Nayanars mainly belongs to Tamiknadu and Kerala states. They are great devotees of Lord Shiva and spread Shaivism in that area.
1. Sundarmurthy Nayanar is a great Shaiva poet. He is one of the four Saiva Samaya Acharyas. He is an incarnation of one of the shiva ganas, named Alala Sundarar. He loved Aninditi and Kamalini, attendants of Goddess Parvathi, for that reason he came down to earth, take a human birth, marry them and enjoy the pleasures of the world. In this avatara , he practiced Sakhya bhava, treating Lord Shiva as his friend. He visited so many Shiva temples and praised Lord Shiva with his songs.
Birth Place: Thiru Navalur
First Marriage with Paravayar (Kamalini): Tiruvarur
Second Marriage with Aninditiyar (Aninditi):Tiruvotriyur
Got eyes at Kanchi
Went to Kailasa from Kodunkolur
2. Tiru Neelakanta Nayanar: Chidambaram: Lord Shiva pleased by his self control and devotion. He did not touch any lady since his wife asked him "do not touch us".
3. Iyarpahai Nayanar: Kaveripoompattinam(Tiruchaikadu): Lord Shiva tested his devotion by asking his wife as a gift. He gave that gift without any doubt and any social inhibitions. Lord shiva and Parvathi pleased with their devotion and gave their blessings.
4. Ilayankudi Mara Nayanar: Ilayankudi village: Maranar and his wife did Maheswarpuja very well and got blessings from Lord Shiva.
5. Maiporul Nayanar: hill tribes of Sethi: He saw Lord shiva in Shiva Bhaktas. Lord Shiva immensely pleased with his cosmic love and unquestioning devotion to Lord shiva devotees, and even in a murdèrer he saw Lord shiva.
6. Viralminda Nayanar: Sengunru, a hilly place: He believed that respecting Shiva Bhaktas is respecting Lord Shiva. When he went to Tiruvarur on pilgrimage, he questioned even Sundarmurthi Nayamar on this issue.Lord Siva was greatly pleased with Viralmindar’s great steadfastness in his devotion to Siva Bhaktas and gave entrance into Kailasa.
7. Amaraneedi Nayanar: Pazhaiyaarai in the Chola Kingdom: He shifted his family to Tirunallur to serve Lord Shiva and for daily darshan. He served devotees by giving kowpeenas. Lord Shiva immensely pleased with his whole-hearted and sincere service to shiva Bhaktas. Lord Shiva immensely pleased with his Kowpeena charity and take away Amaraneediar, his wife and his child to Kailasa.
8. Eripatha Nayanar: Karuvur, one of the main cities of the Chola Kingdom, situated on the bank of the river Ambiravati: One day he saw an elephant suddenly became mad and distroyed shiva puja. For that reason he kílled that elephant with his axe. By knowing this issue king came and plead him to kíll him also for having that bad elephant. Eripathar pleased and tried to kíll him self. Lord Pasupatheesvarar appeared announced the situation is nothing but his lila and gave blessings to Eripatha Nayanar
9. Enadinatha Nayanar: Eyinanur in Chola Kingdom. It was situated to the south-east of Kumbakonam on the bank of the river Arisol: He repects persons who wear ashes on their forehead. He even sacrifies his life in a battle in respecting his enemy who wear ashes on his forehead. Lord Shiva pleased by his devotion towards shiva bhaktas and take away him to kailasa.
10. Kannappa Nayanar: Kalahasthi:Lord Shiva blessed him for his donation of two eyes to cure Lord shiva's eyes.
11. Kungiliya Kalaya Nayanar: Tirukadavur, Amirda Ghateswarar: Lord Shiva satisfied with his incense offering devtion.Tiruppanandal, Arunasatesar: Here he straightend the shiva linga with his great devotion.
12. Manakanchara Nayanar: Kancharur was a fertile place in the Chola kingdom: Lord Shiva blessed him for his devotion. He disfiguered his daghter before her marriage to satisfy a shiva yogi. After that Shiva yogi blessed them.
13. Arivattaya Nayanar: Kannamangalam in the Chola kingdom, Thayanar: Lord Shiva pleased by his daily offering redrice dish.
14. Anaya Nayanar: Tirumangalam (Trichnopoly District):Samavedesvarar. It was He Who purified Parasurama of the sin of kílling his mother and also gave him the axe. Lord shiva immensely pleased with Ayanar’s sincere devotion, his sweet music of the flute and Panchakshara Mantra.
15. Murthi Nayanar: Madura: Lord was pleased by his sandalwood offering devotion.
16. Muruga Nayanar: Tirupukalur:he was a dearest friend of Jnana sambandhar nayanar.
17. Rudra Pasupathi Nayanar: Tiruttalaiyur: Rudra Pasupathi Nayanar was a great devotee of Lord Siva and he used to recite Sri Rudram standing in water, neck deep and was, therefore, blessed by the Lord with Moksha.
18. Tiru Nalai Povar Nayanar:Adanoor: Tirupunkur- Lord shiva ordered Nandi to lean aside for giving darshan to Nandanar. Chidambaram: He took a sacred bath in fire and entered Nataraja temple and absorbed in Chidakasam.
19. Tiru Kurippu Thonda Nayanar: Kanchipuram: He served shiva bhaktas and the Lord satisfied with his sincere devotion. One day he tried to wash one shiva bhaktas rag, but on failure to do so within sunset he decided to loose his life. Lord stopped this and gave moksha.
20. Chandesvara Nayanar: Tiruchaijnanallur:Vichara Sarman got Saroopya mukthi and reached Chandikeswar abode. He kílled his own father as he destroyed Shiva puja. Lord plesed for his great devotion and gave him Chandikesvarar’s Abode.
21. Tiru-Navukkarasar Nayanar: Tiruvamoor in Tirumunaipadi Nadu, Tiruvathikai: He is one of the four Saiva Samaya Acharyas. He shifted his religion from Jainism to Shaivism at Tiruvathikai in the presence of his sister Tilakavathi. Later he visited several shiva temples and praised Lord shiva with his songs. He spent some days with Jnanasambadhar Nayanar and spread Lord Shivas glory.
22. Kulacchirai Nayanar: Manamerkudi, Madurai: He was the prime minister of Pandyan Kingdom. He invited Sambandar to Madurai to fight against evil influence of Jains. He prooved the supremacy of Shaivism over Jainism.
23. Perumizhalai Kurumba Nayanar: Tiruvanchaikalam : He mentally accepted Sundarmurthy nayanar as his Guru. In the meantime, Sundarar came to Tiruvanchaikalam from where he was taken to the Lord’s Abode. Kurumba Nayanar, through his Yogic powers, came to know that this would happen. and, therefore, through the method of Siva Yoga, Nayanar cast off his mortal coil and reached the Abode of Siva, a day before Sundarar’s departure.
24. Karaikal Ammaiyar: Tiruvalangadu: When Punithavathy went to Kailasa, she felt that it would be a great sin to place her foot on those sacred grounds, she made the last part of the journey on her head.
25. Appuddi Nayanar: Tingalur in the Chola kingdom: he had taken Tirunavukkarasar or Appar as his Guru and show lot of devotion towards him and gained Lords grace.
26. Tiruneelanakka Nayanar: Tirusattamangai was an important city in the Chola kingdom:It is situated seven miles east of Nannilam. There is a temple in this place called Ayavanthi; He show lot of devotion towards Lord Shiva and Jnana Sambandar.When Sambandar got merged in the Light of Lord Siva, Tiruneelanakka Nayanar also got merged in it.
27. Nami Nandi Adigal: Tiruvarur: He enlighted many lamps with water for several days in Lord Shivas temple. He he saw that all the people who were born in Tiruvarur had the same form as Lord Siva.
28. Tiru Jnana Sambandar: Sirkali: He drunk milk of wisdom from Parvathi mata. He visited many Shiva temples and spread the glory of Lord shiva. He established shaivism in Madura. After he got married, he sang a padigam, and got a boon from Lord Shiva, that he, his wife, and who wittnessed their marriage will merge in Shivajyothi. Before entering into Shiva jyothi Sambandar sang a Padigam known as the Panchakshara Padigam. Then all those who were there merged in the Light of Siva. Tiruneelakanta Nayanar, Muruga Nayanar and Tiruneelakanta Yazhpanar were also there.
29. Eyarkon Kalikama Nayanar: Tiruperumangalam in Ponni Nadu: He hated Sundarmurthy Nayanar, as he used Lord Shiva toresolve his family dispute. But Lord Shiva made him to realize about Sundarmurthy Nayanars devotion. Kalikamar spent the rest of his life in the service of the Lord and reached Kailasa.
30. Tiru Mula Nayanar: Tiruvavaduthurai: He was a Shaiva Siddha. He entered into a cowheard's ďead body and wrote a book on Shaiva philosophy containing all Shaiva agamas. He was in deep meditation for three thousand years to wrote this book.
31. Dandi Adigal Nayanar: Tiruvarur: Dandi Adigal was born blind. But he extended temple tank with the help of Lord Shiva and gain eye sight. He believed him as aservent of Lord Shiva.
32. Murkha Nayanar: Tiruverkat in Thondai Nadu: He is a best example for The completeness of the surrender. He used to gamble and use that money for Maheswarapuja only.
33. Somasira Nayanar: Tiruvambur: He went to Tiruvarur and lived with Sundaramurthi Nayanar to whom he had totally surrendered himself. Thus he got His grace.
34. Sakkiya Nayanar: Tirucchangamangai: He offered stones to Lord Shiva before his meals. One day, when he was about to take his meal, he remembered that he had not done his usual Puja: and unmindful of the hunger, went to the temple and threw a stone with great devotion. The Lord appeared before him, blessed him and took him to Kailasa.
35. Sirappuli Nayanar: Tiruvakur in the Chola kingdom:He would repeat the Panchakshara Mantra, with Bhav and sincerity, throughout the day and night. He also performed the Vedic sacrifices in honour of Lord Siva. All these earned for him the supreme grace of Siva
36. Siruthonda Nayanar: Tiruchenkattangudi: He himself was the Commander-in-Chief of the Chola king. After that he spent his life in serving Shiva bhaktas. One day one shiva yogi wanted meat of apasu. He offered his own sons meat to that yogi without any hesitation. Yogi satisfied and bring back their child Siriyal and blessed for their devotion.
37. Cheraman Perumal Nayanar: Kodunkolur: capital city of Malai Nadu or the present Kerala: He was a king of Chera kingdom and shows grat devotion towards Lord Shiva. He made friendship with Sundarmurthy Nayanar and follow him upto Kailasa when Sundarmurthy Nayanar attained Shivapada. There he was taken by Lord Shiva as Ganadhyaksha.
38. Gananatha Nayanar: Sirkali: He was a great Bhakta of Lord Siva. People admired his virtue and devotion and came to him for advice. He invariably gave them some work connected with the temple, according to their ability.Thus he infused devotion in them for the Lord and transformed them into Siva Bhaktas. He was greatly devoted to Jnana Sambandar. All these earned Siva’s grace for him.
39. Kootruva Nayanar: chieftain of Kalandai: He was extremely devoted to Lord Siva. Daily he would repeat the Panchakshara Mantra, and serve the Bhaktas.Lord Himself appeared before him and crowned him by placing His Feet on his head. Nayanar continued to worship the Lord and finally attained Him.
40. Pugal Chola Nayanar: Uraiyur in the Chola kingdom: When he went to Karur, Eripatha Nayanar kílled his elephant because of Shiva aparadham. At this situation he got Shiva darshan. Bu at the same time his soldiers kílled a Shiva bhaka in their invation into Adigan’s fort. By knowing this, Stricken with terrible remorse the king had a big fire made, went round it having the head on a golden plate in his hand and entered the fire chanting the Panchakshara Mantra. Thus he entered the Lord’s Abode.
41. Narasinga Muniyaraiyar: Tiru Munaipadi: On one Shivaratri, one Bhakta came with sacred ashes on his stark naked body: this evoked disgust in the hearts of the other Bhaktas. Nayanar understood this and fell at the naked devotee’s feet and welcomed him with more respect. He fed him nicely and gave him 200 gold coins. This earned the Lord’s supreme grace for the Nayanar.
42. Adipattha Nayanar: Nulaipadi near Nagapattinam: It was his practice to let go one fish from his catch daily, as an offering unto the Lord.He continued his practice even he caght only one fish a day. One day he saw a golden fish caught by him. Bu he left that one also in the name of Lord Shiva. Lord plesaed by this action and blessed him.
43. Kalikamba Nayanar: Pennagadam in the Chola kingdom: He cut his wifes hand as she didnt serve Shiva bhakta. Lord blessed him and gave Shivapada.
44. Kalia Nayanar: Tiruvotriyur: He daily enlighten lamps in Shiva temple. When he was unable to get oil to enlighten lamps, he tried to cut his throat for blood to enlighten lamps instead of oil. Lord stopped this action and gave blessings to him.
45. Satti Nayanar: Varinjiyur in the Chola kingdom: He was a sincere devotee of Lord Siva and honoured His devotees. He could not tolerate anyone speaking ill of them. If anyone did so, he would cut off the slanderer’s tongue. Lord Siva understood his pure inner Bhav and showered His grace on him.
46. Aiyadigal Kadavarkon Nayanar: Kanchi:Aiyadigal Kadavarkon Nayanar was a Pallava king who ruled over Kanchi. He infused the spirit of Saivism into his people: Soon he got disgusted with worldly life, renounced the world, after installing his son in his place, and undertook a continuous pilgrimage of the various shrines singing hymns in His praise, wherever he went. Lord Siva was highly pleased with his devotion and blessed him with His Darshan.
47. Kanampulla Nayanar: Irukkuvelur: He utilised all his wealth in the service of Lord Shiva. One day he lost all his money and unable to serve lord shiva, then he bųrnt his hair on head as Dhupa seva. Then Lord Siva appeared before him, and blessed him.
48. Kari Nayanar: Tirukadavur: He used to go to the three Tamil kings, and get money by singing Tamil Kovais (anthology). He earned a lot and built temples. Thus he spread the cause of Saivism. He also served Siva Bhaktas and earned His grace.
49. Ninra Seer Nedumara Nayanar:and
50. Mangayarkarasiyar: Madura: These couple ruled Madura.Once Ninra Seer Nedumara Nayanar suffered with hunchback, then Jnana Sambandar cured that hunchback. From that time onwards he spread Shaivism and his Guru Jnana Sambandar's glory.
51. Vayilar Nayanar: Mylapore: He constructed temples mentally and did Manasic (mental) worship. He built the temple of non-forgetfulness, lit the shining lamp of Self-illumination, bathed the Lord in the waters of immortal Ananda (bliss) and worshipped Him with the elixir of supreme love. Thus he obtained salvation.
52. Munaiyaduvar Nayanar: Tiru Nidur in the Chola kingdom: He would hire himself out as a professional fighter. He fixed a wage for this service and with that money he would feed the Siva Bhaktas and look after them. He earned money in this way and hence he was called ‘Munaiyaduvar’. Lord Siva was highly pleased with him and blessed him.
53. Kazharsinga Nayanar: And
54. Seruthunai Nayanar: Tiruvarur: Once king Kazharsinga Nayanar and his wife went to Tiruvarur temple. At that time queen smelled a flower that was kept aside for Shivapuja. Seruthunai Nayanar, a pious Vellala of Tanjore, who was doing the service in the temple, was annoyed by her action. He at once cut off the nose of the queen that smelt the flower. Seruthunai Nayanar explained to him the queen’s action which was an insult to Lord Siva (Siva Aparadham). The king at once gave an additional punishment to her, by cutting off her hand which picked up the flower! Both the king and Seruthunai Nayanar were glorified by the people and the celestials rained flowers on them. Both of them attained the grace of Lord Siva.
55. Idangazhi Nayanar: Kodumbalur: king of Velas in Kodumbalur. He gave permission to all Siva Bhaktas to enter his palace and granary and take whatever they wanted. Thus he displayed his zeal for the spread of Saivism. Thus he earned Lord Siva’s grace, too.
56. Pugazh Tunai Nayanar: Seruviliputhur: He was a pujari in Shiva temple. He continued his duty offering puja in famine time also. Lord shiva pleased by this action and blessed him.
57. Kotpuli Nayanar: He was the Commander-in-Chief of a Chola king.: He gave some paddy to his relatives for Lord Shivas service. When famine came they used that paddy. When he knew this he kílled all his relatives including parents for doing Shiva aparadha. The Lord appeared at once before him and blessed him, and also all the relatives who had ďied at his hand, and took them all to His Abode.
58. Pusalar Nayanar: Tiru Ninravur in Thondai Mandalam: He mentally created a shrine for Lord Shiva. Lord shiva told this to The Kadava king who was also a great devotee of Lord Siva had built a magnificent temple in Conjeevaram. The king searched temple in Tiruninravur but did not find any temple. But after meeting Pusalar, he came to know about his mentally created Shrine and accepted the great devation of Pusalar.
59. Nesa Nayanar: Kampili: His mind was well fixed on the lotus feet of the Lord. His lips always uttered the Panchakshara Mantra. His hands were ever busy in the service of His Bhaktas. These three virtues gained the Lord’s grace for him.
60. Kochengat Chola Nayanar: The spider that showed devotion towards Lord Shiva born as Kochengat Chola Nayanar in the next Janma. In Chola Nadu he built many shrines and mansions for the use of the three thousand Brahmins of Tillai. He provided for regular worship at Chidambaram. Finally he reached the Lord’s Abode.
61. Tiru Neelakanta Yazhpanar: Madura, Tiruvarur. He was exper in playing Yazh. Lord loved his play and brought him closer. He joined Sambandar and got Liberation.
62. Sadaya Nayanar And
63. Isaijnaniyar: Tirumuraipadi:They are the parents of Sundarmurthy Nayanar. They led the ideal Grihastha (household) life and finally attained His grace.