Tiruppavai of Andal

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The Tiruppavai of Andal

***** Location: Tamizhnadu (Tamil Nadu), India
***** Season: Early Winter (marghazhi)
***** Category: Humanity


I grew up listening to her verses being sung. . . I grew up witnessing her wedding to her beloved Sri Krishna being enacted in the Puja rooms of Tamizh families.

Each and every verse filled with details of nature and her yearning for her beloved, in beautiful chaste Tamizh. Her imagination was simply unparallel.

I am talking about ANDAL and her 30 verses called TIRUPPAVAI worshipped and sung in South Indian homes in the moth of Dec 15th to January 15th year after year, even to this day.

Kala Ramesh

Various spellings are possible:
Thiruppaavai [divine sight (revelation)]
"AANDAAL" ~ [she reigned], aandaval aandaal
month of maarhazhi thingal


Andal (Andaal), the remarkable girl who would marry none but the Lord

She is known in her native tongue of Tamil as an Alvar, one who is "immersed" in the depths of enjoyment of God, the omnipresent mysterious One. Tradition reckons 12 Alvars, of which Andal is the only female.

Between the fifth and ninth centuries, in the Tamil-speaking region of South India, these saints revitalized the Indian religious milieu, sparking a renewal of devotional worship throughout the subcontinent. Traveling from place to place, from temple to temple, from holy site to holy site, they composed exceedingly beautiful poetry to their Divine Beloved, Vishnu, as an expression of their love for Him.

Andal composed two works in her short life. Both are in Tamil and are unique in their literary, philosophical, religious, and artistic content.
Her first work is the Tiruppaval, a poem of thirty verses.
The second is the Nacciyar Tirumoli, a poem of 143 verses.

The impact of these works on the daily religious life of the South Indian has been tremendous. Just like the Ramayana, people are never tired of listening to the Tiruppavai. The poem itself is recited with great religious fervor by women, men, and children of all ages, particularly in Tamil Nadu. The daily services in most Vaishnava temples and households include its recitation.

Read all about her life and work here in our library:
Tiruppavai of Andal, by Mani Varadarajan

The Sacred Poem of 30 Verses
Celebrated in Maargazhi (mid-December to mid-January)


Worldwide use

Things found on the way


cold morning:
reciting the tiruppavai her voice
breaks with emotion

Kala Ramesh


music festival ~
thiruppaavai seeps through
french perfumes

ooo ooo ooo ooo ooo

maarhazhi thingal
thirppaavai mikeile
pithan aadaraan roadele
[ Tamizh ]

marhazhi monday ~
thiruppaavai on the mike
a mad-one dances
on the road

Narayanan Raghunathan

Related words



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