movement. The collection of their hymns is known as Divya Prabandha.