Andal is the only female Alvar of the 12 Alvar saints of South India, who are known for their affiliation to the Srivaishnava tradition of Hinduism. Andal is known for her unwavering devotion to the Lord Vishnu, the God of the Srivaishnavas. The Srivilliputhoor Temple is dedicated to her and marks her birthplace. Adopted by her father, the Alvar saint Periyalvar who found her as a baby, Andal avoided earthly marriage, the normal and expected path for women of her culture, to "marry" Vishnu, both spiritually and physically. In many places in India, particularly in Tamil Nadu, Andal is treated more than a saint and as a form of God herself.
Signature: Signed and dated
Image rights: Image courtesy of The Noble Sage
Acquired from the Dhanapal family collection
About S DHANAPAL
Indian, 1919-2000, India